Superstarter, Part 7
Written by HikerAngel :: [Friday, 24 January 2020 14:52] Last updated by :: [Friday, 24 January 2020 15:35]
Superstarter, Part 7
Thanks to ChaozCloud for the original idea behind this story (crowdfunding), to ElF for all of the editing help, and to Fats and Woodclaw making the story/poll combination work. You guys are all awesome! :)
As Hannah hesitated, emotions erupted with her. Hope. Hate. Strength. Self-loathing. It took a moment for her to feel the beginning of it. Gold/silver energy began to flow from her into Serena. As she realized it, she knew the Director was discovering it through her thoughts.
She felt the Director’s influence, urging her toward Serena, while she still had the power to defeat her. A significant part of her wanted the same thing, to show her dominance over her rival. To bring Serena to her knees.
Another part of her wanted Serena to strike her down, then the Director. A part of her knew that she deserved to die.
An overwhelming flood of rage entered her mind, and her hesitation ended. She would kill Serena.
She stepped forward and put everything into her first blow. Serena raised her arms to block it, but it was too powerful, blasting right through Serena’s arms into her face. Drops of blood flew from her lip. Before Serena could fully absorb the pain of the first strike, let alone attempt to raise her bruised arms again in defense, Hannah’s other fist grabbed her raven tresses to pull her head down. A trickle of Serena’s blood dripped onto Hannah’s knee—or would have, had it not risen with hypersonic speed. Hannah’s knee collided with the underside of Serena’s jaw.
Hannah could feel the pyrotechnics exploding in Serena’s mind as she was rocked by the destructive power she unleashed. Hannah knew her strength—it was immense. The force generated by a nuclear bomb was pedestrian in comparison.
Serena’s head snapped upward with ungodly force -- only Hannah’s grip on her hair kept her from flying into orbit. Once the momentum was absorbed, Hannah released her to crumple on the ground, barely conscious.
Hannah felt her power continue to ebb into Serena and knew this had to end quickly. Or maybe that was the Director thinking. It didn’t really matter. Now that she was feeling the adrenaline of action, continuing her course felt easy, natural.
Hannah swung her long leg into Serena’s face again, the snarl of hatred on her face. It was easy to hate someone—even for no reason, even someone you liked or loved—while caught in the flow of violence, the power of evil passion. The violence fueled Hannah, ruled her. And she wanted it to. The Director’s power was barely needed now. Hannah was infected, and she took perverse delight in the taint and the power it gave her.
Her foot connected with Serena again, splitting her eyebrow and sending her careening through a dozen reallyverytoughium walls—the only things that kept her from landing miles away. Hannah reached into Serena’s mind.
Blood flowed into Serena’s brilliant green eye from the gash above. Her head pounded. She blinked flashes of light into her eyes, fighting the tunnel vision that threatened to collapse over the last of her sight. Power was flowing into her from the voters, warring with the beating she was taking at Hannah’s hands. The support that she felt from the people who believed in her kept her conscious, kept her fighting.
Hannah realized that what she had done wasn’t going to be enough. She leapt into the air and rocketed, fists first toward Serena as the shapely brunette rose unsteadily to her feet. Hannah arrived just as Serena straightened upright, her small fists burrowing deep into Serena’s unprepared stomach, a whoosh of air and the taste of bile flavoring her saliva.
Hannah pushed Serena through several more walls before Serena, despite her breathlessness, managed to plant her feet against the metal floor as her superstrong legs burrowed a metallic trench into the supposedly indestructible alloy, bringing them to a stop. Serena sucked in a lungful of air—and gold/silver power—and threw Hannah off her, sending the Golden Goddess cratering into the ground. She straightened, gulping oxygen but feeling stronger with every second. Hannah felt Serena’s gratitude for the efforts of the voters; without them, she would have been done by now.
Hannah rose as well, and the two supremely powerful women circled, eyes locked on each other, blood dripping from Serena’s lip and brow. The injuries made the ebony-haired heroine look like an injured panther, sleek, graceful, dark, and deadly.
Hannah knew she didn’t have a choice. She needed to attack. She could feel the power in her muscles wane.
She pounced, jumping toward Serena, using her power of flight to drive down into her opponent. Serena stepped to the side and used both hands to partially piledrive Hannah into the metal floor. As she struck the ground, Serena fired a blast of her laser eyes and telekinesis at the same time, electing a cry of pain from the Golden Goddess.
Serena raised her fists into a fighting stance and waited for Hannah to rise. She no longer feared the girl, her own power a match for Hannah’s now and increasing with every passing second. Time was her friend, and she didn’t really have any desire to kill or seriously injure the girl.
Hannah stood, dusting herself off, uninjured but anger fading. She found Serena’s eyes, confident and ready, contrasting with her bloodied visage. Hannah--and the Director--knew that Serena’s power was now the equal of Hannah’s. Soon, it would be superior. Hannah felt pushed to action, striking at Serena with a mind-assisted front kick.
Serena blocked most of it, but was knocked backwards a couple of steps. Still, it hadn’t affected her much, even partially connecting with her bruised stomach. Hannah stepped forward, looking to press her momentary advantage, firing a fist toward Serena’s injured eye, hoping to exacerbate the flow of blood.
Serena knocked the blow aside and smashed a thunderous counterpunch into Hannah’s cheek. It sent the blonde reeling to the ground. She followed up with a kick to Hannah’s stomach that launched her superhuman body through a few more walls before she dug in her fingers and toes to bring herself to a grinding halt. She had felt the awesome power of Serena’s foot against her torso, her hand rising to touch the tender spot where it had struck. She stepped back up to her feet, but she knew she was outmatched.
Serena had far more training in how to fight than she did. Without superior strength and powers, Hannah was unlikely to beat her. Still, she wasn’t ready to quit, no matter the odds. She had started this. She intended to finish it.
Hannah felt the Director’s influence lessen slightly and wondered why. As she stalked back toward Serena, she realized why.
Every member of the Fairness Team and Killer Kings seemed to be headed this way. Every one of them seemed to be focused on Serena, flying and running toward her at top speed. Was the Director controlling all of them? Was she really that powerful with her mental control ability?
Hannah smirked. With the help of every other super, she liked her chances against even this newly empowered Dark Justice.
The fastest of the supers caught Serena by surprise as they barreled into her. Serena stepped backward under the onslaught, distracted and surprised more than hurt by their attacks. It provided Hannah a perfect opportunity. She curled her slender fingers and unleashed a flurry of attacks against Dark Justice. Punches, kicks, elbows, knees… Hannah rained punishment on her opponent, while dozens of other supers kept distracting attacks from helping Serena recover and regain her balance.
The accumulation of attacks began to have an effect, and even the ultra-empowered Serena went down to one knee after enough powerful blows.
Hannah planted another knee against the heroine’s exposed jaw, in exactly the same wounded place that she had previously struck her. A mass of other heroes and villains held her back and arms in place, allowing Hannah to repeat the attack. Again. And again. Hannah’s knee continued to swing upwards at supersonic speed with earth-shattering force, striking Dark Justice’s already-battered jaw over and over.
She felt Serena’s mind, reeling from pain, consciousness flickering. Then, she heard it.
Serena’s voice. In her head. The Director’s influence was waning, strained to continue her control of all these other supers, and Serena was able to break through in her moment of greatest need.
“This isn’t you, Hannah. Fight it! FIGHT IT!!!”
Preparing to land a power punch that would probably send Serena into unconsciousness, Hannah paused. She felt the courage in Serena’s emotional message. She felt it--POWER, but...a different kind of power. She felt Serena’s power of will, her true strength, not the power of her muscles or super breath or super anything. It was the power of her.
Something about Serena’s courage, her strength of will, touched a part of Hannah that had been buried these past few weeks, consumed by her lust for power and fame. Hannah had always wanted to be a hero. She still could. She had killed Ultraman, yes. She had killed Siphon as well. She may have been influenced, but she was still responsible. The thought made her stomach turn.
She didn’t have to be that person. She didn’t have to follow the path she was on. There was always a choice. And she was making hers. Right now. Serena was right. This wasn’t her. Fuck the Director.
Hannah summoned every ounce of her battered willpower and cast the Director’s mind out of hers. She cast the noose of the deaths she had been responsible for momentarily away, knowing that Serena needed her. She may have failed to fight the Director’s influence twice before, but she would not fail this time, not when it mattered most. If Serena went down and Hannah couldn’t fight the Director’s influence any longer, the conniving woman would control everything. Hannah could still be a hero. She could still put a stop to this!
She grabbed a surprised Killer King and effortlessly tossed him away from Serena like a throw pillow, then a Fairness Team member. Then another. And another. Finally, she grabbed the front of Serena’s revealing uniform and hauled her to her feet.
“Holy Hell, Hannah! I was beginning to lose hope that you were going to snap out of it,” said Serena, regaining her footing as the effects of Hannah’s dozens of blows quickly wore off.
“I was kinda leaning dark side,” said Hannah with a frown. “But something about your thoughts got through to me. Your determination to fight, I think.”
A Killer King attacked Hannah from behind as she spoke, but she flung him away without breaking eye contact with Serena, without even pausing her speech.
Hannah dropped to both knees again, as she felt the Director feeling around her thoughts, pushing into them once more. The woman was so powerful mentally!. Hannah raised psychic barricades, but they were quickly crumbling under the Director’s unyielding, psychological onslaught.
Several supers got back up and attempted to once more restrain Serena, but without Hannah’s staggering strength to assist them, they stood no chance, like a swarm of ants attempting to go to war with a stomping combat boot. Serena used a long blast of superbreath to fling them miles away, unhurt, but keeping them out of the fight for the time being. Hannah watched Serena’s eyes find hers. Her brunette friend looked grim as she focused her attention on supporting Hannah against the Director.
Hannah sensed Serena pouring all of her substantial mental energy into Hannah to help her fight the Director’s influence. Serena took Hannah’s hand, her brows furrowing in concentration, sweat beading on her temples from the effort.
Hannah felt the influx of telepathic might from Serena and the two girls combined forces to push against the Director. In spite of her incredible psychic abilities, the Director was outmatched, and she knew it. She attempted to retreat, to disappear back into the shadows.
Hannah and Serena, however, were not about to let that happen. They followed the Director’s retreating mind to its source, finding, finally, the woman behind all of this.
The Two pressed into the Woman’s mind with theirs. They felt the Director’s strength, her desperation, her fury. They continued their pressure, however, searching for hole in her mental defenses. Hannah felt Serena’s will smash into the woman’s shield. Once. Twice. Three times. Serena was relentless.
The Director began to weaken. Hannah could feel it. She threw everything she had at Serena, knowing that Serena would get through otherwise. It left an opportunity for Hannah. Hannah saw Serena give her a quick nod, back in the room where their physical bodies stood.
Hannah attacked with her mind, slipping in behind the Director’s guard while she was distracted with Serena. She penetrated the woman’s brain, feeling her thoughts, consumed by a desire for power, to dominate, to rule.
Hannah shivered. The Director’s thoughts were not unlike hers these past few weeks. Further along, maybe, but similar. She could feel those thoughts rearing up in the back of her mind again, awakened by what she was feeling from the older woman. She felt a sudden surge of anger.
THAT WAS NOT WHO SHE WAS GOING TO BE!!!
Hannah raged against those thoughts, riding that anger into the Director’s mind. She surrounded the center of the Director’s mental abilities and squeezed. She was determined to crush every ounce of the Director’s power.
She felt a shriek of panic from the Director, who, until now, had been too busy fighting off Serena to notice Hannah’s intrusion.
It was too late, however. Hannah had her center of power in her mental grasp, and she wasn’t going to let go.
Hannah squeezed one last time with all her might and felt the last of the Director’s telepathic power extinguished. The woman was not dead, but she was no longer a threat. They would find her later to take her to the proper authorities.
Hannah and Serena searched around the woman’s mind, but they could feel nothing left, no remnant of her power. They relaxed and allowed their thoughts and attention to return to their bodies.
Hannah stumbled, her weak knees almost giving out from the effort it had taken to defeat their adversary, but Serena caught her in her immensely strong arms.
Hannah regained her feet and lurched forward to give Serena a huge hug.
“Thank you so much, Serena. Thank for finding me. For saving me.”
Serena squeezed her back.
“Hannah, I just reminded you who you really were.”
Hannah’s beautiful eyes darkened as she remembered, again, what she had done.
Hannah could feel Serena probing her thoughts. She didn’t try to hide them. Serena frowned, but her eyes danced mischievously.
“How’s the stomach?” Serena said.
“What?” asked Hannah, not expecting this question.
“The stomach? I got you pretty good with that last kick.”
“Pfft,” said Hannah. “Not as good as I got that jaw of yours.”
Serena rubbed her jaw, not quite fully healed.
“Yeah. Good one.” She broke into a huge smile.
Hannah was unable to help a small smile, despite her dark, whirling emotions.
“Actually, it was more than just a good one. It was more like twenty.”
“Okay. Good twenty.” said Serena, veridian eyes sparkling.
“Don’t what?” asked Serena.
“Try to make me feel better. I don’t deserve to feel better. I killed two people.”
“You killed two people under the influence of the most powerful mental super in the world. One of which, if you recall, was trying to kill both of us.”
“I-I-I...killed Ultraman,” stammered Hannah. Her stomach clenched with the words.
“Ultraman fought bravely. He died a hero’s death. If you have to leave this world, wouldn’t that be the way you would want to go? Helping to save it?”
“Damn it, Serena! I KILLED him. Don’t you understand?”
“Under. The. Influence. Of. That. Bitch!” said Serena emphatically, leaving no room for argument. “Fuck her. Don’t let her control you again with guilt.”
“Serena, I NEED to feel that guilt. I could have fought her off. I should have fought her off. There was a part of me that wanted exactly what she did.”
“And that part of you didn’t win. The good part did. When it really mattered.”
“Ugggghhhh!!!” said Hannah in exasperation.
“There. Out of words. That means I win,” said Serena with a long lashed wink of her dazzlingly beautiful eye.
Hannah hesitated, searching for something else to say. She could think of nothing.
“So here we are, Hannah. The Two.”
“Yeah… here we are,” said Hannah, still glum.
“Two heroes that just saved the freaking world,” said Serena. “One of whom is killing my whole celebration vibe because she’s feeling guilty over something that someone else did, something she couldn’t control. She keeps blaming herself, even after fighting the Director off against impossible odds. I felt how strong that woman’s mind was.”
“Whatever,” said Hannah. She could tell Serena was reading her thoughts, using the intel to make her feel better. “That’s not fair Serena. You’re snooping in my head.”
“I love to cheat! Hello? Did you not see me get through those trials?” said Serena, laughing now.
Hannah fought a smile that was threatening to break out.
“Okay, so what are we going to do now? Two super hot, sexy mega-powerful superheroines… hey, let’s pose for Ogle together! Think we can break that sales record you set?”
Hannah couldn’t hold it back any more and broke out in laughter.
“You… are… freaking… incorrigible,” said Hannah between burst of hysterical laughter.
“Who? Me? What does that mean, anyway? Something along the lines of insanely sexy? Maybe Ogle-able?”
Hannah laughed even harder, tears running down her cheeks, as she released her strong, pent up emotions.
When their laughter subsided and Hannah’s lips began again to form a frown, Serena spoke again.
“So that Fats is pretty cute? Woodclaw too. Think I could snag one of ‘em?”
“Serena, you can snag any single guy on the planet. It’s too bad Larafan is off the market. He’s the best looking one of the bunch! I wouldn’t mind going out with ChaozCloud, though. That boy seriously has it going on!”
The two shared a giggle. Serena could tell that Hannah was doing a bit better. She would never entirely let go of the guilt. That was probably a good thing. She should have some guilt. It would keep her on the right path from now on. Just not too much, as that might send her down the wrong path once more. For now, the best thing for Hannah was not to dwell.
Serena’s eyes scanned the perimeter, taking inventory of all the collateral damage from their brawl. “We kinda wrecked a little havoc on the Fairness Team compound, huh?” she joked.
Hannah’s fading smile widened again. She looked around, bending over to pick up a chunk of reallyverytoughium amidst the debris. She clenched her fist, the reallyverytoughium elicting a metallic groan as the strongest metal ever created surrendered to Hannah’s insurmountable strength. She smiled as she watched it ooze from her fingers like jello, a reminder of how powerful she still was. How powerful they both were.
“Reallyverytoughium isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, I guess,” she said.
It was Serena’s turn to laugh.
“It is. We’re just reallyverytoughium-ER,” retorted Serena proudly. She put her arm around her super friend and walked her out of the rubble into the amber glow of the sunrise.