Jerry sat at his desk for a while, gently resting his head on his keyboard. He tried to be interesting, really he did; all the latest celebrity gossip, all the actual news, nothing escaped his net. He worked in Human Resources, trying to find a way to save a ton of jobs from Associated Perforations' umpteenth bad quarterly figures and the axe that would come down on the people here as a result. He fought long and bitter wars with external consultants more concerned with making a quick buck than with the companies they were supposed to be saving from disaster. And it was all for nothing in the end.
Jerry was good at his job. It was the reason he never got noticed by his colleagues, except everyone in AP's tiny HR department. When Jerry'd joined up, it had only been him, his boss Julius, a hulking great brute of a man who went to the opera and spent most of his free time reading small volumes of Romantic poetry, Meera, a rake-thin ex-model with the cool, sassy demeanour of someone who did part-time superheroine work, and their Autocooler 5000, Mister Bubbles. But since then, AP'd gone into a nosedive.
Meera had liked him for being good at his job, but she was dragged more and more into the hero side of things and he just... couldn't keep up. Jerry's talents were for making small changes in policy that added up to big savings, not beating the tar out of angry-looking gang members. So he often talked to Julius about new art exhibitions and just why the new Metropolitan Conservatoire production of The Marriage Of Figaro was such a total disaster. When the man had been caught up in a fight with some Arachnos goons and his powers had manifested, he'd thrown himself into his new life.
And now Mister Bubbles had gone too.
Jerry looked at the e-mail he was about to send. He mashed the enter key and took out a snub, boxy-looking pistol from his desk drawer. Meera had given it to him after he'd saved her life completely by accident - Mister Bubbles, after all, was heavy, and a water cooler to the temple may offend even the most brawny of supervillains. He'd copied her in on the letter.
Julius, who had decided to come back to work part-time (heroing was so expensive these days), read the e-mail and sprinted down to HR's little basement bunker. He got there just in time to hear a single, brutal crack.
"You know," said Julius above the gunshots, "I think you might be one of us now. Better pick a name, son."
Jerry thought for a moment.
"I am... The Human Resource."
"Yeah, I'm definitely going to hell/But I'll have all the best stories to tell" -- Frank Turner, The Ballad of Me and My Friends