Duplico

A funny story about a wannabe superhero who got the ability
to duplicate anything he wants

This is a story, about Johnny. Johnny was an average man, trying to get through life. He was an eccentric fellow. His pattern of thought was unlike any other. He always tried to be creative, but like a failed experiment it kept exploding in his face. The amount of failures he has produced over his life forced his parents to abandon him at an early stage in life. But poor Johnny never gave up. He was resilient, like a cockroach. He said to himself, one day, one day he will get through life like butter on bread. He will have a beautiful girl by his side, all the money he could dream of, and something that would make him… Special. He did not know what it was, but it did not stop him from trying. From a very young age, he had a fascination with comic books. He had school in the morning, but would stay up all night under his covers reading about his favorite heroes with a flashlight. ‘Wow… One day I’m going to be just like them,’ the young Johnny said. And it is this strong emotional drive with the super natural heroics that drove him astray from how the real world works, even after growing up.

And thus, this story will be about Johnny, a middle aged man, with a not so handsome face or body, a lousy etiquette, but most important of all, an unstoppable desire for being up there, with the stars.
“With the stars,” said Johnny, finishing a comic book about a super galaxy hero of amazing galaxy powers and unimaginable awesomeness. “Wow,” his face was glowing with delight and inspiration. He turned the comic book to the front cover again to take a last glance at the comic book hero, ‘Galaxy Man’.
“Johnny!” a loud screeching yell meandered its way through the room and into his ears. “Are you reading comics again?”
“No!” Johnny dropped the comic on the ground and got up from the chair immediately,
speaking tentatively as if he was clearly at fault. “No sir, boss, person, I wasn’t.”
“Person?” his fat boss came up to him. His face wasn’t as crude as a typical boss. It looked like, deep down inside this boss of Johnny’s almost looked like he could sympathize with him.
“I just, I don’t know what to call you sometimes, sir boss person sir,” said Johnny. They were in a large printing room, where Johnny worked, basically. All day, sitting and printing and photocopying orders from people.
“Galaxy Man huh?” the boss slowly came up to the comic book on the floor, lifting it off the ground. “Nineteen seventy eight,” he impressed Johnny.
“Wow, sir boss person si-”
“Call me that again, I triple dog dare you,” said the boss.
“I did not know you were into comic books, boss,” said Johnny.
“Was, when I was young. Then life hits you!” As he said the word ‘hit’, he slammed the comic book into Johnny’s chest. “Why don’t you go work for a comic book store instead of this, huh?”
“I can’t,” Johnny bit his lip. “They fired me.”
“For what?” the boss narrowed his eyebrows.
“For reading comics,” he replied, biting his lip harder and stretching it down and outwards.
“The guys at the comic store have more balls than I do. They fire you for reading comics at a comic store yet I’m letting you live for doing the same thing at a printing department.”
“Well sir, with all due respect,” Johnny stopped there. For a few seconds nothing was coming out of his mouth.
“What?” said the boss, gesturing with his hands outwards.
“I did not think it through, I expected you to cut me off and have like a cool scene-”
“Aw come on!”
“-with like between a boss and a worker where the worker is-”
“Get back to work Johnny!”
“-like trying to be all badass and okay sir, person boss,” Johnny watched as his boss was walking away from him. “Thing,” he finished.
“Johnny,” a soothing female voice came up to him, startling him.
“Laura!” he turned around with a jolt and a jump, his comic book slipping through his hands.
He had two-three attempts to catch it, missed every one of them and the blue comic ended up on the floor anyways. He then proceeded to casually ignore it, lean on a desk with his elbow and display swag. “How you doin’ tonight?” he smiled.
Ah yes, Laura, the girl of his dreams. A lass that, in his mind was forged in the ice fires of the Redroid planet, made perfect by the daughter of the Goddess of Beauty. Originally, her destination was Heaven, but she missed it and accidently landed on Earth. These bizarre explanations of Laura’s origins were lurking in his mind, clouding his head for a moment. His eyes were completely lost in hers.
“Johnny!” she repeated. For the fourth time.
“Laura! Hey, how you doin’ tonight?”
“You just asked me that,” she gave him a sarcastic smile.
“I did, well did you answer the first time?” he raised his eyebrows curiously.
“Yes I did,” she nodded her head, keeping up the sarcastic smile with her lips pressed tightly together.
“Wow, what a strange predicament, I must have lost myself…” he paused and looked down at the blue comic book on the floor, then back up at her gorgeous blue eyes. “In the galaxies,” he said slowly.
“Anyways,” she shoved a hard drive into his chest. “Get these printed,” then she shoved a few papers into his chest, “and these photocopied. Easy, right?”
“Anything for the Celestine Laura,” he exaggeratedly bowed before her grace. She rolled his eyes at him.
“It’s going to be a stormy night, hope you brought an umbrella,” she said while walking away.
“No,” said Johnny, narrowing his eyes, “No I didn’t. You wouldn’t want to…” he watched her walk through the door, “share…? No? Okay.” He nervously smiled to himself, now alone in the printing room.
A harsh wind hit the window, catching his attention. The building that they were in had well over forty storeys, with a bloody big antenna at the top. This was a news broadcasting and newspaper company, and his qualifications allowed him to stick around in the printing department to do the small job.
His boss walked through just to head for the exit. “Be sure to close everything up when you’re done,” he said, not looking at Johnny. “And remember those prints are to be done by tomorrow morning,” he grabbed his umbrella from the corner and slammed the door on his way out.
Johnny’s pitiful smile turned to a real frown. “Will do, boss thing.” He sighed out deeply.
There was the printing that he had to do from before, but chose to read comics instead, and now the printing that Laura brought for him.

And thus, he was on the job. He did all the printing first, almost as if entering a trance to just get everything done without distraction, and then moving on to the photocopy machine.

But this was Johnny we were talking about. How could he get anything done without distractions? He took a long look at the machine before him, then said to himself, “I think I remember seeing this in a cartoon somewhere…!”
He placed his butt on the photocopy machine, then pushed the start button, smiling like a goof ball. Meanwhile, the storm was brewing above the huge building. Winds were clashing, and clouds were getting charged. The charge intensified so much that a lightning broke loose, attracted by the antenna on the top. Just as his bottom was receiving a royal photocopy, it also got a royal shock. He yelled out in pain as he felt a jolt of agonizing pain run through every little
cell in his body. The shock knocked him unconscious as he fell to the floor, right beside his favorite comic book hero, Galaxy Man.


Chapter 2

Johnny’s eyes slowly opened, first starting off as a massive blur of dull white colors of the office, and then coming back to an HD image.
“Woah,” he rubbed his eyes a little, then shook his head, having problems getting off the floor. On his way up, he saw Galaxy Man staring at him with his epic heroic pose and shiny white teeth smile.
“Galaxy Man, did you do this?” he picked up the comic and straightened himself out. The magma level pain that he endured for a second was nowhere to be found. He casually looked up at the clock on the wall, then sighed and looked back around the empty printing office.
“What?!” he looked back at the clock abruptly. It went from being around eleven to two in the morning. His face portrayed shock and horror. It wasn’t that bad, but he valued his sleep; the reason being how much more awesome dreams are than reality of course.
After having pushed all the lights and buttons, he sprinted out of the office and took the long elevator downstairs. The entire building was quite astonishing, almost like a lavish hotel your billionaire step father would put you in or something. But unfortunately, his section of the job was underwhelming.
“A little late tonight Johnny boy,” said the night guard as he watched Johnny sprint for the exit. He knew Johnny well enough, mostly due to him overstaying too long when he gets caught up reading his comics without paying attention to time. They had their fair share of chats.
“I know,” he panted a little, clearly not a type to exercise a lot. “But hey uh,” he looked outside through the large glass entrance. “You wouldn’t happen to have an umbrella would you?”
“Nope,” he laughed. “On the bright side you won’t have to take a shower tonight.”
Johnny’s shoulders dropped in disappointment. He looked at the terrifying rain with a sad face. He slowly walked up to the glass entrance. The light from the lightning reflected on his face for a brief second. He neared Galaxy Man to his face.
“Chapter fifty seven; where Galaxy Man protected an inhabited planet from a meteor shower by literally going into it and destroying every possible meteor that could harm the innocent people. And if Galaxy Man can run into a meteor shower, you can bet your stinking fat ass I can run through this one.”
“My ass might be fat,” said the night guard from a distance, “but it’s not stinky you hear?!”
“Rrraaaaghhh!” like a professional hardcore athlete, Johnny mustered every ounce of strength from his mind, body and spirit and charged like a valiant warrior into the storm, towards his home.
He ran so fast, the rain hit his face and blinded him, but he kept going. He would not give up, not after he has made up his mind to do something so great it would be remembered for millennia to come. He wouldn’t give up after he would take a short break, anyways.
“No,” he gasped for air, “no, I can’t,” groaning and moaning on his knees in the empty night streets, sinking in the sound of heavy rain and thunder. “I can’t do it Galaxy Man!” he looked up into the sky. “I CAN’T FRICKING DO IT.” The rain masked his tears, but he was crying. You could hear it.
“All the super heroes work hard, defeating evil, getting glory, getting the girl, getting the proud satisfaction…” he looked down at the drenched comic book, the rain having blurred out
Galaxy Man’s face. His fingers dug into the comic as he stretched his mouth open and roared in frustration at him.

Reality hit him, it hit him really, really hard. He was just a mortal man, a human with an ambition too far out of his reach. He won’t be able to shoot webs, he won’t be able to turn into a massive rampaging monster, or be smart enough to craft an iron suit that could fly or have ninja skills and dress up as a cave animal and go fight crime like a vigilante. None of that is real. Most of his frustration was vented out in the form of kicking the pole, which hurt him, ouch. Yelling, which wasn’t as cool as how they do it on television, and banging his head against the wall of random buildings, which he was admittedly too scared to do because he would obviously bust his head open, and it would hurt. So again, despite the awesome rain setting, his actions were not superhero level as far as coolness is concerned. But alas, our defeated hero of the story has returned home. He was dead on the inside. He took a look at his teeny tiny apartment, pressed his lips in and stretched them out, sighing. At first he thought it was cool, for he knew of a super hero that lived in similar conditions who could shoot webs out of his wrists, but in the end, it just wasn’t it.

He took off his wet shirt, and wet everything else, dropped it on the floor, making his room way messier than it already was, and put on something he could sleep in. As if he was shot dead, his body fell upon the bed, and his eyes closed to dive deep into slumber. He wanted to forget the pain that he was masking with fool-hardy ambitions all these years. He wanted the lump of pain in his throat to go away, the kind that one has from watching too many sad TV shows. And… Good night.
“Johnny,” a deep voice echoed in his head. “Johnny.” … “JOHNNY”
“Woah!” Johnny woke up, but not in his bed. He was in… he looked around, space, floating among the stars. “Who said that?” he looked around, but no one was there. “This whole space thing is kind of giving me anxiety, can’t I land or something? I mean I’ve seen this in virtual reality, but, Jesus Christ, am I right?” he gave a nervous chuckle.
“Johnny,” the voice repeated itself.
“God?” he replied.
“No Johnny, it is I,” he finally descended from above, floating right in front of Johnny. His broad masculine frame made Johnny look like a high school wimp. His amazing tight blue suit made Johnny’s pajamas look plain embarrassing. And more contrasts that you can imagine.
“G-G-Galaxy Man?” Johnny’s face lit up like a puppy. “Wha…” he was speechless. “Now let’s get one thing straight, you’re my favorite super hero, the other guys don’t stand a chance!” he motioned with his hands to make his words more convincing and genuine.
“Johnny, listen to me,” his majestic voice said. “I have come to tell you, not to give up on being a super hero.”
“What? I’m no… I’m no super hero Galaxy Man.”
“What is a hero, Johnny?” his kind eyes looked down at the little man.
“One that,” he breathed in and gestured with his arms and hands, trying to think of something. “Can fly, and, blow stuff up, and …save people.”
“You need not fly to save people Johnny.”
“What do I need then…?!” his eyes widened with expectation of getting an awesome secret to, well, to awesomeness.
Beep. Beep. Beep. His alarm clock rang. He opened his eyes, laying in his bed. It was morning. The sun hit his face from a certain angle and he tried to avoid that.

With a lazy yawn and a long stretch, he closed his alarm and slowly got up, scratching his side. He then proceeded to limp his way towards the tiny kitchen that was honestly just a part of the living room.
He then began making his usual coffee. A pleasant taste of morning that today may just turn out to be a sour reminder of reality.
The coffee was slowly poured into his superhero mug that he bought online. He wouldn’t use it right now, but he had no other mug to drink from. Anything superhero related right now was just… demeaning.
After he finished pouring, he looked at his own reflection in the black coffee. A face he could easily label as a disappointment. Then, he placed his hand in between himself and the coffee, blocking the view of his reflection. With a slow but swift motion to the side, he revealed his face again. Unfortunately, nothing in his face had changed. So he went to the other side, grabbed the toast that sprung out from his toasted, and came back to the coffee. As he sat on his chair, he stopped everything he was doing.
After slowly placing the toast on the plate, he looked at his coffee, very, very wearily. He rubbed his eyes, let his vision restore, then looked back at the table. His eyes were not deceiving him. There were two coffee mugs on the table, identical to each other in shape, temperature, and direction they were facing.
He breathed out heavily. “I must still be dreaming right?” he got up. He clapped his hands together, creating loud sound. Then he clapped his face, which was basically just slapping himself. But still nothing. He still remembers the clothes that he left last night, the pain in his toe was still there from kicking the pole, and try hard as he might, the coffee mugs had just duplicated themselves.
So he approached the table again, deciding to play inspector and figure this mystery out. He repeated the exact same thing that he did with the palm in between himself and the face, but nothing happened.
“Come on…” he rolled his eyes a little and tried again. This time, ignoring the reflection part, and focusing more of his mental energy just trying to duplicate one of the two coffee mugs.
He clawed his fingers inwards, then pulled his hand downwards. The coffee mug duplicated, but did so where there was no surface, thus landing on the floor and breaking.
“OH SHHHH…”


Chapter 3

Johnny was thrilled. You could see it in his face. The way he so avidly moved around in his desk that morning. He couldn’t give a damn about the little printings that he had to do, he wanted to explore this newly found super power of his. He bent his fingers and stared at his palms non-stop, craving to share it with someone. But alas he could not, not yet anyways. That comes later.

“Johnny,” said Laura.
“I don’t know!” he yelled out innocently.
“What?” she narrowed her eyes.
“What? Oh, new…” he chuckled, “new prints?”
“Photocopy,” she nodded her head. “These are manuscripts, and they would like six of them.
So I need them split apart, copied, and arranged in the exact order. Think you can do it?”
“Do I think I can do it?” he laughed. She did not find it funny. “Yes, yes I can do it,” he made a solemn face. “Hand em over.”
She did so, firmly nodded, turned around and walked forward. At the door, she stopped to say, “I’ll pick them in around forty minutes, alright?”
“Absolutely,” said Johnny, waving to her.
She walked through the gorgeous deep gold marble waiting room. Her stilettos were making sophisticated deep tapping sounds, looking like a model on the red carpet. But of course, in Johnny’s eyes, she was still created by the daughter of the Goddess of Beauty who accidently
ended up here.
“Laura!” Johnny yelled out, half of his body out of the door. She abruptly stopped and turned back to look. Without saying a word, she opened her palms out and gestured ‘what?’.
“I got them!” he jogged over to her, in his hands, six perfectly stacked manuscripts.
“I said forty minutes not forty seconds,” she smiled tightly. “Now, really, go do them.”
“No,” he narrowed his eyes, “they’re right here. All of them.”
“What joke are you pulling?”
“Take a look!”
She looked reluctant to do that, but what the heck. With her gentle lady-like fingertips, she peeked into the piles of manuscripts and, what the heck indeed? She put on the confused ‘I don’t believe it face’. Johnny was trying to contain his goofy smile.
“Give me those,” she grabbed them and put them on the table in the waiting area, sitting her sexy tube dressed toosh on the leather couch. He sat on the other one, looking at her face with pure satisfaction.
She kept trying to find an error, looking from page to page, and so far finding nothing but that they are all identical.
“Johnny… what?” she smiled. “Is there a new machine I don’t know about?”
His grin widened out to show his teeth a little. “What machine? Just your good ol’ photocopy… machine.”
“Well, I hope it’s without fault because… I am never coming back to you if it is.” She pressed her lips together.
“You have to admit my speed is impressive though, right?”
“Almost like a…”
“Superhero?”
“I was about to say magician, but sure,” she got up, taking the piles of manuscripts and with a polite bow of her head, walked off. Johnny stared with dreamy eyes. But woops, she accidently dropped some papers.
“Woah! Let me get those,” said not Johnny. Some blond prince charming came rushing to the damsel in distress and picked the papers up for her. She smiled excitedly.
“Brian! Good morning. Thank you.”
Who was this?! Johnny’s arch rival no doubt. There was no way he was going to let this broad shouldered, perfect jaw, shiny teeth, blue eyed guy get the woman of his dreams. No way!
Grr, he felt so frustrated.
He has seen Brian walking around before, in fact, he even knows where his office is, but this was a first time he saw her react like this when she saw him.
Whatever! For now, he went back to his working place.
“Johnny,” said the boss. “About yesterday-”
“Oh don’t worry about it,” Johnny interrupted him. “It’s alright.”
“What?”
“It was a rainy night, everyone was probably in a bad mood, stuff may have been said that was unintentional,” Johnny gave a genuine face. “Let bygones be bygones.”
“I was going to say, did you get the damned papers done?!”
“OH! Sorry,” he put his palms out in a panic, “that was, that must have been awkward, sorry, boss, person. Yes, I got them done.”
“Well where are they?” The boss placed his hands on his hips.
“I’ll bring them over to your office!”
“Now,” he turned around and walked back to his office.
“Right now, sir, thing.”
“I heard that!”
“I said ching! As in, ka-ching, cause, you look like a million dollars today, haha!” he was screwed.
Those prints from yesterday were absolutely not done. But that was not an issue for our main protagonist, was it? He rubbed his palms together, hid the paper under the table so no other people would see, and like a magician, well okay, superhero, no a superhero magician, started duplicating the pages. And bam! In seconds, he had finished the needed amount.
The next thing the boss knew, the pages were neatly piled on his desk. Johnny placed his hands behind his back and smiled in anticipation.
The boss didn’t look at him, or the pages. He was staring at his computer. Johnny wasn’t going away. “Well, what?”
“Well, no ‘good job Johnny’ or anything?” Johnny tried to keep up his smile as long as possible, but his boss’s icy gaze melted it right off his face. “Alright, alright,” he nodded and walked out, closing the door behind him softly.
While he had time, he picked up his phone, went into his contacts and clicked ‘Call Bob’.
Boop. Boop.
“Hello?”
“Bob!” Johnny tried not to be too loud. “Bob, listen, we have to meet today.”
“What, today?” Bob was in a comic book store behind a counter. He was a fat geek with curly hair and thick frame glasses. No further description needed.
“Yes, today! It’s very important. Like, if there was a lightning tornado made by Hurricane Man in the city how fast would you go to see it?”

“I would run so fast my clothes would rip off my body, except then I would be naked, and probably get arrested.”
“Yes, so that’s how important it is for you to see me! I’ll come by your place at six.”
And he hung up.
Whatever work came to him that day he quickly finished off and left. He left early that day for it was a day on which he could leave early, and for no other reason. Yes, that one particular day he could leave early, just go with me, okay?
Bob’s place was slightly larger, but was still an apartment non-the-less. His grandparents were rich enough to gift it to him, fortunately. And, perhaps unfortunately, he turned it into the mess that it is. Every inch of the place had something comic book related to it, from posters, to
action figure collections. They were all neatly arranged, thank God for that, but there were still so many it was a Jesus Christ.
“You cleaned up?” said Johnny, stepping inside.
“I picked up my shirt from the floor,” said Bob.
“So you cleaned up,” said Johnny.
“So what did you want to tell me, or something?” said Bob. Johnny darted over to the windows, peeked outside and closed the curtains. He closed the TV, checked the drawers, checked under the bed “What is it already?!” Bob yelled out.
“Listen!” he pushed Bob against the wall. “I have…” he whispered, “a super power.” He raised his eyebrows as high as he could and grinned like he’s never grinned before.
Bob sighed. “Come on,” he rolled his eyes.
“I knew you wouldn’t believe me,” said Johnny, walking away from him to find some object to demonstrate.
“Well no of course not, cause last time you said you had a super power it was to have X-Ray Vision, and it took me two years to figure out you lied to me!”
“Well yes, that was a lie,” said Johnny, taking one of his revered action figures and placing it on the table.
“What are you doing?” said Bob.
“Watch,” he placed his hand above the toy.
“Woah!” Bob snatched the figure. “You are not touching Sir Galayathatron.”
“I’m not going to touch Sir Galayatathron Bob! Give it to me!”
“No!”
“Yes!”
“No!”
“No!”
“Not going to work!” said Bob.
“Damn it!” said Johnny. “Please, Bob, I promise, nothing will happen to it.” He placed his hand on Bob’s shoulder and gave him an innocent look.
“Is this revenge for me being your replacement at the comic store?”
“The sweet burn still burns but no,” said Johnny. “No it is not,” he firmly nodded.
With great reluctance and doubt in his heart, and with great tentativeness in his movements, Bob gave Sir Galayatathron to Johnny.
Johnny placed it back on the table and sat on the couch again, rubbing his palms together.
“Alright, you ready?” said Johnny.
“I’m ready? I guess,” said Bob.

Johnny breathed out softly. He concentrated his newly-felt aura all around the toy, motioned his hand to the right, and duplicated the toy with a slightly blue-ish effect to it.
“There, two Sir Galayatathrons,” Johnny smiled proudly, picking them both up and handing them to Bob.
Bob stared at them both. His eyebrows were furrowed in, his gaze was locked, he was motionless…
“Well?” Johnny kept his smug up, placing both hands on his hips while standing in front of
Bob. “What do you think?”
“…” Silence. Awkward, silence. Bob’s expression of utter confusion did not fade, but Johnny’s smile began fading from the silence.
Then, when Bob slowly lifted his face up and looked at Johnny, he erupted.
“WOOOAHH!”
“I KNOW RIGHT”
“OH MY GOOOODDD” They were jumping ecstatically!
“JOHNNY”
“BOB”
“OH MY GOD”
“YES” laughter and excitement accompanied with amazement disturbed the neighbors.
“Wow! What- how did you- when- hooow did you get this?”
“I can’t say for sure,” Johnny stared at an empty corner in the room. “But, Galaxy Man came to me one day, in my dreams, and told me something important. And when I woke up, I discovered I had this power.” He nodded firmly, as if he finished an inspirational speech.
“Well what did he say?”
“He told me to never give up being a super hero. Or well, trying to be one anyways.”
“That’s it?” Bob was still feeling out the two action figures before placing them on the shelf.
“Well no, the stupid alarm clock woke me up!” he stretched his arm out. “He was about to give me the biggest secret to life or something like that but…” he pressed his lips together and shook his head left and right.
“Well what else can you duplicate?!”
“Anything!”
“This?!” he gave him a remote controller.
“Easy.” Bam. Duplicated.
“This?!” he gave him a Space Wars spaceship.
“Easy.” Bam. Duplicated.
“This?!” he gave him a pizza box.
“Easy.” Bam. Duplicated. Although took a second longer.
“Wow,” Bob took a bite out of the duplicated pizza. “It even tastes like pizza!”
“Nice, nice,” Johnny nodded.
“Johnny,” said Bob.
“Yes, Bob?”
“Do you know what this means?” his eyes lit up.
“What does this mean…?”
“It means you can duplicate yourself and create like a Johnny army and take over the woooorld!”
“Woah, I don’t know about duplicating humans yet.”

“If pizza tastes like pizza, humans will taste like humans too,” said Bob. “Well I mean, be, like-”
“Yeah,” Johnny nodded.
“You get it,” said Bob.
“Yes.”
“Oh…” Bob took a dollar bill out of his pocket. “What about this…?”
“Ooooohohoho…!” Johnny’s smug was shoved back onto his face. And as easily as ABC, he duplicated the dollar bill.