I've seen the box sitting there every day since I got here. Somehow I never really paid attention to what it was. Just a plain looking cardboard box, pretty normal as boxes go.
2 days ago, I was assigned (read allowed) to do a CO initial inspection of a small storefront. That morning, while talking about the inspection I was about to do, I was lead to the box and it was opened in front of me. Inside the box was a glow. A bright shining ball of .... something.
It looked like a shimmering liquid, silver and gold, bright and reflective. It hovered in the box, what could only be called small bolts of lightning quietly crackled from it. I could feel the warmth being radiated from it. That's when they told me what it was, a box of Authority.
But as I continued to stare in amazement I could see that the longer I stared at it the darker it looked, turning black, deep dark malevolent and the warmth started to fade only to be replaced with the most intense feeling of cold and pity I have ever known. Unknown to me, I had started to lean toward it. My hands reaching, aching for it, needing it. That was when I was struck in the head.
I woke a few seconds later and found myself on the office floor, the other Inspectors and the Fire Marshall helping me up. As I looked around in confusion they told me they had to do it, they had to knock me away from Authority, before I was able to grab it. "When you grab Authority, it never lets go of you" they explained. I could still feel the tingle on my skin. I could still feel the desire for it, only dimmed to just a memory.
"No one can handle all the Authority" they explained, "But you have to have a little".
The procedure was explained, and I nodded I was ready. With heavy gloves insulated with lead, the Fire Marshall picked up a long wooden scoop that had been scorched somehow. He dipped it in water and then plunged it into the shimmering Authority. Pulling it out, the scoop was full of a dust like substance, glowing. A faint hum emanated from it. Shielding his eyes, he lifted it and poured it over me.
Electricity! Pure power and joy! As the dust settled over me, touching my skin, the room lit up as if an explosion. My skin burned then felt frozen. Hundreds of pins and needles seemed to have pierced my skin at once. I felt myself lifted off the floor, spinning around, enabled to do anything I wanted covered as I was in Authority. The drum beat of my heart drowned out all sound in the room.
I descended slightly and found myself standing on my feet again, a tingle on my skin and the glow fading from the room. My eyesight was different now, I could see things I had never seen before, details and colors I had never known! My hearing was more acute. As I looked around at the others in the room I could see their vessels pulsating in their necks and arms, I could hear their breathing. As I looked I could now see their skin was like paper hanging tightly on their frames. And their eyes....their eyes were like black wells of ink with small crackles of lightning deep inside.
A shiver ran over me as I turned from them and the horror they represented. As I turned, I saw my reflection. Looking at myself I saw that I too was like them, and I wept.
Oh mother of all that is holy, what have I become?