Home » The Crystal Hall » Fan Fiction » Skid 2: The Test (The slope gets slipperier and slipperier...)
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|Re: Skid 2: The Test [message #57331 is a reply to message #57330 ]
||Thu, 26 April 2012 11:33
Registered: April 2012
Location: New England
Skid 2: The Test|
I'd only been a teen girl for two weeks and everyone expected me to just... be cool with it. Ruth was great, but she nearly always had something that she wanted me to try: make-up, clothes, hair styles. Mom alternated between encouraging me and mourning her son. Dad, well, he just sort of let it all happen. It wasn't like he was egging anyone on, but he seemed to feel out of place with the estrogen-fest that the rest of his family had become.
If it had been up to me, it would have been jeans and sweatpants and sweaters all the time, but no. I had to get a new wardrobe, top to bottom. Under to over. It was skirts and pants and panties and bras (just a little over training bra--AA size, like the battery!). The hotel we were staying in had an indoor pool, so mom had even insisted on a one-piece swimsuit for me. I hadn't been all that athletic as a boy, when I was this size the first time. Now, though, I was -- lithe, was the word Ruth used. Even just swimming was kind of cool. I had flexibility and speed I'd never had before. And when I was "slippery" I didn't break the surface tension of the water (I couldn't stand on it, I kept falling over, but if I was just "sliding" I crossed over the pool without falling). I couldn't experiment with it too much, since you never knew when someone was gonna walk in.
In all likelihood I was going to turn out to have some Exemplar in my power set. Often it seemed to go hand in hand with a BIT, which not every mutant had. I'd been trying to educate myself a lot more online. I was figuring when I went for my testing tomorrow I was looking at Exemplar and either Manifester or Energizer. I didn't really think I'd get really high marks in any of them. I'd tried to do that strength trick I'd done with the van again, trying to lift heavy things, cars, tables, whatever, I didn't seem really much stronger than a skinny kid my physical age. If anything, I was kind of scrawny for my size.
But my research seemed to bear out that sometimes when a mutant is first manifesting they are sometimes capable of much greater feats than they might be "normally". It was one of the big dangers of being a mutant: do something once in an extreme situation and you might push yourself to try it again. If the circumstances were not exactly right, you end up with Burnout Syndrome and that could very well be fatal.
On top of all the adjustments, I also had to fill out lots of paperwork for this Whateley place, which seemed pretty cool, if you were really a kid. It was pretty standard for a prep school entry exam at first, a couple of essay questions and some basics. But after that it was stuff about powers and aptitudes. Some of it didn't' make sense: Did I sometimes hear voices, or singing? Do you sometimes remember things you've never done or places you've never been? Do things sometimes detonate spontaneously when you're around? Wow, sounded like a dangerous place, and one that was likely to have a lot of crazy people.
Christmas was just around the corner and we were likely to be in the hotel for it, so we got permission to bring in a tree, a small one, and decorations. There were even some presents showing up gradually under it. In some ways it was like flashing back to my original childhood. But then I would notice Ruth towering over me instead of the other way around. And Bill wasn't here.
My oldest brother, Bill, had been a medic in the Gulf War, and his chopper had been "lost in training exercises" which was Air Force for "shot down doing something we can't admit to." We mourned him, but didn't get to bury him. His body was never recovered. Bill and I had gotten along great, he didn't seem to mind a little brother following him around when he hung with his friends and I got to hang out with what I thought were some of the coolest kids on base: the d&d rats. No matter the duty station, there were always some kids playing somewhere, and we would sort of ingratiate ourselves. Most of my best memories of dice slinging involved Bill.
I hadn't cried much for him before, but for some reason this holiday season it seemed to hit home that our family was broken somehow. A piece was missing. Another had been... recut to fit the picture differently. I would sometimes sit up late at night, or early in the morning, and cry for my brother. And for myself, I guess.
Ruth caught me the morning before my testing, looking out over Providence, Bill's picture from my wallet in my hand, curled around it and quietly weeping.
"Hey, small fry," she started. When we were younger, she was always the smallest of us, being the youngest and the only girl, and she had hated to be reminded of it. Now she was holding her vertical superiority (where else?) over me. "I was thinking of making pancakes, you want a short stack?"
I didn't look up, just shook my head. I didn't trust my voice.
She seemed to pick up on it and moved to get a better look at me. "Hey," her voice suddenly filled with concern, "what's with the waterworks? Its only been two weeks, it better not be your per-" she stopped when she saw the picture in my hand. Bill, in his dress blues at graduation. "Oh, baby, come here." And she wrapped her arms around me. I didn't care for the moment that I'd been called "baby" I just wanted to have something make the hurt go away.
I cried for, I don't know how long, but after I felt better. Ruth had wound up on the floor in front of my chair and I had ended up on her lap, with her hand brushing my hair. I had a flash of deja vu to that first night, with Alley Cat. Suddenly uncomfortable with the... intimacy of the moment. I squirmed and pulled free, my slippery field kicked in from the adrenaline and I slid across the floor.
"Sorry," we both said together. I decided to cover my embarrassment and said, "Did you say something about pancakes?" I ruined it by sniffling and wiping at my eyes, but she pretended she hadn't seen it. Like any kid my apparent age, I was always hungry. I sort of remembered that from when I was a boy. That part didn't seem to care if I had a penis or not.
"Yeah, and maybe some bacon. We'll have to eat that quick, because you know how quick bacon disappears around dad." She stood up and straightened her nightgown, I did the same with my pajamas and we went into the kitchen and started breakfast.
|Re: Skid 2: The Test [message #57332 is a reply to message #57330 ]
||Thu, 26 April 2012 11:35
Registered: April 2012
Location: New England
Sunwell labs is in a tall glass building. We were able to walk there from the hotel, with a discreet escort, and enter on foot. The place was fancy with brass and wood paneling and a big round desk in the middle of the lobby. There was a Starbucks and a McDonalds on different sides of the lobby. We had an appointment so the man at the desk gave us directions to the top floors and a security guard rode up the elevator with us.|
Sunwell was a government lab, and the FBI tail didn't have clearance to be allowed up past the outer waiting area, and I could only bring one family member in with me. Mom had just sort of decided that it was going to be her, even though I would have been more comfortable having Ruth with me. Mom had gotten kind of... clingy... around me. When we were together in public or around strangers it was like I was really a kid again. She had a hand on my shoulder or an arm around me all the time. Ruth had some kind of ESP about knowing when I would be comfortable being touched and when I wasn't, that mom seemed to be lacking, or ignoring.
So mom was walking with me, arm over my shoulder as I went into the lab's inner waiting room. There was a small rectangle of couches around a coffee table covered with outdated magazines. A rug, just barely extending past the couches artificially contained the space. There was a frosted glass window, with a sliding panel in it, just like in a doctor's office opposite the door we came in through. Next to that was solid looking wooden door that obviously lead into the lab itself.
There were two "other" kids here, each with a parent, I assumed. One was a girl who was a little older than I looked. She was sitting with a woman that had a strong resemblance to her. They were talking excitedly and quietly about something in a little huddle. Both were blond, blue eyed and dressed identically in blue skirt, white blouse and jacket. The only difference was the shoes, the mother had short heels on, while her daughters was wearing glossy black flats. There was a small designer gym bag next to her, and a purse. I suddenly realized that I'd left mine in the hotel room.
The other was a young man, around my age, with dark circles under his eyes and a sallow expression. He wore typical slacker clothes, red and black flannel shirt over white tee-shirt, jeans, sneakers, once white, now dingy and grey. His mother sat primly beside him, her body language subtly turning away from him. She had dressed somewhat sloppily in a pair of sweatpants and a man's button down shirt under a thick looking jacket.
Since my change, I'd noticed that I was more aware of people than I had been before. Of their moods and the way they acted. I was better at judging their behavior. It wasn't like I had gained some magical empathic talent though, my research suggested that empathy usually allowed a mutant to experience someone else's feelings as if they were their own. I didn't know where this was coming from, but it hadn't steered me wrong yet. And this woman was afraid of her son.
I sat on the couch opposite the boy while mom went to the frosted glass window to check us in. At first I thought he was looking at me, but then I realized his head was just sort of... aimed at me. And that I didn't get any sort of reading on him with my new awareness. It was like whatever was in him wasn't even... Like he was empty.
It made me uncomfortable to look at him, so I shifted on the couch and pulled out the manual I'd been given about Whateley, pulling my sneakers up on the couch to balance the book on my thighs and started reading.
I was dressed pretty casually, loose fitting jeans and a purple sweater that Ruth said made my eyes "pop". She'd made me put on some strawberry lip gloss and put my now shoulder length hair up in a pair of little pigtails that rested high up on the back of my head. My sneakers still had that bright white that only new shoes could manage. Pink edged ankles socks poked up at the top of the sneakers and matched the laces. I'd shaved my legs for the first time this morning, and it made them feel weirdly smooth and cool. I felt uncomfortably girly this morning. Still, it was a good outfit for slouching in.
When mom came back she sat next to me, the green pleather couch whistling as she sat. She rifled through her purse for a moment, a large bag that seemed to always hold more than the outer appearance would allow. She produced a book of sodoku puzzles with a pen in it, marking her place. As she opened it she said, "Sit up straight," in a mom talking to small child tone. I ignored her and continued my reading. After a moment she said, more sharply, "Wanda Falconi, get your feet off this couch and sit up straight."
I could feel myself flushing and grudgingly moved to comply, aware that everyone in the room, except the dark eyed boy, was looking at me. The girl snickered at me in a very mean girls sort of way and her mother went back to going over what looked like paper dolls with her. After a second I realized that they were making costume designs. Superhero costumes.
We'd compromised to the name Wanda a couple of days ago. I didn't want to change my name at all. People could call me Wally or what ever. I didn't care. Mom had wanted Sara Elizabeth. I wouldn't put up with that and refused to accept it, even when mom had put it on the forms for the official documents to change my name. I'd stolen the forms out of her hand and slid over to the bathroom and torn the paperwork up and flushed it. That was followed by a lot of yelling and door slamming. Dad had finally broken the war zone by being the familial Sweden. He didn't tend to put his foot down much, so when he did, it had impact. He made me see that I was going to want to try to live a normal life after this, and that was going to be tough with a boy's name. And he made mom see that I needed input on the whole naming issue, since I was old enough to have an opinion this time around.
I glared at her and whispered, "What are you trying to do? I'm not a child!"
She didn't look up from her puzzle. "You're my child."
"What is your problem? I've been living on my own for over a year!" My voice rose a little at the start, coming out shrill and I lowered my voice at the end.
"But things are different now, dear. You can't be expected to look after yourself anymore." She put the pen into the book and closed it.
"So that's why you're letting them ship me off to some private school instead of bringing me home? With the family?" I didn't even know where this was coming from. I just had this anger in me that wanted out and didn't care what the venue was for venting it.
"You know why! None of us asked for this. The whole family is making sacrifices here. For you. You could at least have some empathy for our side of this. Your father, your sister, your brother-" she stopped suddenly and put a hand over her mouth.
At which point a woman in nurse's scrubs opened the door and called the name "Sharon Walker?"
The girl and her mother got up and went into the hallway beyond. The girl flashed me a smile that held nothing but contempt for me and my situation.
When the door closed I stood up and walked over to the couch they'd left.
"Honey," my mother started. I could picture her reaching out after me. I sat on the couch. And I slouched, with my shoes on the couch. I didn't look over at my mother. And I didn't cry. No matter how much my eyes burned. I just pretended to read my book.
After a while the nurse came out again and called, "Tommy Rivers?" The woman with the young man stood and whispered something to her son. He stood and moved in an almost robotic fashion past me, with the woman trailing quietly, walking as though she was afraid of attracting notice.
And then we were alone. Mom moved until she was across from me. I couldn't avoid having her in my field of vision without leaving. Which wasn't off the table yet.
"Honey...," she started.
"But, I just meant--"
"Stop it. I'm not a child. I might look like a child, but I'm not a child. I'm grown up, dammit. I'm not a little girl."
"Wanda Falconi?" The nurse was back.
I jumped to my feet and followed her. I hadn't realized that my slippery field had come on as I did. I almost landed face first on table, barely catching myself. I didn't look back to see if mom was following.
The man in charge of my testing was Dr. Turner, a lean man, barely taller than me now. He was practically a dwarf. He would chat with mom as I took the tests, talking to her about the results instead of me. He really only responded to me if I asked direct questions and then only long enough to answer them. So I stopped talking to him and just did what they told me.
For all the worrying about what was going to happen during my power testing, in the end it was mostly really boring. The did basic physical stuff, heart rate, blood pressure, that kind of stuff. I also got a turn in the stirrups while my girl parts got looked over. The less said there, the better. No one enjoyed it. Then we did some exercises. They had me run on a treadmill, which was fine until after my heart rate got up, my slippery field came on and I careened off of the machine and into the rack of weights. Which took us to the weights. I was really pathetic.
Mom kept trying to help and I kept brushing her off. It was hurting her and that didn't make me feel any better. And I was angry enough still to make her want to suffer a little. There was a part of me that understood quite rationally, that I was acting like a child. But that was the part that was running the show at the moment. Eventually she just started hanging back. Watching.
It took a couple of hours to get through the physical stuff before we moved on to the actual powers. That was kind of fun. I got to slide all over a good sized open floor and the doctors made me try to stand on the jacuzzi (which I couldn't, I fell almost right away).
The hard part was when they tried to get me to duplicate the strength thing. They tried to get me to lift progressively larger weights with predictable results. I just couldn't do it. They tried to do it with my legs, too, and that didn't work either.
"Sometimes," said Dr. Turner, "It requires the idea of real danger to trigger some mutant's powers."
I didn't like the sound of that.
The lab had a room with a wide circular platform on the floor. There was a deceptively simple looking panel with a readout marked "pressure" and a lever, along with an emergency cutoff button, a large red button marked "stop." Set over the platform was a press. I mean, there was no other word for it. The idea was obviously that someone would stand on the platform and the press would push down. The control panel would tell exactly how much pressure was being exerted and the subject would push back. The would give a fairly accurate idea of how much strength an individual could exert.
On the other hand, one slip and the person under it would be a pancake.
"All right now, Wanda, you just step to the center of the platform and-- what's wrong?"
I'd slowly backed away from the machine until I was at the wall. That machine scared the shit out of me.
"Wanda, I assure you this is perfectly safe."
I just sort of shook my head in ragged bursts.
"We need to get an idea of your strength. If you are experiencing uncontrolled bouts of super strength, we need to categorize that."
"Find another way, I'm not getting under that thing!"
Throughout all of the testing, I hadn't seen anything of the blond girl or the catatonic boy, or the other teams of scientists, which is why everyone in the room jumped when the girl's mother came running into the lab. "Help! You have to help us!"
I have to admit, my first thought was "Thank god! Now I don't have to stand under the press!" It was a moment longer before I started to think, "Hey, this probably isn't a good thing..."
She was saying something about being attacked. That some kind of monster attacked them and her daughter was using her powers to hold the thing at bay. The scientists and technicians in the room were trying to assure her that it must have been part of her testing and that she was mistaken. I'd been interacting with Dr. Turner's team for the afternoon and that combined with my new awareness of people, left me realizing that he was worried. Well, that and the fact that he'd gone pale.
The only thing I could think of was that we needed to get everybody out of here if there was an attack underway. "Dr. Turner--" I started.
"Hush, Wanda, let them handle this," mom said.
I turned and tried to glare at my mother, but in my anger I sort of forgot my situation. I expected to be looking down at her and instead found my eyes focusing just under her breasts. In the moment it took me to readjust she took charge of the conversation. "This is a government lab, these people are trained to handle the situation. I'm sure they deal with things like this all the time. Just let them take care of it."
"But--" I glanced back over at Dr. Turner, he was trying to get the woman calmed down enough to explain what had happened.
"Let them handle it." She had a finality in her voice that brooked nothing more from me.
I sighed, defeated. I could feel myself regain traction with the floor as my slippery field dropped. "Yes, ma'am." I felt small. She made me small.
An alarm went off and a red light started flashing. Around us, I could hear a clang that any sci-fi movie fan would recognize. Blast doors locking into place.
Mom's hand on my shoulder tightened. I reached up and gripped her hand with my own. "We just got locked in," I said.
The woman, Mrs. Walker, started to panic all over again. Somewhere in the interconnecting hallways, something laughed. Whatever it was, it sounded big, and it had a laugh that had nothing to do with humor. The doctors started to all come up with different ideas, all at once. Dr. Turner was trying to get everyone to calm down and listen to him. He was failing.
And somewhere out there were two kids and the doctors that were supposed to help them. Maybe they were trained for this, but they didn't seem to have any security inside the labs themselves, just whatever automated systems were in place.
I turned away from all that panic and grabbed my mom, holding her tight in a hug. "I love you." And I went slippery, and she lost her grip on me. I broke for the hallway, shouting over my shoulder at Dr. Turner, "Get them out of here, I'll see if I can help get the others out!"
|Re: Skid 2: The Test [message #57333 is a reply to message #57330 ]
||Thu, 26 April 2012 11:36
Registered: April 2012
Location: New England
I'd gotten pretty good a cornering while slippery and was able to cover a lot of ground. Unfortunately, I had no idea where I was going, and to a certain extent, all these hallways looked the same. I had just about given up hope of finding anybody when I saw the tiny burning girl.|
She was either composed of, or completely coated in, fire, and was barely three inches tall. She was sitting in an indention that seemed to have been burned into the wall, blackened metal and melted runoff surrounded her. She kind of had the look of a prize fighter that might have taken one hit too many. She was shaking her head, as though shaking off that very blow. Then she burst out of the hole and around the corner, leaving a short trail of fire behind her.
I was only a split second behind her, bouncing off the far wall and into a large open floored space that looked like it might have been some kind of target arena. There were moving bullseyes swinging from the walls and ceiling, along with stationary ones. There were three doctors hiding behind an overturned table and another lying on the floor, twitching.
In the center of the floor was the blond girl, Sharon, more of those little fire fairy things were slinging around her as she dodged around... a monster.
I couldn't really think of any other description for it. It was large, humanish, and looked bloatedly female. All the proportions were off. Fat ballooned the cheeks out on a mouth that looked big enough to literally take me in about two bites. The hair was brown and stringy, in thick tangles that seemed to end in grasping tentacles. Her middle was thick, with drooping, pendulous breasts and a gut big enough to eclipse her legs to the knees. The arms and legs were short, stumpy, the feet elephantine, that is to say, stunted and flat bottomed, while the hands were didn't look functional, except for the jagged looking hot pink nails the tipped the fingers. Stretched over its bulk was a red, yellow, and orange cheerleading uniform.
It was talking with a thick lisp from its malformed teeth and mocking to the pretty girl fighting it. "Thith ith pointleth! You don't get a fwee path. Life doethn't wowk that way!"
"Shut up!" Sharon shouted at the thing. "You don't know! I have my own life!" The tiny fire fairies were spinning through the air at the thing, the monstrous girl, each one tied to a thin strand of fire running from it to Sharon's fingertips
The thing's hair shot forward, spinning, grasping, and its mouth opened wide, preparing to devour what her hair caught, like a grotesque bloated spider at the center of its web. Sharon dodged to the side, spinning arcs of fire cutting through the thread, clearing a path for her dodge. The room was filled with the smell of burnt hair and stale, hot sweat.
Unfortunately that put her directly in the path of the massive arm that jerked into her path, clotheslining her under the chin. Sharon hit the ground, gasping as I made my move.
The room blurred with the speed a built up, impacting against the thing with a solid sounding impact that jerked something loose in my shoulder. The creature, though, was knocked off its feet and back a few feet. My fingers dragged the floor, killing my momentum to stop beside Sharon. The fairies had distorted to amorphous blobs that no longer looked so graceful.
"Are you okay?"
Sharon gagged and then said, "I will be." She coughed a little and than said, "Thanks for distracting it."
"We should get these people and get out of here."
"Not until I put that pathetic bitch back where she belongs!" The fairies congealed once more and she hopped to her feet, Jackie Chan style. The fairies the lines of fire started to spin around her again and she leaped at the thing, just starting to get its bearings again. But it got them quicker than she expected, I guess.
Sharon landed on one of the things hands, luckily it was closed into a fist, instead of open, or she might have flayed herself open. The lithe girl sort of curled around the fist and rebounded, bouncing back at the floor, rolling backwards, over one shoulder and to her feet. But she was moving slower, now.
I hated to do it, but I left Sharon on her own and slid over to the doctor on the floor, pulling him over to where the others were hiding.
I heard her grunt, and smelled more burning hair. There was the sound of an arm roughly the density of a baseball bat striking flesh and Sharon entered my peripheral vision. She hit the wall well, I guess, slapping it like I'd seen with fighters in movies, slowing the impact some. She didn't even wait to get her feet under her, just kicked off the wall, her lean, strong legs propelling her up and presumably over the thing.
I turned to the cowering staff, only realizing a moment later that I'd dragged a fully grown man nearly ten feet without noticing his weight. I'd done the strength thing again. And I still had no idea how...
"Listen, can you get him out of here? Back to the lab with the strength testing press? There other people there, they can help you."
They looked at me blankly for a moment. "Ye-ah," one, a woman, said. "We can, but listen, you have to help him."
Sharon slapped into another wall with a grunt, sending some equipment of obscure purpose and one of the moving target arms flying around the room. "Come on. Come home," the thing slurred at her, making the words sound wet and filled with spittle. "There'th plenty of room in here. Come back!"
"N-never! I'll go back to- ooph!" She was cut off by the sound of something striking her. The thing laughed a gurgling horrifying sound.
"Tommy." The woman pointed to the monster. "That's Tommy Rivers."
I raised an eyebrow.
"He's a phobo-morph. He can sense what people are afraid of and become it. He has something backing that power up, we don't know what, but he has no trouble pulling up extra mass for his shifting!" She sounded like there was more, the scientist in her wanted to give me the full rundown. She bit it back.
"What am I supposed to do against that? I'm just slippery!"
There was a sizzling sound, like something cooking, and the smell of burning, rancid meat came to us, making me gag. Sharon went flying into another wall, and seemed to be losing some of her steam. She pulled herself up, rather than flipping up, and was limping on one leg. She was bleeding from a split lip and one eye was swelling closed.
"Listen: Tommy is still in there. If you can get to him, inject him with this." She handed me a sturdy looking hypodermic. The needle was covered by a safety cap, to keep it sterile and safe. The tube was filled with a clear liquid. "It's a sedative. It'll calm him down. Get him back under control."
I looked back over at the monster and then took the syringe. "Fine. You guys get to safety. And help him." I handed the man over to them and turned to the monster.
Sharon finally seemed to score a solid hit on the thing, wrapping burning threads around its arm, burning clear through and separating the limb just above where the elbow should have been. The creature, Tommy, I guess, screamed, sounding like a raptor from Jurassic Park as a jet of thick, gray foam sprayed out of the stump at Sharon. It hit her like a fire hose, and pushed her into the wall, coating her, sticking her to the wall. As I watched the foam, liquified fat, I thought, was moving up her torso, towards her horrified face. Another moment and it might cut off her air.
No time then.
"Tommy! Stop it!" I shouted at the top of my lungs, surging forward at the thing, sprinting to build up speed, and holding one arm behind me, hiding the syringe.
The thing turned towards me, it's horrible face twisted.
And then it was different. Its body contracted, becoming tall, spindly, masculine. The clothes changed, going from cheerleader to military uniform. My stride broke and I stumbled as I tried to back up, got no traction and started to fall. I hit the ground and rolled roughly, landing at the feet of my brother Bill.
He was gaunt, his uniform looked dirty, shabby. His eyes were sunken, cheekbones prominent, like he hadn't eaten in weeks. There was a dark, wet stain on his side, where I imagined that some piece of helicopter wreckage might have penetrated. He seemed impossibly tall, as I looked up. Tears filling my eyes and voice as I said, "Billy?"
There was a part of me that knew perfectly well what was happening. Tommy Rivers had found something that I was afraid of and turned into it. There was another part of me that looked up and saw my brother and felt my heart plummet.
Billy grabbed me up, making me realize that my slippery field had dropped, his fingers closing around a handful of purple sweater. He opened his mouth and I could see that he was missing teeth and others were cracked and jagged looking. "Walter... Little Wally..."
I cringed from that voice, it held the echoes of the love that my brother had always shown me, but dulled, like an ache or.. pale reflection.
"I'm dead, you know, I'm dead and it's your fault." Billy reached down for me, and for the first time I got a look at his hands, thin, like the rest of him, the nails were gone, and jagged bits of bone poked through the ragged flesh. I didn't want that thing to touch me. "Little brother. No, you aren't my brother, and I only have one sister, that's not you." I felt the edge of those clawlike fingers against my skin. They ran along my cheek and made me shudder. "You're nobody. Nothing. You aren't even a person."
Bill straightened up and kicked me. I could just tell it was coming a moment before the blow hit and I wend slippery in anticipation of the attack. The force was incredible. My field didn't so much protect me from impacts as redirect the force of them. I slid along the floor and knew that I was going to wallop myself against the wall. Bone jarringly. Maybe bone breakingly. And I left my sweater behind.
I flailed and got my hands on a lamp that had been spilled off of a desk during Sharon's struggle with the thing. It should have been useless, the lamp should have just been dragged along with me. Instead, it held still, like it had been nailed to the floor, making an anchoring point for me to redirect the force of my movement. I spun around it and rolled up to my feet, coming at the Billy-Thing from a side angle. I clipped it, slip past, the blow barely seeming to annoy it. "You little bitch! How dare you?"
I was still thinking back at the lamp. What had made it stay in place? Was this another thing like the "super strength"? Something I wouldn't be able to repeat if I tried?
Get your head back in the game, dammit!
Over its shoulder I could see Sharon, still stuck to the wall, but the little fire sprites were burning at the coating on her. I had to keep the thing occupied. And I had to make myself not think of it as my brother. Which was easier said than done. Since Tommy had formed this body out of my own fears, from what the woman had said. No wonder his own mother had been afraid of him...
I rushed back in, remembering burning my way through those doors by building up speed. I tried to think hot, burning thoughts, but none came to me. I hit it, squarely, and bounced off, harmlessly. I hadn't managed to get that burning thing going on. "Bill-- Tommy, you need to come down from this... Stop what you're doing!"
The creature surged forward and made a gagging noise, spewing forth a spray of maggots at me. I mean, come on! Projectile Maggot spray? The stuff rolled off my slippery field, but I could smell the sour stench of stomach acid and rotten meat. I nearly threw up myself. It was coming for me, and I put on some speed, hitting the corner and abruptly halting. I'd hit it at exactly the wrong angle, neutralizing my momentum. And it was on me.
It didn't try anything fancy, or try to grab me, just worked me over. I took blow after blow, my slippery field could only take so much, it wasn't completely proof against impact, just helped me turn blows aside. The shots were starting to take their toll, though, and I was curling around my belly, down to the floor.
The blows ceased, though, with a wash of heat and the return of the smell of burned hair and meat. The Billy-Thing turned away from me, putting on bulk and changing into the nightmare cheerleader again. I could see Sharon on the other side of it, one eye closed under a swollen bruise and her injured arm being held close to her body. The other was spinning the strands of fire at it. She retreated from the corner, drawing it away from me. She'd left both of her shoes and the jacket behind somewhere and her hair was plastered sideways with the stuff that had held her, but she was fighting.
The Tommy-Cheerleader-Monster pressed the attack, pushing her, pursuing her. Sharon ducked, dodged, and weaved, striking back as it left openings. She was tired, though, and I could tell it was wearing her down.
I stood up gingerly, feeling the blood trickle from my nose. My arms hurt from the defensive wounds on them. But I wasn't going to let a little girl take a beating on my part. Even if I was an even littler girl.
I shot forward. Well, when I say shot, I sort of limped at speed. When I got close to it, it shifted again, turning back to me, back into Dead-Billy-Monster. He slapped me aside and I hit the wall, slumping. A moment later, Sharon hit the wall next to me and slid down next to me. The Cheerleader-Monster was stalking towards us. We sat there, panting. And I realized something.
"You got anything left?" I asked.
She shook her head. "Not much."
"We need to hit it at the same time. Its only trying to make one of us afraid at a time. If we can get it to try to go for both of us, it might weaken. We need to get to Tommy, under it, and give him this." I showed her the syringe.
She looked at it, then me. Then the monster. It was now back to the Billy-Monster, focusing on me. Everything about the shape it wore was designed to set off my quirks and fears. My guts turned to water as it approached. Sharon put a hand on my shoulder. And I willed myself to action, to not give into the fear. I might have died there on the floor of the lab, if I'd been alone. She made me realized that together we might stand a chance, even hurt as we were.
We stood, shakily, as much from our injuries as from fear. And we attacked. I came in from one side, bouncing into it and dashing out, even as Sharon came in, sending fire at the thing. Just as it turned to her, I came in again, throwing myself into it, making it turn to me again. The thing was adapting back and forth, back and forth as we came at it. Each drawing it away from the other. The changes started to slow. We began to see transition as it shifted. There was a longer and longer gap until finally we could start to see a dividing line between the forms.
Somewhere along the line, I think that we stopped being afraid of it. We just did what had to be done. We didn't have time to think about being afraid, we just kept hammering away at it. At him. Because underneath all this was a kid, like Sharon, like me. And I didn't know what was going on with him, but he was out of control.
On my next trip through, I grabbed on, throwing an arm around it and I pushed at my slippery field, making it go over him, her, them. Whatever. I understood what I was doing, I thought I did anyway. I turned the motion of the shapeshifted boy into a throw. Just like when I'd thrown the van. I converted the motion of it into motion I chose. Like with the van. And the lamp had been the opposite. I'd held it in place, because it hadn't been moving.
Tommy struck wall, upside down, halfway between forms, taking a whole series of target markers with him. He was in a grotesque transition with two heads, three arms, and one and half torsos. The fire fairies wrapped around the stunned creature-boy, holding him, stunned. I pounced on him, driving the syringe deep into the wide patch of "between" skin, depressing the plunger. The reaction was almost immediate. I don't know what was in that syringe, but Tommy convulsed and seized. And then the monster was gone and the dark eyed boy was back.
|Re: Skid 2: The Test [message #57334 is a reply to message #57330 ]
||Thu, 26 April 2012 11:36
Registered: April 2012
Location: New England
We were sitting on stretchers, not more than a half-hour later. I had bandages on my cheek and my arm in a sling. Sharon had actually taken worse than me. She was reclining a little more than me, with an icepack over her swollen eye. She had bandages on her face, hands, and had her shirt off, where her ribs were bound. I couldn't help but notice how big her boobs were, even bound up in the bra. At her age, maybe thirteen and half, she was nearly as big as my eighteen year old sister.|
"So are you really afraid of fat girls?" I asked.
She smiled and winced a bit. "No, I... not afraid. I... I didn't always look like this. Before... last year, I was, that was me. I mean, not that bad, I guess, but I was fat. And clumsy. And I hated myself. I got picked on. A lot. I'd tried to lose the weight, but it was so hard."
I reached over and gently took her hand. "Its okay, you don't have to..."
"No, I was thinking such bad thoughts about you, in the waiting room. You were fighting with your mom, and the way you were dressed..." She sighed and gave my hand a squeeze before letting go. "When my mutation started, the weight just fell off. I thought I had cancer or something. But then I got prettier. And faster. Stronger. I left school, still looking like a fat girl. We went on vacation for my transition. My mom was ecstatic, she'd always wanted a daughter that would do the beauty pageant circuit like she'd done. Now she had one and I can't compete, because I'm an Exemplar." I think she was crying. "What about you? You're afraid of soldiers?"
"No, I'm afraid I don't fit into my family anymore. I was..." I looked around, everyone was busy looking over Tommy Rivers. His mother was sedated next to him. Our mothers were sitting nearby talking in stilted whispers. I don't know what about. "I was in college a couple of weeks ago."
"College? Are you some kind of Mental Exemplar? Or a Devisor?"
"No, I was twenty years old, until I had my mutation forcibly activated. Now I'm back to middle school age." She didn't say anything at that. "I also used to be a guy."
She didn't say anything about that either, but she did pull her blanket up to cover her breasts.
"Are you going to Whateley?" I asked.
"Yeah, late admission for the spring semester. You?"
"Yeah. Do you... I mean, I don't have any... friends. Do you want to be friends?" My voice was small and maybe a little bit hopeful.
She was quiet for a long moment. I thought briefly that she might have succumbed to her painkillers and gone to sleep. But she finally said, "No. I don't want to be friends."
"But... but I-- we just-- we worked together. We stopped the bad guy..." It was my turn to cry. I told myself it was the stress and the painkillers. She was kind of sending mixed signals, but I mean, hey, she was only thirteen...
"I don't want to be friends. You're not in my league. Just leave it be. And leave me alone when we get to Whateley. I won't tell anyone about you, but just leave me alone."
In the end, they let us go with preliminary results of the testing saying I was Exemplar 1: physical, Exemplar 1 mental, and Energizer 2: Friction. I was a healthy girl, physiological age was approximately twelve years old based on development. And, Dr. Turner announced that I was going to grow up again, at a normal rate, he seemed to think. I hadn't even realized that might not have been a possibility. The worst part was, they told me that Whateley was going to do all this over again. Hopefully not the fight for my life, though.
I was unsteady as we left, and leaned heavily on mom. She'd been mad at me for running off initially. But once the doctors had said I was going to be fine, she fussed over me. I let her. I had worked out some of my issues in pummeling the fake Billy and now I just hurt and wanted my mom to make it better. She was happy to provide comfort to her little girl.
Sharon's mom was just a fussy, she was going to be fine. Her Exemplar rating was higher than mine, and that tended to carry some regeneration with it. Given time, my BIT would fix pretty much any damage done me, but not necessarily fast. Sharon was expected to be up and around in a couple of days. I'd still be limping then, and my injuries were less.
We were both given wheelchairs and pushed back to the waiting areas by our mothers. I made mom wait, so that Sharon and her mom could leave, giving them time. While we were waiting I looked up at mom stiffly, my neck hurting. "I'm not saying that I got it all out, or that I don't have more issues with all this, but..." She knelt down, so my stiff neck didn't have to work so hard. "But, I'm little now. And sometimes... sometimes its nice to have my mom here. I don't want to be a kid, I don't want to be a girl, but I didn't get a vote. I love you momma, and I'm sorry for being such a bitch..." I was crying, but that was okay, because she was, too.
"Oh, my bo- baby." Gingerly, she took me into her arms and we sat there blocking traffic for a long time, before going out to the rest of the family. My family.
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