Superhero, unmasked: Elsey aka Professor Proton fights justice


Kat Shambaugh

Professor Proton fights for justice

Kat Shambaugh, Features editor

For most NC alumni, life after high school means studying in college, making new friends, and finding a job. It does not involve the danger of fighting crime in the streets and becoming an idol for all of Georgia. NC alumnus Christopher Elsey, now better known as Professor Proton, defied the odds beginning in his college year by fighting for justice in the streets of Rome, Georgia.

All superheroes boast an origin of story, Elsey notwithstanding. His powers began one fateful day in the lab.

“At the beginning of the semester, Dr. David Aebisher and I began working on a Gas Chamber Mass Spectrometer donated to the school,” Elsey said. “It was an older model and we didn’t have a manual. All we had was Dr. A’s memories from 20 years previous. We had just finished attaching and rewiring everything and we needed to test it to see if we’d succeeded. Dr. A turned on the gas, and backed out of the room, but I had to make sure the injector system was functioning properly with the purge and trap concentrator system.”

The night took a turn for the worse when a tornado flew through the city of Rome, along with a freak thunderstorm. The lightning and tornado struck Elsey’s building causing chemicals, purified by Jupiter lining up with the moon, to fill the room. Elsey made it through all of the chaos, but got a paper cut while trying to reorganize his files and the chemicals invaded his blood stream. He left the lab with control over electricity and an innate sense of the basic elements in every substance.

The powers came as a shock to Elsey, who eventually harnessed them to electrify villains.

“Obviously my first thought as I developed these powers was to freak out,” Elsey said. “I had a hard time controlling my capabilities for a while. But over time I realized I could use them for good. I’ve always loved being able to help people and when I donned my mask and my name, Professor Proton, and I was able to do more direct good than ever before.”

Staying secret does not challenge Elsey, who keeps his alter ego hidden by wearing a glued-on mustache when saving the world.

“Yeah, you know how everyone thinks they can recognize people even with small details changed? Well that’s not true. Or maybe I’ve just been lucky enough not to be recognized. I was really expecting it by now, honestly, it’s like no one is even paying attention. Are they paying attention?” Elsey said.

Looking to the future, Elsey plans to keep up with his crime-fighting hobbies.

“I guess I’ll take it to the big city… or wherever I end up working. There is more than enough crime all around. I’d like to be able to take down corrupt corporations that are harming people and the environment with toxic pollution. Or you know, a musician.”