Written by Martino :: [Saturday, 10 January 2015 23:55] Last updated by :: [Friday, 16 January 2015 08:59]
“Nina, wait” her friend Sarah shouted. The girl did not listen. As always her motto was ‘No risk, no fun’ and so it was today in the big cave system they were exploring. She had made out a relatively bright point and she wanted to find out what it was, no matter what the master or her mates told her.
“Nina, you’re an idiot if you go on alone! Are you life-tired?” Tom, the master, shouted. Nina went on without listening and she was rewarded: She saw a golden chain with a locket lying in a hole of about one meter depth in the mid of a big room. In the roof there was a hole through which she could see into three more rooms and then out of the cave to the sky. It seemed as if the locket had fallen through all the stone of four stores of a cave until it had stopped here. Nina shook her head: She did not believe in fictional stories. Lockets did not fall from the sky. But where had it come from? It looked as if a giant or a super-being had thrown it down.
She put the locket on. It was definitely made for human beings, not for giants. The owner might have been somewhat taller than herself but not much.
Nina went back to her comrades with the locket at her neck. When she met Tom he did not notice it but shouted at her: “Can’t you listen? My lady, this is dangerous. If you go on like this I’ll throw you out of the group, understood?”
Nina nodded, well knowing Tom would never do such things. In fact he seemed to like tomboys like her. Whenever Nina was fighting with a boy he did not interfere before she had him helpless under her what always was the case: Nina was not only quite tall but also stronger and faster than most boys. She did free-climbing whenever it was possible, could lift more than 100 kilogrammes and held black belts in judo and karate and a brown one in Thai-boxing. In fact, probably even a well-trained man like Tom would not stand much of a chance against her. Furthermore in her scout-group she was one of the most curious and less fearful ones but all in all she was not a bully or a troublemaker, but quite popular among the others, although she had few real friends.
Tom called the group together in a big room. There he collected the papers on which they had tried to paint maps of the cave system.
Then he and Betsy, his co-mistress, showed the youngsters their maps without saying a word and no sooner did they this than everyone started to laugh loudly: The maps looked like phantasy products and to a person who did not know what they were not two of them would seem to show the same ways.
“This is funny, isn’t it?” Betsy commented, not laughing at all. “In case of emergency this would be your death. So let’s try it once again. Look carefully at your compasses where the paths are leading, and mete as carefully the length of the way the direction is constant. Once again, the paths we already know, in groups of three.”
Nina went together with Sarah and a boy called Roy. First Sarah drew, Roy took the bearing and Nina meted. Her fathom was 1,78 m, a thing Sarah knew well. She had to pay attention her arms were even while she was meting.
“I think you’re wrong, Roy” Nina suddenly said. “According to your coordinates the corridor would have to be nearly straight, but it isn’t. Give me the compass and let me try once again.”
“How can you tell this?”
“Look, the way is wide enough you should be able to see through if the map was right. There are two curves but their diameter is only slightly more than one and a half metre. – And, Sarah: 128° plus 45° is 173°, not 183.”
“How can you see this that exactly?” Sarah wondered. “I can’t read the numbers myself at the moment with the paper one metre away from my eyes.”
Roy doubted whether Nina was right because he did not believe she could see or feel the line of the corridor that exactly but she insisted: “Let me use the compass once again and if I get the same dates as you or they happen to be worse than yours I’ll invite you to a round of ice-cream.”
The coordinates Nina found out were not only better than Roy’s, they were absolutely exact, even minute-perfect. Their group won by far.
Sarah and Roy were honest enough to confess this had been mostly Nina’s work.
Tom congratulated her while giving them the sweets which were the first price. “If I didn’t know your parents quite well I would sometimes think you’re some kind of super-person, my dear Nina. First your strength and now your eyesight. I must admit with your compass I wouldn’t have been able a map half as good as yours.”
In the evening Nina and Sarah were sitting together at Nina’s-and still talking about their day.
“Well, Nina, everybody knows you’re strong” Sarah commented, “I would not have wondered if you had carried a stone effortlessly I can’t even lift . But I’ve never noticed your eyes were that much better than mine.”
“Well, Sarah, there’s something strange I’ve found in the cave.” She produced the locket she had worn under her pullover during the day. “It was in the cave , in the room Tom didn’t want to let me enter. And another thing: Above the place where I saw it there was a hole in the ceiling, one that went till out to the daylight. And the locket was lying in a hole in the stone. It seemed to me as if a giant or a superpowered person had thrown it in from outside – I mean, if I believed in such things.”
“You mean the locket gives you powers … but Nina, this is science fiction or fantasy.”
“Maybe, but you were right some moments ago: I didn’t notice before this excursion I had especially good eyesight – and surely I would, if I had, don’t you think so?”
“Perhaps. – Let’s test it!”
“What do you mean?”
“Just a moment!” Sarah stood up, switched the light of, took something out of her bag and carefully groped her way to the next chair.
“What am I holding in my hand?” she asked.
“In your right hand you’re holding a phial of pink nail varnish. Your left hand is on the chair back.”
“That’s definitely not normal” Sarah noticed. “I bought the varnish yesterday but forgot to put it on my dressing table today. – One more test.” She went over to Nina ‘s desk and lifted a pencil. “What colour is the pencil in my hand?”
“It is red.”
Sarah turned on the desk lamp to convince herself.” Okay, you can see in the dark. One more thing.”
She went back to where her bag was, produced her mobile and wrote a short text, with her back turned to Nina. Then she lifted it about four metres away from her friend’s eyes. “What have I written?”
“Dear Derek” Nina read. “I’m still at Nina’s and I’m tired. Let’s meet tomorrow afternoon, okay? Love, Sarah. – Are you in love with him?”
Sarah giggled. “He’s just invited me to Rockhouse but I’m quite tired. I mean, what will happen if I fall asleep while he’s kissing me for the first time.”
Now it was Nina, who giggled: “My two shiest comrades. You’ve been together all afternoon and he’s dating you via SMS."
“We don’t want everybody to know it before we aren’t sure.” Sarah giggled again. “At least I know you can’t read minds. We’ve met twice, he’s certainly interested in me and I like him, too. But, please, don’t tell it anybody before we’re really a couple.”
“Scout’s honour” Nina stretched three fingers and put her thumb on her little finger. But now let’s test another thing!“ She removed the locket from her neck and put it on the table. “Could you do the same things again? I mean, of course, another thing in your hand and another text?”
Sarah switched off the light again, produced something out of it and presented it. Nina recognized the thing as Sarah’s scouts woggle. But she was not able to read the text Sarah had written this time.
“It’s ‘Nina, if you can read it again, you’re super.’ – Okay, seems to last for some time. Want to do one more test?”
Nina nodded. Sarah took her friend’s locket and put it onto her neck. “Same tests, transposed roles.”
She did not notice first that the thing Nina was holding in her hand was a pendant in form of a cross. But then she was able to read the text her friend wrote completely.
“One last thing”, she suggested.
“The power seems to need some time until it works. Now I can read the label on my coat – I mean, I know it’s Henderson, but I can read it. And the first book on the upper shelf is ‘The hobbit’, isn’t it`?”
“This is true. And it wasn’t there until this morning because I threw away some children’s book yesterday and ordered the others newly. So, unless you’ve watched it this evening…”
“In fact, I haven’t paid attention to your bookshelves. But if you want I could read all titles from the left to the right now. But this isn’t what I’ve meant.”
“What do you mean instead?”
“I’ve asked myself if the locket strengthens its wearer, too. Let ‘s do some arm-wrestling. If I stand a chance there’s no question, is it?”
“Okay, but don’t complain if you get hurt.”
The girls sat down at the table and put their arms together. Nina started pressing but to both girls’ surprise she felt resistance. She strengthened her grip but this wasn’t enough. Sarah won.
They tried again with the same result. Sarah even won when she used her left hand against Nina’s right – both of the girls were right-handed.
“This is really a miracle” she commented. “I think I ‘ll retain the locket.”
“No, you won’t.” With a fast movement of her hand Nina grabbed it and put it from Sarah’s neck to hers. She could avoid Sarah’s half-hearted attempt to get it back by a Thai-boxing-trick and Sarah knew fully well it would take only seconds until it would not even be worth trying to get it back.
“Okay, from now on you won’t just have got a strong friend but one that can make you super-strong, too, at least for some moments”, Nina commented. “On two conditions: Don’t tell anything to anybody and give the locket back to me without discussion when you don’t need it any more.”
“Scout’s honour!” Sarah answered doing the scouts’ greeting.
What the girls did not know was they were being watched: Her sister Tania had put a small camera into Nina’s room and hacked her notebook computer, both things helped by her boyfriend Kevin.
Tania was not nearly as strong and good at martial arts as Nina was, but still quite a good fighter for a girl and Kevin was one of the few boys who were really able to challenge Nina in a serious fight. Unlike Nina, who liked brawling but never abused her skills, Tania and Kevin were well-known as bullies. So far the only thing that had become known was that Tania had beaten up a girl who had denied to give her money and then the girl’s boyfriend who had come to help her. One of her classmates had seen it, taken a film and given it to Nina.
Nina, who had often tried to talk to her sister before, decided this was enough: She went to her coach and showed him the film, which clearly showed Tania had attacked and used Thai-boxing tricks to beat up the boy. She claimed the film was her own to protect her classmate.
In consequence Tania was thrown out of the kickboxing club she visited.
She swore revenge but so far she had not been able to do it: Alone she would have lost and she did not doubt if Kevin helped her Nina would tell it to his coach.
So between the sisters there was some kind of cold war: Nina, Sarah and some others hoped to be able to catch Tania and / or Kevin red-handed while beating or extorting somebody else and take a photo or a film as a prove, but they had not been successful so far. Nina knew some others who were bullied by her sister but either they could not prove it or they did not dare to tell the headmaster or a teacher anything.
Gina, one of Nina’s comrades at the scouts group, had found out Tania and Kevin were part of a gang but so far nobody Nina knew had an idea who the other gang members were.
Tania, on her side, had lacked to do anything, either. Nina usually was together with Sarah or some other scouts or fighting club comrade and even with some more gang members the risk was high they could be filmed while attacking Nina.
It had been Kevin’s idea – he was pretty good at physics – to install the camera and hack Nina’s computer. They hoped to find out something worth publishing it on the web or at least threatening to do so.
But in her wildest dreams Tania would not have thought she would see this. She deliberated for some time whether or not to tell Kevin what she had found out but decided against it: As long as Nina was wearing the locket she was way stronger than Tania and Kevin together and when she did not and Tania got her chance she would have all the power alone.
She left the house half an hour before Sarah and when she came back she was too tired to think about how to get into Nina’s room and get the locket. She would have to look where Nina put her jewellery at night – she had not got much and did not even wear some every day – and hope Nina would not sleep with her locket at her neck.
During the next days Nina found out the locket had even more powers: She was able to lift her parents’ car while wearing it and she could even look through other people’s clothing – it had just been accidentally she noted she could see Sarah’s bra through her blouse but after it she did not hesitate to keep on testing: She could see all her classmates’ underwear and even what they had in their schoolbags.
Her hearing had become much better, too: She could overhear what other students were talking about from a distance of ten metres and, once testing it in the bus, what songs Sarah was listening on her headphone.
Nina thought whether or not to wear her locket during Thai-boxing-class but she decided not to do it: It would give her an unfair advantage and she remembered what Betsy had told them at their promises: ‘A scout is always fair’.
“I have promised to obey the scouts’ law’ she whispered while undoing the locket. She put it deep into her bag to avoid all others from discovering it.
Nina was doing fairly well even without her locket and her coach told she would probably be able to do the black-belt-test in June.
Thai-boxing was one of the things Nina did without Sarah: Her friend had practised judo and karate with her since their childhood but one year ago she had stopped and she had never taken on Thai-boxing but changed to some more ‘girlish’ kinds of sports like gymnastics.
On Wednesday they had their scouts’ meeting, this time girls and boys separated. After it, however, while they were standing in front of the door and talking, Derek shouted: “Listen, everybody!”
‘Yes, sir’, Bob, the joker of the group, shouted.
“Before rumours will start: Sarah and I have to confess something.” She went over to him. He put his arms on her shoulders and kissed her. “Since yesterday we’re a couple.”
“Congratulations!” Freddy shouted.
Nina, with her super-hearing, could notice some boys had betted if Sarah and Derek would fall in love – obviously he had told some of them he had been after her.
Nina dug her friend in the ribs, carefully, in order not to hurt her. ”You pig haven’t told me anything.”
“I’ve told you he was after me and I liked him, too – and I thought you would like some kind of surprise.”
“Either way, good luck! I think, you’ve made a good choice.”
Really in Nina’s opinion Derek was a nice boy, although she would never have dreamt about him being her boyfriend. In fact she was not particularly interested in boys, although she did not consider herself lesbian, either.
Nevertheless, it was Sarah she was jealous of, not Derek. And, of course, the next weekend Nina was alone most time because Sarah and Derek, as all couples whose love had just started, spent every moment they could together.
On Saturday Nina got up soon in the morning, had breakfast and did her homework. Her intelligence seemed to have grown, too: She did not have any troubles at all at her maths homework – and maths had been her horror-subject so far. As during the week it did not take her more than five minutes to learn her German and Spanish vocabulary. She could even read a German text as fast as if it was in English.
Having done all her homework before lunch she decided to go jogging. She wanted to test what speed she could reach wearing her locket. Really she overtook all other joggers, even well-trained men, easily. She run to a lonelier place in the forest, not wanting to draw too much attention. In the forest she noted she had done averagely more than 50 km/h. She found a long, even path where she wanted to test her maximum speed. She started running and after some seconds she noticed her feet weren’t touching the ground any more.
Could she …?
While she was still thinking, she fell to the ground but remained unhurt.
‘I’m a scout, I’m an explorer, I don’t know any fear” she whispered, started to run again and once again her feet left the ground. This time she even got higher than the trees but she fell down again.
After her third trial she thought she probably was not able to stand in the air. She tried again and noticed she was right: As long as she kept her speed she could fly above the forest and even across the river, turn left and right and land safely after slowing down. She started running again, once more she took off, stood still and fell down at once.
“That’s it!” she mused and then one more thing came to her mind: She had fallen from an altitude of more than ten meters but remained unhurt. Was she…?
She flew back over the river and the forest, landed, run through the town home, had a shower, changed clothes and then tried to cut her arm with her pocket knife which bowed instead of hurting her. Same thing happened with the sharpest knife she could find in the kitchen. Even a nail she tried to hammer into her arm bowed.
“Invulnerable” she noted and at once sent Sarah an SMS.
The girls talked to each other on the phone and again Tania heard them.
“Your happiness won’t last long, little sister” she whispered. She had noted Nina usually put the locket onto her nightstand.
Tania had well noticed Nina’s senses were sharpened so she would have to act while Nina was sleeping deeply but this wasn’t impossible. She already had a plan how to act.