Atomica – Issue 2
Written by castor :: [Tuesday, 23 June 2015 01:13] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 23 June 2015 10:17]
Nancy and Bill sat together a lot that night. They didn’t say a terrible lot, but they were in the same room, which counted. Bill, at one point, read a video game magazine, but he was still there,which was good, because she had a distinct worry that he would leave and bolt.
She, on the other hand, walked around, stood and paced. She probably would have done something like fly around the world, but didn’t want to leave his side. She could have taken him with her, she supposed, but didn’t want to have that kind of relationship where she forced him to do stuff. That got weird pretty quickly. People tended to pass out after going more than 100 miles an hour so she paced.
It took a long moment for Bill to say or do anything. Almost an hour.
“Can I feel your belly?”
“What?” said Nancy?
“To feel the baby”
“It doesn’t happen yet.” said Nancy “ I mean, that will takes months before he kicks or anything like that … for now it’s just …”
Nancy lifted up her shirt reveling her rock hard abs, cut like 8 stony blocks on her tummy. Bill took his hand and traced it felt it. How long would it be like that? It would naturally start to get fat and weak and …
“You’re going to be a great mommy.” said Bill.
This would be the natural space to provide the counterpoint: he would be a great daddy. If she thought about it … but no.
“Hmmmm” she said.
“This is a lot to take in.” said Bill “I guess will have to figure it out.”
He leaned to kiss her and she let him, but didn’t return it with any force. She just stood there. Dazed.
“Huh” she said.
“I love you Nancy.” said Bill “And not the – you know – big galaxy smashing superhero. The real you, the one no one else know.”
Nancy paused. “I love you, too.”
She paused again. She had said that before, but there was something that made the words seem …
She sat down.
“How are you feeling?” said Bill.
Nancy considered. “Fine.” she said at last. “I wonder how long this has been going.”
Bill moved to hold her from behind hugging her close to him. Of course, he wasn’t strong enough to move her when she didn’t want to – few things in a universe could – but, as he drew her into him, she let him or didn’t exert the energy to stop him, which had the same effect.
“When I was 17, my sister had a baby.” said Bill “I helped out a lot with it. They can figure out the due date and things like that.”
“They had a hard time giving me a catscan.” said Nancy “I am not sure we can just go in and learn what sex the baby is.”
“We can still probably figure this out. So you haven’t had your period.”
“I’m late … but I am not incredibly regular.”
“So it’s probably pretty recent.” said Bill. “I don’t think most people learn this quickly.”
“I have the office. I can move my stuff out of there – or maybe I can stay in – watch the baby there while I work for awhile.”
“Maybe we should get a house or something. But I don’t think we need to do that right away. We have … well … there isn’t a lot of stuff we have to do right away. However my sister, I think has some baby furniture.”
“We will make it all work out. I have kind of thought we maybe have too much space for awhile here but, well, it will be fine.”
“I want to go to bed” said Nancy
“Are you tired?”
“I want to go to bed”
“Put that grapefruit down.” said Atomica
Crime fighting. The traditional ‘hey there’s a bank lets rob it – No I am going to stop it’ variety was tricky for her.
It tended to be very quick and very spaced out. She was super fast of course but, well, most of the times when people use a gun the police are long away for her to know about it. So the crime was either very serious or the kind of random stuff she spotted in her patrols.
This one was a robbery of a greengrocer – albeit one of those slightly upscale ones that did a lot of fresh fruit. The guy still had a gun. She went in as he grabbed vegetables, while holding a gun not at anyone. He had the look that a very strong narcotic of some kind had been consumed fairly recently and he was not in the mood for much chitchat.
He turned and shot at her.
Atomica had been shot with bullets – if she had bothered to keep track – about 20,000 times of which about 15,000 hits. There had also been assorted mortar fire, bombs and rockets.
Nothing had hurt her. Nothing had so much as scratched her. A couple of the really big bombs messed up her hair that was about it.
This was a .22 handgun. A gun so weak that was known to bounce off normal person’s skin. This was a bullet to her shoulder, which is a shot that people routinely walk away from. This was, in short, not a threat to her.
It would be a lie to say that she never flinched. She was human and, on occasion, flinched for (by her standards fairly) innocuous things. Hell, when there watched scary movies with Bill she would occasionally yelp. But this …
She felt slightly troubled by the flinch. Maybe she was thinking about it to much, when she should be punching him out.
There she did that.
As she did
Then she looked at the grapefruit and kinda wanted to eat it.
“This is a touch unusual.” said Nichols. She was in her office with Atomica in front of her (not bothering to change out of her costume this time) and Bill on Skype. “Usually we do this both in person”
“Well, I wanted to be here.” said the Bill “But … you’re in a different timezone.”
“Despite what the movies say,” said Atomica “I can’t really carry people flying for that long at the kind of speed I normally fly at. You know oxygen … heat …”
“Understandable.” said Dr. Nichols “Understandable. This makes this kind of the job hard. Atomica your basic anatomy, as far as I can tell, appears human. Organs, bloodworm, genetic structure. Except, well … Your hormonal levels are within 98% or so similar to a woman who is about 5 to 10 weeks pregnant.”
“Huh” said Atomica.
“Well, this is good.”
“About a year ago a previous physician did a test, which establish a baseline. There is some concern that this is just normal but, well, no.”
“I wish I was there to hold your hand.”
Atomica moved a bit in her chair. “So I guess this is happening.”
“Do you remember having sex 5 weeks ago?”
Bill laughed. “We normally have sex about two or three times a week – often more.”
“Well, that’s consistent with a happy couple.” said Dr. Nichols “It helps to establish the due date a bit …”
“Right.” said Atomica “Right. Um … Me and my boyfriend … I am not entirely feeling comfortable talking about that.”
“There is no problem with sex from any position for, probably, another month. If the physiology remains consistent.”
“Give us a pamphlet.” said Atomica.
“This is a major issue.” said Dr. Nicols “It’s just hard to say. Looking at you physically, there is very little, if any difference, from a normal person but, well, you’re not. You’re clearly not. You have incredible physical gifts. You appear to be a young very fit woman, but that in no way accounts for your powers and abilities in the slightest. May I ask how you—”
“You may not.” said Atomica with more force then she meant.
“Well, in any case, how you will go through the miracle of childbirth, how you deal with it is … unexpected. Unexplored. But it looks as if it may be consistent with, well, normal. That is the issue: it really is only a ‘may’.”
Bill chirped up on Skype “Don’t worry … um … Atomica. We’re going to do fine. You’re going to be healthy. The baby is going to be healthy. I am sure Dr. Nicols is going to give you the best care possible. Hey don’t prove me a liar.”
This got a chuckle From Nichols, but Atomica just looked at her.
“You seem agitated.”
Atomica stooped “I have a very stress filled life. I am under a fair amount of pressure and … um … my boyfriend. He does a lot to help with this. I just feel, perhaps … I feel as if he’s trying to help, but he’s not really helping.”
Skype took a second. So she was able to see the exact moment this his expression changed. He paused.
“Well I am just. I am just trying …”
“And I know that. But, well, let’s listen.” said Atomica.
“Well, the nature of your relationship is unique. I am not entirely sure you feel comfortable talking about issues such as your living situation, financial etc. I know you know this is a very tricky proposition: bringing a life into this world and that’s true for anyone. I don’t know how you consider the implications of it, but you seem to consider them.”
Dr. Nichols paused. She watched the boyfriend move a little in his seat.
“And, as such, there is something I should bring up. Legally you have the right to an abortion for about two more months. However, performing such an operation may not be possible at all. It just wouldn’t work to cut you open in the relatively minor way of this surgery at this stage. I can give you drugs that would induce this, but I am honestly not sure if they would work and they could result in unexpected consequences.”
“Such as?” said Atomica.
“Well, to get a touch graphic, they’re designed to cause your body to release the growing fetus. They may simply produce brain damage, a physical deformity or something like that. Most drugs at this point do that and these would be stronger still.”
“Could it be that my body is already doing that?” said Atomica.
“That is possible.” said Nichols “But here’s the point: if you wish, I would feel comfortable trying to perform this within a couple of weeks tops. These kinds of abortions are commonly performed for about a week to two weeks more.”
The boyfriend paused, and looked down. He had the look of someone not sure what to say.
“Let me think about it.” Said Atomica
Atomica walked outside the office. She wished she bothered with normal clothing really – but her costume was her armor.
She looked at her ripped abs poking of her costume. Were they starting to look a touch saggy? She knew that – in a couple of weeks – they would start to get fat and her belly would expand and …
Well, an exposed midriff was pretty silly when you were pregnant.
She started to cry. Just a good honest cry. When the device in her ear went off.
And the world needed her.