The Towers' Syndrome – Chapter 14
Written by papayoya1 :: [Saturday, 04 August 2018 13:32] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 05 August 2018 08:19]
Sienna faces an army
“She is here,” Colonel Sanders said. He was standing at the door of Stahl’s office.
Director Stahl just looked back at him.
“The team in the outer perimeter reported her presence thirty seconds ago,” Sanders completed his initial statement.
“She grew overconfident again,” Stahl observed. “That might still give us a chance,” he added, looking at his screen to see that the countdown was at forty-seven minutes.
“We are ready for an evacuation,” Sanders said.
“It’s too late for that. We are committed already.” Stahl could see that the Colonel did not like his statement at all; he was disciplined enough not to show his lack of agreement though. Colonel Sanders had not been comfortable at all when Stahl and his team had established themselves at Bixley Base, especially when he had learned that, de facto, they would be in charge. The man was still one hundred percent military, so no matter what he thought, he had followed his orders without complaining.
Of course, both Director Stahl and Colonel Sanders knew what the last sentence meant, especially for the men. The silence was uncomfortable. Stahl finally broke it:
“We need an hour. Can you give us that?”
“My men… they are good men, sir!” Sanders said.
“I know. I’m aware of what I’m asking. Believe me, I would not if it was not absolutely necessary. But never before in the history of our nation, an hour has been so important.”
Sienna could have flown straight into the heart of the base. It would have been the sensible thing to do. However, her ego prevailed.
Different from the first episode with the police blockade, which had started excellently and ended in sudden and unexpected pain, Sienna was now much more aware of herself and the world. She now knew that there were many very smart and very determined people working to neutralize the threat she represented. And she knew that she had just vanquished their first approach to the task.
Her sense of achievement after having eradicated this first focus of hazard was such that Sienna could not prevent feeling untouchable once more. After all, she now knew that there were no more comet-based weapons that could hurt her and that there would never be. Moreover, now that she was aware of the possibility of their existence, she also knew that she was never going to allow anyone to hit her with anything harmful. And, having learned from Angela and the information on the servers about how far they had been able to take their research, she was also confident that there would not be any unexpected surprises in this front.
This had been Sienna’s primary concern when she had stayed in the shadows after the unfortunate incident with the first prototype of the weapon. So, confident that the threat was gone, she felt above danger once more.
After all, it had taken her one hundred and nine days in a coma and a few of weeks of research to get to where she was today. Anything the Feds wanted to do with the comet in less than a month that was constructive rather than destructive in nature would still be in its infant stage. A stage she would make sure it did not leave.
So, not in a hurry, Sienna decided to indulge. After the pain and the days of keeping a low profile, the rush of the assault to the power plant and her brief visit to the city had reminded her just how much she relished her power.
Sienna had followed the ambulance carrying Fiona from well beyond the layer of clouds. Thanks to her superhuman sight, it did not make a difference to her ability to track the vehicle, and she thought it would keep her approach more hidden. The base, named Bixley according to some road signs she zoomed in from the distance, became evident soon enough. Sienna was surprised by the vast assembly of mobilized forces and the frenzied activity amongst them.
Of course, there was only one possible explanation for that: they were expecting her. She realized that her demonstration in the city had had consequences but shrugged when she concluded that it made no difference.
Alert or not, they would never be ready to face her. She was looking forward to seeing them trying, in any case. Having learned that a SWAT task force and a secret facility’s security detail were irrelevant to her, she expected the army to present a better challenge.
It was in this state of mind that she started her descent towards the first relevant group of soldiers she identified, a couple of miles out of the main base grounds.
“Boss,” Smith and Black said in unison as Director Stahl walked into the infirmary.
“I’m sorry,” Smith then said, looking constricted for the first time Fiona had seen.
“We have no time,” Stahl replied. “You two have to leave.”
They were surprised, but Stahl did not seem to be in the mood for explanations. He just went on.
“This base is connected to a system of tunnels that allows small groups to move outside without being seen. There is a chance that you go unnoticed if Miss Towers is too focused on the men facing her. I would advise against talking or being too noticeable while you go, though.”
Fiona realized that the infirmary had been equipped with the latest in sound suppression technology and understood why her boss was talking so freely.
“You should be the one leaving,” Smith said. He was quite evidently feeling very guilty.
“Nemesis still has a chance. I’m responsible for it,” Stahl replied, ending the argument.
“How big of a chance?” Fiona asked.
“I’d say fifty/fifty of being activated. After that, no one really knows.”
“We should stay too, then!” Fiona snapped.
“We cannot bet everything on Nemesis. And you are the only two people I trust in case everything goes to hell, here,” Stahl replied.
“How?” Fiona asked.
“Smith knows. Now leave. Every second counts.”
Sienna landed a hundred yards in front of the first line of infantry soldiers. The randomly parked Humvees and the not yet ready machine gun nests indicated that they had rushed to the position and were not entirely prepared.
It was obvious enough that her arrival from the air stunned them, which told Sienna that they did not know much about the type of woman they were up against. Of course, it would not have made the difference if they had.
They overcame the initial shock fast enough. Sienna had to give them that. In any case, they were far from the most exciting challenge that laid between her and the base. Considering them almost like an entry ticket for the fun that had to come next, Sienna started walking confidently in their direction with a permanent grin on her face.
They did not try to warn her or halt her. Sienna guessed that they had got clear enough orders once they had informed of her arrival. The hailstorm of bullets started shortly after.
Of course, by now Sienna could not be less concerned about being shot at. Much as she was used to, each of the hundreds of pellets hitting her deformed when it touched her unyielding skin and bounced off in a random direction. If anything, Sienna was interested in seeing how her new attire was doing. Once she validated that the Zylon was holding up admirably well under the barrage, she kept advancing, shrugging the inconsequential attack off.
The soldiers’ surprise at the fact that the gunfire was not even annoying her confirmed that they had not been too much briefed about her.
“So, they are cattle,” Sienna thought. “Cannon fodder.”
If that was the case, she was not going to waste too much time with them. Besides, a bunch of men on foot with assault rifles was hardly an interesting challenge for her anymore. The idea of merely disintegrating them ran through her head, but ultimately Sienna chose a more flippant approach.
About half the way to the line of infantrymen, Sienna stopped, placed her hands on her hips and waited for the inevitable slowdown in the rate of fire. It preceded the final ceasing of the attack, as usual.
A dozen, a hundred or a thousand shots later, even the stupidest among humans always ended up realizing about the futility of attacking her. Sienna reveled in their consternation, her godly eyes letting her see the frustrated expressions of her would-be attackers even from the distance.
She crouched lithely like a gymnast and stood up again, smirking at the handful of gravel in her right palm. She then eyed the stunned soldiers. Her voice reached them without problems, her lungs pushing the air just a bit harder than usual to make it as loud as the speaker system in a concert.
“Your officers seem to believe that you are expendable. I don’t see any reason to prove them wrong.”
Sienna extended her palm and the gravel it contained right in front of her face. And then, without warning, she blew a kiss at the soldiers. It was the kiss of death. Sienna’s sultry lips channeled the hurricane she unleashed from her lungs and propelled the pebbles several times faster than any human-made weapon could have, slightly turning her neck to cover the entire line of men.
It was a slaughter. Only one out of every ten soldiers remained standing by the end of her first salvo. Sienna materialized among them an instant later, her super speed making her disappear for a moment. They were too dazed to react. There were no more attempts to fight her. She did not care. Their fate was already sealed.
The men broke, trying to run back to base, away from the gorgeous monster that was annihilating them with such ease. The first two were just too close to her to get far, so Sienna was soon lifting them by the throats, holding the muscular men a couple of feet over the ground with the simplicity of a morning stretch. The flick of her wrists was subtle to everyone but the men she had been holding.
Sienna was the only one that was not surprised by the kinetic energy she transferred to the men. Together with the exponential increase in her power, the second dose of the meteorite and the experience of the past days had given her a much more accurate awareness of her new condition and its almost endless possibilities.
The soldiers were thrown at high speed and in straight line… until they hit two of their comrades. The violence of the crash was such that the four bodies burst, not leaving anyone any doubts about the fatal consequences of her casual action.
Sienna did not waste too much time. She was not in the mood of letting anyone survive their attempt on her, but she did not want to dally too much either. A simple hop on one leg sent her soaring through the field and landing in the shoulders of one of the fleeing soldiers. The combination of the energy of her jump and her increased mass was more than enough to finish the man, as the wet crunching sound confirmed.
The man to her right did not realize about Sienna before she was lifting him with a four-finger grab of his jaw, keeping her hold just strong enough not to break the fragile bones. She twitched her nose when the man wet his camouflage pants.
“Get out of my sight!” Sienna said in a disgusted tone, just before she pushed the man upward, his body immediately shooting into the sky. The only doubt she had was whether he would suffocate first or if he would die when crashing back to the ground. She had not put too much thought or effort into controlling just how high she had thrown him.
She was sneering when a clicking noise made her look at her feet. The grenade was unmistakable. Sienna was about to let it explode, just to put together another show of invulnerability when she realized that while she would indeed be immune to the shrapnel and she had high hopes that her Zylon suit would do well, her leather boots were far less likely to go out of the explosion unaffected.
She reacted right away, kicking the grenade with the precision of a world-class football player, sending it back in the direction it came. Judging by what it did to the three men that were caught in the explosion, Sienna was happy not to have exposed her footwear to it.
This basically left one man standing. Sienna appeared in front of him out of thin air a fraction of a second later. The soldier did not have time to react and crashed into her. He might as well have crashed into a concrete wall. When he looked up, kneeling in the ground after having been pushed back by the infinite resistance of her superhuman anatomy, the man’s nose was bloodied.
It was easy to see that he was terrified. Sienna’s smile widened and turned a bit eviler, showing the exhilaration she felt at the situation. As much as she loved the supernatural powers that had come with the transformation, there was some primal satisfaction at overpowering men using only her raw physical strength.
“Please, have mercy,” the man said, practically sobbing.
Sienna could not refrain from laughing.
“You are way too low in the food chain for mercy,” she said.
He never saw her leg drawing. The truth was that she barely had to move it back. Still, her casual kick was more than enough to kill him on impact, breaking him internally. His corpse flew in a high arc, landing behind the line of trees.
Her first contact with the military could hardly qualify as warm up, but Sienna felt satisfied nonetheless. She always did when she had a chance to test her power and overwhelm those belonging to her former species with a fraction of it. She was beyond any moral considerations at the consequences of her actions. Sienna had long embraced killing as a natural right of her new status.
It was time to move back to the base. She hoped that it would offer some better amusement. After all, the soldiers she had just dealt with were not that different from the cops and security guards she had met before. The uniforms were different, the rifles might be a different model, but in the end, all of them were the same essential thing: insignificant men shooting inconsequential pellets at her. The basic way of dealing with them was also the same, even if she had a vast arsenal at her disposal: let them shoot her for a while, then do anything from frying them to just touching them to break their puny bodies.
Sienna certainly hoped that the army had something else to offer, some fresher challenge that could prove more entertaining. After all, and despite the vast number of combinations, there were only so many things a superwoman like her ended up doing to finish a group of anonymous pawns.
She got her answer right away. The whistles were easy enough to hear. When the first round exploded, it was so far from her that she wondered whether a puny standard human would have been affected by it at all.
Soon, the land around Sienna started randomly exploding. She would not have needed enhanced senses or the ability to slow time down to see the mortar ordnance hitting the stretch of the field around her with no specific pattern.
Of course, Sienna could not have been less concerned about the shells dropping around her position, especially once she realized that they exploded in such a way that her boots would be safe in front of anything but a direct hit.
So, looking quite disappointed, she just sauntered towards the base once more, hoping that whoever was coordinating the attack would realize about its futility soon enough and order it to stop. He did not, and when a lucky round finally hit her straight in the face, making her cough, Sienna decided that enough was enough.
She closed her eyes for a second, mapping the area with her mental sonar to quickly locate the placement of the different artillery units. Two seconds later she was holding a shell in each hand, having easily intercepted them before they hit the ground.
She weighed them both, getting the necessary information to adjust her strength and angle. And then, she just tossed them back.
The artillery placements never knew what hit them. They were only warned by the high-pitched whistles a second before the munitions, each having taken a much steeper angle and having reached a much higher altitude, dropped on them with way more kinetic energy than they had ever been intended to. Combined with their explosive tip, the results were more than enough to meet Sienna’s objective, which had been no other than to get rid of the pesky cannons.
She was satisfied with the results, so the remaining eight mortar positions soon shared the fate of the first two, putting an end to the annoying, even if inconsequential, artillery attack.
“I do hope it gets better than this!” Sienna thought, a bit disappointed at what the army had had to offer so far.
When her ultra-sensitive ears caught the sound of rotors in the distance, she could not help but smile. A quick glance over her shoulder showed her the squadron of gunships flying straight to her position.
“Ah, now we’re talking!”
Her satisfaction was short lived. The first missile hit her only a few seconds after. In her naiveté, Sienna just let it hit her straight into her flat stomach, in yet another attempt to prove the world her absolute superiority.
She realized that she had not been hit with anything remotely so hard so far. After all, the primary mission for Apache attack helicopters was to hunt and destroy enemy tanks. And so, the Hellfire missile that had just impacted with her was designed to kill heavy-armored sixty-ton panzers.
Of course, this was nothing that would even put a blemish in Sienna’s skin. It did not make her move an inch either. The impact in her surroundings was significant, though, as could be readily observed by the crater that formed in the side of Sienna’s body where the blast had been able to expand and by the raining dirt around her.
Sienna realized about the danger right away. The scorch marks in the Zylon were evident enough, but the truth was that her attire had held remarkably well. It was a different story with her footwear, though. Leather was not designed to be used in combat zones, and the explosive stage of the Hellfire’s head, which had gone off after its high-penetrating tip had failed even to tickle Sienna, had made short work of her designer boots.
“Fuck!” Sienna muttered. “Fuck!” she repeated, loud enough for everyone at the base to hear.
Sienna’s first thought was that fashion footwear was not meant for the battlefield. Her second thought was that she would need to get some Zylon boots made. The third was that someone was going to pay for what had happened.
She shot to the sky right away. A second later, she was hovering right in front of the offending chopper, making it stop in its tracks while the other aircraft in the squadron soared past her. The resulting scene was startling, the fifty-foot long aircraft facing a six-foot-tall woman floating a thousand feet in the air with her hands on her hips.
“You have made a terrible mistake,” Sienna said, her voice loud enough to pierce through the sound of the rotor and reach the two shocked members of the crew.
She had her answer right away, the heavy 30mm rounds of the chain gun hitting her harder than any bullet that had hit before. It made no difference since Sienna’s invulnerable skin was as unaffected by the anti-vehicle cannon as it had been by everything else other than comet fragments.
She remained idle for a while, letting the pilot and gunner realize about the futility of attacking her as the penetrating rounds deformed and bounced off her body like any other projectile had, so far. She slowed time down a bit, to feel the usual pride when she saw the bullets wrap like an accordion until they could not get any more compact and ricocheted in random directions. She was vaguely conscious that the attack helicopter’s cannon was meant to destroy light armored vehicles and was probably orders of magnitude tougher than the regular rifles she had been shot with so many times. Of course, it made no difference to her.
When the fire finally stopped, Sienna’s eyes lit. She was not interested in blowing the Apache. At least, not yet. Instead, she just overheated the twin engines enough for both of them to fail at the same time, stopping the rotor as a trail of black smoke formed on the back of the attack helicopter.
The Apache started falling right away, its non-aerodynamical shape and heavy weight making it drop like a stone, unlike what would have happened to a leaner plane. The plunge was short-lived, though, stopped by a single superhuman hand. Sienna’s fingers closed into the armored nose-cone of the helicopter, denting it as her slender arm held the ten tons of deadly aircraft in place. She might as well have been holding a feather, considering the effort it took her.
The helmets and visor of the crew members hid the shock they must be feeling. Sienna was going to take care of that soon.
Her sensitive ears caught the changes in the noise of the rotors of the remaining seven helicopters in the squadron. They were reacting after the initial surprise, and she could hear a couple of them taking positions behind her while the others did what felt like a very useless flanking move.
Sienna looked over her shoulder and smiled at the sight of the two “friends” of the Apache she had caught. It seemed evident that they had turned to help their comrades but that they were unsure about how to do that. After all, she presented a small enough target and anything they shot at her was more likely to end up hitting the aircraft she was holding than herself.
For a second, Sienna felt curious about what they would end up doing, but after a while without any movement on their side, she decided that she was not in the mood of wasting more time and proceeded to take care of the situation.
Her eyes glowed once more, but there was no restraint on the energy she released this time. The power projection was so intense that the sky lit beyond the twin beams she let go. Their target never stood a chance as the superheated wave melted its armor and made its fuel tank explode without mercy. A second later, the aircraft was no more, turned into a still-expanding fireball.
There was a second chopper to take care of. Sienna wanted to strive for originality, so she pondered which of her phenomenal abilities to use to bring the aircraft down. It turned out she did not need to. The energy she had discharged through her eyes had been so massive that it had further consequences than the first explosion. Shrapnel and the shockwave ended up reaching the second helicopter, piercing it in several spots and pushing it down. It was easy enough to follow its smoky trail as it unsuccessfully fought with the damage before crashing to the ground.
“Oh well,” Sienna muttered satisfied, even if the scene had lacked the spectacularity she usually sought in her confrontations with humans.
The remaining aircraft in the squadron kept their distance, probably discouraged by what they had seen her do. They were not getting away, though.
Considering that she would have a bit of time to herself, Sienna focused back on the helicopter at hand closed her fingers a bit more, pushing them deeper into its armor to get a better hold. Then, she just proceeded to fly downward.
Sienna was gentle as she descended the thousand feet or so, setting her now bare feet on the soft grass while she still held the ten-ton attack chopper in her hand like a clerk holding a shoebox. It was then easy to crouch and set the aircraft on the ground.
It only took Sienna a gentle flick of her toes to push her body upward, making her gracefully land on the helicopter’s nose-cone, right in front of the cockpit. She smiled at the terrified occupants just before crouching and punching her fist through the bulletproof glass as if it had been wet paper.
Her ultra-sensitive ears could hear the screams even before she tore the transparent canopy away from the helicopter. The screams acquired a new intensity once there was nothing between those that were uttering them and the smiling superwoman. Sienna was eager to devote her attention to the men that had ruined her footwear. She was not in the mood to waste some time with their seatbelts and harnesses, in any case.
So, instead of doing the obvious and tearing them with a fraction of the strength of her fingers, she just snapped them and let her mind take care of the bonds. An instant later, the screaming pilots were floating a couple of feet over their seats when a lazy backhand, apparently in thin air, made the invisible force that was holding the crew toss them to the side.
They landed and rolled on the fresh grass. They were bruised, but Sienna had been gentle enough that by the time she gracefully landed a few paces ahead of her, the two men were more or less recovered. She snorted when she saw them reacting in two very different ways.
While the one that had been sitting on the back turned to run, the one on the front took a gun from his holster and started shooting her. She had to admit he had good aim since each and every one of the twelve shots hit her. As usual, bullets ricocheted from her stomach, breasts, cheeks and nose as Sienna smiled and ambled towards him.
“You guys are as stupid as you are weak,” she said casually as she closed the distance to the very startled man. “You just shot me with your canon. What made you think that your puny gun would be able to hurt me where the other one could not?”
The man seemed to be frozen. In the meantime, the first member of the crew was still trying to put as much distance between him and her as possible. Sienna knew he would not get too far in any case, but it felt somehow weird to let him live longer than his braver comrade.
“Wait for me here, will you?” she asked as she diverted her path and headed back to the downed chopper.
The first crewmember had run past it, possibly to put something between him and her. Sienna followed him and stopped once she reached the Apache. Judging the distance to the man, she smiled and reached up to grab the attack helicopter by its tail. As usual, her fingers easily dug into the fuselage and took a good grip of it. It was then easy for Sienna to maneuver the heavy aircraft with ease until she was holding it vertically as if it were a mallet, the effort it took her comparable to holding an inflatable version of the chopper.
The pilot never knew about the threat until the hammer fell. Sienna was satisfied as the Apache, now visibly deformed, crushed the offender like a bug. Lifting it back in a striking pose, she turned and walked back to the first man.
He was both shocked and terrified, or at least that’s what his body language said. The helmet and visor hid most of his expression. The man seemed to hesitate whether to flee or stand his ground. Sienna made the decision easy for him when she puckered her lips and blew the softest kiss just to thrown him off his feet.
She could have smashed him just like his comrade with ease. She was not interested in that, however. Instead, she just set the Apache next to him with care and covered the last few steps towards him before he could get back on his feet. She helped him, crouching and pulling him by his armpit with vicious force.
She used a harder-than-diamond fingernail to tear the helmet open and take a look at the sweaty and panicked pilot as she lifted him a bit more, just until his feet lost contact with the ground.
“What are you?” the man muttered.
“You are not going to live long enough to make the effort of explaining it worth,” Sienna replied as she smiled evilly.
Her response made the man shake. As usual, she loved the reactions she was able to cause, even if they came from worthless pawns like the man she was holding.
“Please,” he babbled.
He only managed to make Sienna laugh out.
“You guys are so brave when you hold your rifles, or you fly in your machines. I guess you feel in power. And yet, you don’t realize that you need someone else’s invention to take care of your natural limitations as humans. You’ve grown so used to them, that you don’t even take them into account anymore. But power is not in gimmicks and gadgets. Real power is something else. Me!”
The man did not seem to understand, but Sienna just ignored him. Instead, she just dragged him for a few steps, until they both reached the wing section of the downed aircraft.
The remaining five helicopters in the squadron had reacted and were now circling her position. It was evident that they did not know too well what to do.
Sienna dropped the man on the grass and looked at the weaponry attached to the short wing of the Apache. There was a cylinder with twenty-three tubes inside and a support with three long missiles locked on it.
“Is this what you shot at me?” she asked the man, who was now cowering on the ground.
He did not react, so Sienna lit her eyes for an instant. The grass by the man’s head caught fire.
“I asked you a question,” she insisted.
“Yes… yes!” the pilot finally replied.
Sienna did not say further word as she reached for the long tube and dug her fingers into the fuselage. She then pulled, taking care not to be too rough. Two seconds later, the missile ripped from the holder, producing some sparks in the process.
Sienna held the Hellfire over her head as if it were a spear.
“Will it work on choppers?” she asked.
The man’s expression changed in an instant.
“No, please!” he screamed.
Sienna just smiled back and flicked her wrist in an almost imperceptible movement, shooting the missile in the direction of one of the pilot’s comrades several times faster than it’s jet engine would have been able to.
She was rewarded with a massive explosion just an instant later. She did not need to zoom in with her enhanced sight to know that her target, the left-most helicopter in the formation, had been completely vaporized.
“It does,” she said, smiling evilly at the pilot.
The remaining helicopters reacted, but it was obvious that they did not have a clear strategy on how to face her.
“The question is, of course, whether the credit is on the missile or me. After all, I was the one that threw it,” Sienna went on. “I think there is only one way to know for sure.”
As she said that, Sienna crouched and grabbed the man again by his throat, lifting him effortlessly as she stood back up.
“Luckily, I know how to clarify that. I only need to throw the weakest thing around!”
“No… no… please!” the man screamed.
“Next time you want to shoot someone, make sure she cannot shoot you back!” Sienna said as a farewell as she pushed the man in the direction of her second target.
She was more theatrical than she had been with the missile but controlled the force of the throw so that the man would not instantly die the moment she released him. Still, the pilot reached supersonic speeds, the wind burning his face during his three-second flight towards the Apache the superwoman had chosen. Sienna had not only took careful aim so that the man would hit the aircraft, but she had also been selective with the spot in the chopper he would hit.
The world around the attack helicopter turned crimson as she pilot’s body was shredded by the rotor, which overheated first and exploded later, sending the Apache into a fast spiraling drop. Sienna followed the entire scene with her superhuman eyes and giggled when the chopper finally blew when it hit the ground.
She had taken care of her next foe. And in the process, she had cleared the course of action for the remaining three choppers, less than half of the original squadron. No longer restrained by any hostage, the three charged at her and shot missiles in her direction.
Sienna welcomed their move, eager for some decent fight. She was unconcerned about the potential effects of any of the projectiles they could shoot at her, but she slowed time down nonetheless, keeping it at a comfortable enough pace to see each of the Hellfires approaching her at a leisurely speed. At this rate, the rotor blades of the three remaining Apaches were still visible, not moving fast enough to form the typical continuum. Still, they were still moving quite faster than what Sienna knew she would have been able to achieve if she had wanted to pause time even more.
Sienna was not too aware of the workings of missiles like the ones that were flying in her direction. Did they explode at touch? Did they work by proximity? One of the advantages of being superhuman was that she could experiment to find out with no risks.
She only had two hands, though, so she first took care of one of the missiles with a short burst of her heat vision. Once she was done with it, she just had to wait for the remaining two Hellfires.
The pilots had been far from coordinated when they had shot, so Sienna had time to take care of the first missile while the second was still at a comfortable distance. Dodging the charging Hellfire with the grace of a ballerina, she just pivoted on her heel and grabbed the smoldering hot surface of its back with her right hand, pushing her fingertips into the blazing metal. The rocket-engine tried to push forward unsuccessfully, but it was orders of magnitude away from being able to challenge the incalculable strength of Sienna’s slender arm.
She ignored the boiling exhaust of the missile, which would have killed anyone else fifty feet around her, as she turned to repeat the operation with the second approaching Hellfire.
Sienna was soon holding the two projectiles, their engines still on, much as if she had been holding two signaling blares. It was then just a matter of waiting for the engines to expire, which she did in normal time.
In their cockpits, the pilots could not believe what they were seeing, even if they should have been prepared, after witnessing the woman’s most recent actions.
“So, they explode on impact,” Sienna muttered as the rockets died and she neatly set the two missiles next to her.
There was an impasse that lasted a few seconds. Finally, one of the three Apaches charged at her. She waited with her hands on her hips, curious. It turned out that the attack helicopters were more boring than she had expected. The chopper was despairingly slow as it approached her. Once it was close enough, it just shot its chain gun, its loud rattle filling the silence of the otherwise quiet morning.
Sienna did not even move, letting the rounds harmlessly hit her in every spot of her anatomy. The one that unsuccessfully tried to pierce her eye felt the funniest, especially when she closed her eyelid and wrapped the metal with it.
A hundred shots later, the Apache flew overhead and started to turn, getting ready for a second pass while her two comrades moved for the first one.
She felt 30mm projectiles ricochet from her impregnable skin once more, the feeling not unlike that of taking a shower before her godly transformation. The lack of effect of the humans’ best efforts at hurting her was always satisfactory, but Sienna had to admit that she had been expecting more from the gunships. She immediately realized that any expectations from anyone else once she had reached her new condition were probably unfair, but she still hoped for some challenge that could make her ascension a bit more entertaining.
Her voice was heard for miles as she projected it with a fraction of her power. Her intention was no other than to be heard by those inside the Apaches, an objective she easily accomplished despite the loud noise of the rotors and their protecting earphones.
“Is this all you’ve got? Can you possibly be so weak?”
Her words seem to have some effect as the gunships turned and seemed to charge at her with renewed vigor. Sienna just pivoted on herself to face them as they approached. The tubes on the twin cylinders every helicopter was carrying on under each wing lit and an array of slender rockets flew in her direction. After having been hit by their quite larger brothers, Sienna did not see any need to take special care about the three dozen javelins.
Not even one in eight managed to hit her. She realized that the rockets lacked the guidance the larger missiles had had and the precision of the automatic cannon. Still, the four that impacted her body felt funny. Not nearly as explosive as the Hellfires and less piercing than the heavy bullets, the blast of the rockets were somewhat odd but quite reinvigorating.
The rest hit the ground all around Sienna, ruining the grass and sending columns of dirt shooting upwards, turning the idyllic spot she had been standing on into the war zone it really was.
The leading gunship was starting to turn and charge at her again. Sienna debated whether to wait and see what else it had in stock or get back to business. The Apaches had been thrilling for a bit, but they were starting to lose their interest.
A distant rumbling sound made the decision for her and, quite instinctively, Sienna pushed her lips out and channeled a focused and ultra-powerful kiss in the chopper’s direction.
The pilot never knew what hit them before the alarms inside the cockpit blared and the instruments in the dashboard turned crazy. A thousand feet away, Sienna slightly turned her neck as she guided her deadly kiss while keeping her right hand on her hip while her left arm dangled lazily.
It was so easy. It was so damn easy! Guiding the falling chopper with her breath like a little girl blowing soap bubbles was just exhilarating, yet a new proof of her utter superiority over humanity. She knew attack helicopters like that were the speartip of the most powerful armed forces, and all she had to do to take care of it was to literally blow it out of the sky.
She had some time and was feeling playful, so rather than bringing it down right away, Sienna kept playing with it, channeling the unlimited supply of air from her lungs so that the chopper would at times drop and at times be lifted by her exhalation, its movements so brusque that it was obvious that those inside had long lost control of it.
Bullets hit her back as the chopper’s two comrades came back and started shooting at her with their anti-vehicle cannon. She ignored them as she kept focused on her toy, but changed her mind as they flew overhead and extended a palm to get a mental hold of one of the offending pair.
It was still hard to believe that they could be so weak. Keeping the helicopter anchored in a spot three-hundred feet above her was a piece of cake as her lips kept torturing its comrade. She could have kept at it forever but realized that she needed to move on. It was only a matter of choosing the sequence.
Her first intention had been to make the Apache she had trapped into her self-created hurricane crash. She changed her mind in the last minute, opting for a thousand-fold increase in the air pressure as she blew her final kiss to it. The pilots, who were about to pass out at the high g movements she was subjecting them to, never knew what hit them as the wavefront of Sienna’s breath reached the helicopter and blew it to pieces, its strength several orders of magnitude higher than what the aircraft had been designed to withstand.
The results were delightful, but Sienna did not have too long to enjoy them. The only remaining free gunship had turned and fired its last six Hellfire missiles at her at the same time, in what had to be a last desperate attempt at dealing with her.
Sienna, who was still invisibly holding the second Apache above her with an extended left arm, moved her right palm forward and focused on the incoming missiles. They were fast and had taken different directions as they approached her, so they represented a somewhat larger challenge than usual as she tried to scan them into her control. It took her a couple of seconds but after some straining she had not been used to, the six Hellfires finally stopped on their tracks and remained idle, burning their fuel at an accelerated rate as their engines were unable to defeat the strength of Sienna’s mind.
The chopper flew overhead as Sienna focused on the six missiles, waiting until the push from their rocket engines was gone. Once that happened, it was piece of cake to guide them and neatly stack them next to the initial two she had captured.
She was tempted to shoot one of the Hellfires back at the helicopter, but she had other plans for them, so instead, she just turned and zoomed on it, following the aircraft as it flew over a stretch of forest and started to turn for a new pass, even if it had exhausted most of its armament.
Zooming out and seeing the full picture, Sienna had a wicked idea and shrugged, deciding that she would not know if she was capable of executing it unless she tried. Her right palm extended once more and then she turned it upwards. Half a mile away, three-dozen trees started shaking as Sienna locked her overwhelming mental strength on them. It took her some effort, letting her know that she was stretching her telekinetic power quite more than she had done so far, but like everything else she had tried, the world ended up yielding at her unfathomable power.
The chopper had not yet cleared the forest by the time over thirty pines were uprooted and shot to the sky. It would have only taken one to rip the Apache to pieces. Satisfied as the armored helicopter tore itself against the flying stretch of woods, Sienna released her hold on the several tons of vegetation and let it drop, along with shreds of metal and gallons of aviation fuel, only to start a roaring fire on the hills behind the battlefield.
“Well, they may have been feebler than I thought, but at least I got to stretch my powers a little,” Sienna muttered to herself as she looked up to eye her final prey. She was holding it in place as if it had been a balloon connected to her with an invisible string. Paying attention to it for the first time since she had captured it, Sienna started pulling the invisible link down, easily defeating the 2000 HP engines and making it climb down from its original three-hundred feet.
It was so easy! Her dominance over her surroundings, which included the deadliest war machines man had ever made was so absolute that the only thing that required an effort on her part was not to be too harsh too soon. By now, Sienna was already convinced of her utter superiority over humanity, but still, putting it in practice and checking its limitless possibilities was incredibly exciting, almost arousing.
“I’m a goddess fighting ants. The difference is so massive that it’s not only that they do not have a chance. It’s more than that. They may be resilient, but sooner or later they will realize that just the thought of challenging me is ludicrous. And by the time they do, they will have no option but to kneel in front of me. The only question, really, is how long it will take them. And it’s not as if even this matters. After all, it’s not as if I’m not having a ton of fun in the process.”
The Apache was half the way down to her when Sienna changed her mind and shot upwards instead. Her palm, which had been mentally holding the helicopter now got in physical contact with its underside, as Sienna rested its weight on her elegant arm and kept raising, pushing the chopper up as if its ten tons had not been there.
“This will be interesting!” she thought as she kept on rising, the Apache following her motion as she ground started to look farther and farther away.
Sienna was not being too forceful, but soon her rate of climb was unlike anything the Apache or any other aircraft would have been able to achieve. The trees started to look further and further away and the fire she had caused soon looked like something unimportant. She pierced the clouds with her sight as she kept on rising, smiling as she saw the battalion of tanks she had heard charging towards the position she had held at snail’s pace. The rotor had stopped turning long ago, the thin air of the higher layers of the atmosphere unable to feed the engines. Sometime later, Sienna felt the effects of the lower air density too, but could easily correct them by breathing in a bit harder and letting her lungs gather the oxygen in her surroundings.
“I still need to breathe,” Sienna reflected, remembering Angela Larkin’s words and twitching her nose at the potential weakness as she kept on climbing.
The air started feeling chilly a bit later, but nothing she could not manage. It was the time to look up and see the frost forming in every inch of the helicopter she was holding. She pushed it a bit more, the view of the ground now not unlike what she would have got from a low orbit satellite. Sienna wondered just how high she was. She could not be entirely sure, but she also doubted anything man had ever made had been able to fly this high, if one forgot about the limited spacecraft that had been put in orbit.
She decided she was high enough, so switching to a mental hold over the helicopter, she let go and “flew” to its front. She wondered how long ago the pilots had died. All that remained of them were two frozen statues in an anguished position.
“Oh,” Sienna said out loud, the force of her lungs enough to transmit the sound despite the very low air pressure. “I should have made some intermediate stops to check the effects” she muttered to herself.
It was too late for that now. Not having any better idea, Sienna just gabbed the nosecone of the Apache end tossed it up. She did not measure the force; the helicopter ended up stabilizing in a low orbit.
Sienna was about to fly back to the ground, eager to meet the new challenge the army had sent against her. She had climbed a couple of miles down when she stopped and decided to give a try to the latest idea she had had. Zooming into the incoming tanks, Sienna took general notice of the twenty-four dots first and then zoomed in a bit more to see their individual shapes and the dirt clouds they were causing as they charged.
The idea sounded a bit stupid, but after all, she had accomplished, Sienna felt it might even have some chances of success. So, choosing one of the tanks at random and balling some spittle behind her lips, Sienna pushed them out and spat in its direction.
She had put as much initial momentum to the spit as she had been able to, which in her new condition meant quite a lot. Her saliva was way denser than it had the right to be and did not dissolve as it pushed down at high speed. The bonus started soon after when the force of gravity combined with the initial velocity and accelerated her discharge at an increasing pace.
The results took more than a minute, an eternity in Sienna’s new perception of time and space. The truth was that even with her super-sight, the effects felt less spectacular than what they probably had been from twenty miles above the ground. The lack of sound was probably the one to blame. Still, as she zoomed in, she had to acknowledge that she had achieved quite more than she had been looking for. Not only had her target tank been crushed by her casual action, but the area around it had exploded and formed a massive crater, making the closest two panzers to topple on their sides.
“They are probably still wondering what hit them!” Sienna thought proudly, realizing about the potential for destruction she had just discovered.
The superwoman remained idle in the stratosphere for a while, pondering whether to hit some of the remaining tanks from above. She realized that she could finish them all without even moving an inch, should she want to. She did not, in any case. The helicopters had been fun and Sienna hoped that the tanks would prove to be a good source of entertainment as well.
Just the realization that she could have dealt with an army battalion from the clouds made her superhuman nipples harden in pleasure, fighting her Zylon clothing with more vigor than any of the weapons that had been shot at her.
“I truly am a goddess,” she thought as she started a quick descent to the location the tanks were heading to, which was the one she had been at just a few minutes ago.
Major Thompkins had more information than his colleagues in the Apaches when he led his battalion to meet the woman. He still could not believe ninety percent of what he was being told about the foe they were about to meet in the battlefield, but even if he just chose to guide his actions by the ten percent that was somewhat credible, he knew that they were about to face a battle they were hardly ready for.
He had his orders, in any case, and Colonel Sanders had been very explicit about the importance of stopping her or, in the worst case, slowing her down.
The radio had been mostly silent for a while, after the initial questions from his company leaders about the reason why the colonel was mobilizing twenty-four M1 Abrams battle tanks in American soil in such a rush. Once he had given them the proper explanation, all he had heard through the common channel had been the usual instructions to adjust positions within the formation.
And then, all hell had broken loose.
“Echo Two is gone! Echo two is gone!”
“Echo three! We’re hit! We do not have traction. I repeat, we do not have traction!” another rushed voice came.
“Echo one! We’re hit too!” a colder tone came through.
“Oh my God! There’s a crater! What was Martins hit with?”
“What are we up against? Where is the air support?”
Thompkins was trying to get his answers in the tactical screen, but he did not find any. Just then, the ground exploded in front of him. And, as the dirt settled, he could make the silhouette of a woman standing in the middle of a crater that had not been there just an instant before.
“Are you the new toys they sent?”
A woman’s voice, sounding both cold and arrogant, pierced through the armor, the loud rumble of the diesel engine and his headset. It was hard to believe that it could have come from the woman standing a hundred yards ahead of his Abrams.
A quick zoom with his targeting camera showed him ad tall and voluptuous blonde woman, dressed in tight black clothes that made her exuberant figure very evident. Thompkins did not waste too much time admiring it, though. Instead, he just focused on the smirking face and recognized the features he had been sent in the profile.
“Get ready to fire!” he urged his men.
The woman did not even flinch as Thompkins heard the hydraulic loading system bringing a 120mm piercing round to the main cannon, that was already pivoting to center the woman’s relatively small target into its crosshairs.
Thompkins intellectually knew about the danger the woman represented, but seeing her slender figure and sitting inside sixty tons of armor it was hard to feel really threatened.
“Fire!” he commanded.
The shot was loud, the recoil making the entire tank shake, as usual. He had taken a last look at the foe an instant before giving the order, feeling some strange unease as he saw her smiling while she kept her hands at her hips as if waiting for him to do something.
It was soon evident that it was a hit. The explosion, just in the spot where the woman had been standing, was unmistakable. Thompkins could not conceive that this was not the end of it. He had been in Irak and seen a single shot of his Abrams rip a T-72 open. It was hard to find scenarios where tank battalions like the one he commanded were needed, in the modern warfare. But whenever they happened, Thompkins knew that nothing could rival a battle tank in destructive power.
The smoke cleared soon enough and for the first time, Thompkins realized that the information he had been given about the enemy he was facing might have been true. A shiver ran down his spine, and he realized that it was not out of the cold. His last thought before suffocating in the intense heat was about the intense red glow in the woman’s eyes.
Sienna had decided to make a show of her entrance in the battle zone, so rather than slowing down, she accelerated before landing in the stretch of the field just ahead of the tanks. Along with her increased mass, this generated enough momentum to make sure she would not go unnoticed, the explosion she caused on impact equivalent to a cruise missile.
As she became more used to her powers, Sienna had grown an impatience in front of the limitations of the humans she faced. By the time she noticed the first reactions to her presence, Sienna had already precisely mapped the location of the twenty-three remaining tanks, including the two that laid on their sides unable to move as a consequence of her spit.
The armored vehicles looked entirely different from anything she had faced so far. Where the attack helicopters had presented an interesting balance of firepower and nimbleness, there was no doubt that the war machines in front of her had been designed around the concept of sturdiness and raw power.
By now Sienna was so convinced of her overwhelming superiority over anything else in the world, that it barely made a difference, but still, she realized that the tanks represented a chance to stretch some of her powers differently.
She was getting bored at their slow reaction, so she teased them to push them a bit.
“Are you the new toys they sent?” her voice filled the plains around her for miles.
The lead tank seemed to answer to her taunt, and she saw the long barrel of its cannon rotate and move down, aligning itself with her. Sienna smiled and kept her position, arms akimbo, waiting for the attack. She was curious about its nature.
She had to acknowledge that the shot was loud, probably impressive for anyone that would have been just a tad more worried than her. She slowed time down, but not too much, just enough to see the shell heading towards her in a straight line and to realize that it was quite larger and heavier than any projectile she had been shot so far. The missiles were a different type of animal, in her mind.
The shell was headed straight to her stomach. She could have stepped out of its way, intercepted it or even blown it away. Sienna did nothing of that and, as everytime she was attacked with a new weapon, she just waited for it, eager to assess its relative power and to see it breaking unsuccessfully against her superiority.
The results were curious. The heavy shell impacted her flat tummy much like an oversized 9mm bullet, starting to fold on itself when it could barely dimple her skin. Sienna was almost waiting for it to ricochet off her when something else happened. The explosive tip came right after the penetrating nosecone failed to do its job. The blast that ensued was quite equivalent to that of the first Hellfire missile the choppers had fired at her and that had ruined her boots, but it felt somehow different. If Sienna had been asked to describe it, she would have probably said that the tank shot had felt funnier, even if this was too broad a term.
The Zylon resisted the attack admirably. Her surroundings did not, letting Sienna know about the supposed power the shell had had. The crater she was standing on widened as dirt was shot in every direction.
She had not expected anything else, but still, her utter invulnerability to what had to be the army’s heavy hitters sent a wave of pleasure along Sienna’s anatomy. She moaned as she waited for the dirt cloud to settle, and pondered about what to do with the attackers.
One of the advantages of the army having sent so many was that she would not run out of tanks while she still had ideas!
For the first offender, she decided to resort to what was already becoming a classic. It was hard for Sienna to choose which of her new and amazing abilities she liked the most, but being able to project massive amounts of energy through her eyes was certainly among her favorites. This was not the main reason for her to make use of it, though. The fact that she had been shot at was proof enough that the commander of the battalion she was facing did not have a clear idea about whom he was dealing with. So, Sienna was determined to bring everyone up to speed in a spectacular way.
Her eyes started glowing as she built pressure behind them, accumulating enough energy to light a small town over many months. She loved the fact that she had such a mastery of her new powers as to precisely choose how to use each of them. In this case, she released the energy carefully, hitting the tank with a bright an intense beam, taking care of not overdoing it too soon.
Sienna was not interested in making the tank burst in an explosion, even if she was pretty sure she would have been able to. Instead, she decided to cook the fools inside that had thought that a puny shell would be enough against someone like her.
Her hands never left her hips as the tank’s armor started glowing, its temperature raising over a hundred degrees first, killing everyone inside as it reached two-hundred degrees and going on for well over a minute before the heavy steel plates started melting.
Sienna was happy for the recharge back at the power plant since her energy supply seemed limitless right now. Seeing the massive battle tank melt into a puddle was impressive even for her, so she guessed that her message to the rest of the group had been clear.
A couple more shots heading her way let her know that she had been successful. Sienna smirked as she switched her heat vision off and let the shells hit her as ineffectively as the first one had. This time she did not wait for the dirt to settle before she started her swaggering advance towards her foes.
It was quite obvious from their reactions that they had no clue about what to do. It was likely that the crew she had disintegrated had been the one in command, and even if it had not, she guessed that it would not be easy to coordinate tactics against someone like her.
Smirking, Sienna decided to add to the confusion.
She turned her right palm upwards as she kept advancing and then moved it slightly up. A hundred yards back, eight Hellfire missiles she had carefully kept were lifted from the ground by an invisible force and started soaring towards her as she guided them with her mind, her hand directing like an orchestra conductor.
A slight movement of Sienna’s fingers made the Hellfires rise higher as her mind picked their targets. The two tanks that had just shot at her were amongst them. She received a couple more shots while she advanced. Besides shrugging them off, Sienna used them to add two more targets to her list. The remaining four were selected at random.
“You have grown too used to your toys” Sienna addressed them in her unnaturally powerful voice. “You have become so accustomed to your gadgets that you’ve assumed that having them makes you powerful. But you are weak creatures that can only create stuff that will hurt other weak creatures. Your weapons are useless against a superior being like me. There is only one thing they are worth for!”
As she finished her threat, Sienna sent the eight Hellfires raining on the targets she had chosen, hitting them from the top, in their weakest spots. The explosions were spectacular, the missiles proving her that they had been properly designed and that the only reason they had not been able to hurt her was that she played in a different league.
Eight Abrams burst in flames as Sienna let her laughter boom for miles. When the closest tank charged for her in a clear attempt to run her over, it was almost too good to be true.
The superwoman stopped on her tracks, waiting for the despairingly slow vehicle to approach. It gained momentum as it did, but still, Sienna was tempted to close the distance to it herself. She did not, and she was grateful for it afterward.
Her arm shot forward an instant before the Abrams reached her, stopping it on its tracks. Sienna’s slender arm did not even flex as her delicate palm started to close, fingertips digging into the thick armor as if the tank had been made of clay.
Sienna smiled. Then, she started raising her arm, easily carrying the sixty tons of armored steel with it. She had already been expecting it, but feeling how the most ponderous foe she had faced yet felt close to weightless made Sienna revel in her power once more. She kept raising her arm until she had tilted the tank ninety degrees, holding it over her head.
“This is what real power feels like” Sienna boomed as she effortlessly kept the tank in place. “You need machines to fly, machines to do the heavy lifting, machines to kill each other. This is so primitive!”
As she finished uttering the words, Sienna flicked her wrist, shooting the Abrams at an impossible speed. It hit square into one of its battalion mates, both vehicles collapsing into each other before their ordnance was compressed too much and sent them into a spectacular explosion.
The chaos amongst the ranks of her enemies was evident. She was not attacked for a while, and the remaining tanks seemed to be debating between keeping the fight or fleeing. It was not as if it mattered, of course.
Sienna kept moving, swaggering towards the Abrams that was closest to her. Its commander seemed to make his mind up at the last minute since the engine rumbled louder and the tank started heading towards her. She did not even stop, coordinating her movement so that she could draw her right leg elegantly back and kick the armored vehicle on its underside as it was about to ram her.
Sienna could not help but moan as the Abrams was shot like a football, quickly clearing the rest of the battalion and landing on its turret about half a mile away.
“Honestly guys, I expected you to be tougher!” Sienna mocked as she headed towards her next victim.
An elegant hop brought her on top of its turret before the crew could react. Sienna then crouched and dug the fingers of both hands into the thick steel plates, the metal barely slowing her down. She then brought her hands apart, effortlessly dragging the armor like a curtain and exposing the three men inside.
“Hello,” she said with a smile as the hardened soldiers looked up in terror. They could barely scream before her eyes lit and turned them all into ashes.
Sienna did not waste time hopping off her latest victim and rushing into a spot with a concentration of four tanks. She did not slow down as she swatted the tanks with graceful gestures of her arms, sending them flying in random directions, some of the vehicles spiraling on themselves as they did so.
“It’s so easy,” she muttered with satisfaction. She was already used to it, but the feeling of being able to obliterate just anything she was faced with was still exhilarating.
Their weakness was only matched by their stubbornness, she thought, as yet another tank that was right ahead of her increased its engine output and moved towards her at full speed, even if to Sienna it still looked like a snail’s pace.
Much like the Apaches, the tanks had also started to become uninteresting, so Sienna thought on just dealing with them quickly and continue towards the base. She changed her mind in the last minute, extending a palm and stopping the charging panzer, her mind easily overpowering its engine.
Sienna smirked as she heard the motor roar while the caterpillar unsuccessfully dug the ground. Her palm then turned upward and the 60-ton Abrams started to lift, following her hand’s motions.
It was time for the final move, the final test of the extent of her mental powers. Sienna’s fingers started to close, working as an invisible transmission belt of her mind’s strength into the tank. Its armor started denting and Sienna smiled as she kept coordinating fingers with brain to crush the M1, much as if it had been held by a cruel giant’s hand.
The initial exhilaration quickly gave way to some doubts as the unexpected happened. After everything she had been able to accomplish, Sienna was practically expecting the tank to crush like an eggshell. It did not. And for the first time in a very long time, the superwoman felt something she had already forgotten about: resistance.
Sienna had unconsciously known that her mental powers, while awesome, were not at par with her physical ones. Back after her first exposure to the comet, she had been able to easily lift a car with her hands while her brain was barely able to move a spoon. Her strength had become so unfathomable after her second dose of the rock that she had not yet found a match for it, and even her weaker mind force had been able to overwhelm any challenge it had met easily. Until now.
Sienna had no problems to hold the massive weight of the Abrams a few feet in the air using only the power of her brain, but to her surprise, she was not able to crush it as she had intended and with the ease she had expected. For the first time since she remembered, Sienna strained herself, her fingers closing an additional half-inch, matched by loud groaning sounds coming from the tank as the thick armor dented visibly. Her groan, clearly audible, indicated the effort she had to put behind the action. It was such that it required the unthinkable. She had to stop for an instant to recover.
Frustration rose quickly inside her. Her ego, as limitless as her power was deeply hurt. And it demanded her to act. Sienna knew that there were hundreds of ways she could easily dispose of the tank. A kick, a shove, a melting glance or a freezing kiss would take care of it with the casualness she had taken care of everything else that had crossed her path. She was tempted to do any of those.
And then, her ultra sensitive hearing tuned into a few of the conversations that were going on in the area. The screams of the terrified crew in the tank she was holding mentally were replaced by the radio communications of what remained of its squadron. Tank commanders had been sharing their disbelief at her lifting one of them only with her telekinetic powers at first, but the latest exchanges moved from the initial surprise to speculation about her physical distress. Apparently, her face was showing the effort.
Sienna’s ego could not take it and reacted in the only way it could. Her shriek would have deafened anyone a thousand feet around her when she closed her palm and the tank hovering in front of her collapsed on itself, balled into a heavy mangle of armored steel by a sudden surge of brain power.
Sienna moaned as she panted, as satisfied at having achieved what she was after as she was concerned about the effort, it had taken. She felt , and something similar to pain as the remnants of the tank dropped into the dirt with a loud thud. When she instinctively wiped the underside of her nose and saw the bluish fluorescent fluid she now knew was her blood, all the alarms inside her head went off.
She felt drained, and for an instant, she feared that she would drop on her knees. The physical depletion was not the primary cause of Sienna’s anxiety, in any case. Having found her limit was. In the end, she had defeated her foe, but it had taken her close to a boundary she did not know existed before.
Angela Larkin’s words resonated in her head once again. She was not immortal. She was a living creature. She was not human anymore, she was something else, something extraordinary. But she could still die… and she still had limits.
Her next yell was not one of pain, but one of rage. Her eyes lit more intensely than they had ever done before and Sienna projected a fraction of the vast power she possessed without any restraint. The change in temperature was instantaneous and made grass hundreds of yards around her catch fire as the uncontrolled beam of red energy hit the closest tank and melted it as if had not been there. Sienna did not even switch her heat vision off. She just turned her head, looking for a new victim as her eyes kept shooting the energy equivalent of a tactical nuke.
Sienna screamed in rage as she scanned her surroundings, turning them into a wasteland as she turned every remaining tank into a puddle of lava.
The meadow where the battle had started looked closer to the crater of an active volcano by the time she switched her heat vision off, panting once more. Curiously enough, this time it was more out of satisfaction than fatigue, the massive quantities of energy she had used having apparently replenished her more than they had worn her out.
It all was psychological, of course. And Sienna was aware of that. She saw no problem in that, in any case.
“I may have limits, but there is no way mere humans are going to be able to get even close to them. I may be mortal, but in what refers to Earth and its people, I am as good as a Goddess!”
Sienna was eager to prove her words to herself. With her surroundings effectively scorched, there were no enemies to confront, though. Once more, her superhearing gave her the answer. There was no one alive to see her vanish. Only another being with her same sensorial abilities would have realized that she had actually shot to the sky.
The smoke columns became easy enough to see when they were still five minutes away from Bixley base. Captain Barnett’s home base of Trenton had been asked for urgent help and had dispatched the squadron of F-35s that he led.
No matter how many times the Colonel had insisted and no matter how many images of her he had seen on their swift way to their destination, Barnett could still not believe that the cause for the signs of destruction in the distance could be a lone woman.
Not until she showed up right by his cockpit, at least.
Sienna had accelerated as much as she had been able to in order to meet her new foes as soon as possible. Once she did, she had to slow down considerably in order to match their sluggish pace. This was, of course, her first rush of power. If the tanks she had just taken care of were supposed to be the Army’s bruisers, she knew that the fighter jets she had just caught up with were the pinnacle of the United States military technology. They were supposed to be fast, nimble and pack a considerable punch.
As she closed the distance with the plane she had identified as the leader for the squadron, Sienna felt the adrenaline rush of the impending fight with a new foe and the pride of her own superiority.
Sienna had never been too interested in military technology, but she was pretty sure that the dark gray planes she was chasing were supposed to be invisible to radar. She couldn’t have cared less, her eyes and ears way more effective than any gadget a foreign army could put in place to detect approaching jets.
From the fact that the fighters had not changed their path, Sienna deduced that she was invisible to radar too, which of course, was to be expected, considering that despite her extraordinary abilities she was, in the end, made of flesh. Not concerned about remaining undetectable, Sienna resolved the situation by flying much closer to the leading plane and matching its pace barely a few yards to the right of its cockpit.
She had to remain there a few seconds before the pilot turned his helmeted head and noticed her. The helmet did not allow Sienna to enjoy his expression. She could soon feel his reaction as the plane abruptly changed its path and dove down and to the right.
“God, how childish” Sienna muttered to herself.
Her mind, which powered her own flight, was way more powerful than the fighter’s jet engine. Also, being a reactionless drive, it allowed her to react almost instantaneously. And so, it was piece of cake for her to match the jet’s movement and stay close to its cockpit.
When the pilot looked back at her, Sienna winked an eye and blew a kiss, making sure she was soft enough to rattle the plane but not to blow it out of the sky.
After the frustration with the tank, this felt great, Sienna thought as she kept easily matching the attempts at dodging her from the fighter’s pilot.
The familiar feeling of slugs deforming on her back and bouncing of her took her out of her playful mode and made her frown. The offender was easy enough to find. Sienna turned on herself with the grace of a synchronized swimming champion and headed for it.
She did not even stop as she flew straight through its fuselage, the comparatively flimsy metal tearing apart much easier than the heavy armor of the tanks. With one foe down, Sienna lost her playful mood and went back to business.
The rest of the squadron scrambled, but Sienna hardly cared. Choosing a plane at random, she accelerated towards it, only slowing down when she was just a few feet behind its exhaust, unconcerned by the incredibly high temperatures of the jet engine.
She pushed her lips out and blew, focusing on cold rather than strength. A couple seconds later the engine cut and the plane started its inexorable dive towards the ground, twenty-thousand feet below.
The pilot ejected soon after, but Sienna took care of a couple more planes with her heat vision before diving and heading towards the characteristic form of the parachute.
The pilot reacted with incredulity as Sienna matched his descent, barely a couple of yards in front of him, and looked at him with disdain.
“You know the problem of needing a machine to fly?” she asked. Not waiting for him, she answered to herself: “You are so damned helpless when you don’t have it!”
Looking upwards, Sienna pushed her lips out and blew at the canopy of the parachute, stopping the descent at first and letting out a strong gust of wind later. The man’s direction was immediately reverted, his body dragged upwards by the parachute at a much higher speed than the one he had had when descending. Sienna had not been especially accurate, but she was pretty sure the climb would not finish before the air temperature got way below what a mere human could sustain.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a missile hitting her square in the back.
The air to air missiles turned out to be quite milder than their anti-tank cousins. Sienna guessed that they were designed for nimbleness rather than punch since after all, the planes they had to bring down were nothing too sturdy. Of course, it would not have made a difference even if she had been hit by a bunker buster. Still, being hit was always annoying, if only by the fact that someone had thought that she could be hurt.
Finding the fighter that had shot the missile soon enough, Sienna flew for it right away, only to find that a second fighter had decided to use the chance to chase her. It was chasing her!
When the slugs of his cannons started to randomly hit her, Sienna decided that enough was enough. A plan cannot dead stop in the air. Sienna could. Unable to react to her, the plane flew straight towards her unmoving body. It was quite worse for the aircraft than for Sienna, its pieces still raining down by the time she re-engaged in her own chase and added a little bit of speed to it to make for the lost time.
A little bit more speed and she was flying underneath its fuselage. Sienna was not even straining when she got a bit closer and rested her palm on the underside of the plane. It was easy enough to find another of his comrades and to let her amazing mind process its speed and trajectory.
The pilot never knew what had happened, but when Sienna shoved his plane, it shot like a missile, hitting the target she had chosen in the precise spot she had selected.
She had to admit that she was having fun. After the frustration of her last attempt with the tanks, the casual show of power she was putting together with the fighters was reinvigorating.
Sienna flew through two more planes, getting inside one through its exhaust, and blew two more out of control with casual bursts of her super breath. Almost without noticing, she was down to a single foe, the original fighter, the one that had led those she had so casually finished.
The grayish plane was now flying back in the direction it had come, apparently trying to get back to its base. Sienna would have been upset if it had not been so easy to catch up with it. She was in the mood for something special, so rather than using any of her abilities to destroy it, she just “landed” on its back, resting her bare feet on the cold metal and walking along the fuselage with the ease of someone walking down the sidewalk.
The pilot must have noticed her presence, since he started a series of loops and barrels to try to send her off. It was, of course, to no avail. At some point, Sienna got upset with the games and curled her toes downward, denting the metal first and taking hold of it later. Her toe grip was enough to take control of the planes’ trajectory, her own flying overriding the maneuvers of the pilot and keeping the jet in a straight line.
Once the pilot realized about the futility of his actions and gave up, Sienna smiled and resumed her walk to the front of the fighter, straddling its nosecone with the grace of a ballerina.
Then, when the pilot thought the situation could not get any more freakish, Sienna reverted her flying powers and easily overcame the plane’s engine, stopping it dead in the air.
The F35 was designed so that it could sustain vertical flight if needed. To do so, the engine’s power had to be redirected to a nozzle on the underside of the fuselage. This nozzle was active now. And yet, the plane was staying in position in the middle of the air, neither moving backward nor forward, held by the strength of a gorgeous woman’s shapely thighs.
Sienna gave the pilot enough time to recover and then proceeded to dig her fingers under the glass canopy and to rip it out of the fighter, exposing him to the high-altitude air.
“You guys were more entertaining than I thought!” Sienna said with a smirk.
When the pilot reached for his sidearm, she just rolled her eyes and opened her legs, letting the F35 drop like a dead weight. She followed its descent for a while, almost expecting the pilot to eject. When he did not, and the plane crashed into the ground with a loud explosion, Sienna forgot about it and let her mind go back to her mission.
She was surprised to find out that she was almost as far from Bixley as she had been when it had all started. Apparently, air dogfights tended to use more space than any of the other fights she had been involved in so far. Still, it was easy enough for her to pierce the clouds and find the base some twenty miles away.
Knowing that she should waste no more time, she moved towards it at full speed. It was time for her to get rid of the last remaining threat on her uncontested rule. Once that was done, the world awaited.