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The Ms. Wonderous Pageant

Written by Randomgold :: [Saturday, 22 May 2021 02:24] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 22 May 2021 09:35]

The camera showed a large sportscaster desk with two people sitting at it. One was a man in his mid 30s. He was tall and handsom, dressed in a well pressed suit. He gave the camera a classic TV smile. His co-anchor seemed to be the main focus of the camera though, and there was a good reason for that. She was a blonde bombshell of a woman that camera, or rather, the cameraman, absolutly loved. The woman was in her mid 50s, but she did not look a day over 25. She wore a neatly pressed suit witha neckline just low enough to show a tantalizing hint of cleavage. Not that she needed help calling attention to her impressive assets.

“Hello and welcome back to the 32nd annual Ms. Wonderous Pageant.” The man said. “For those just tuning in, I’m Dan Malloy, and with me is six-time Ms. Wonderous winner, Vicki Redding. The pageant so far has been an amazing display of power and beauty from these amazing young women.”

“That’s right, Dan.” Vicki said. “All of them put forth an excellent show, but now we’re into the finals, where these ladies can show what they can really do.”

“Well, seemed like they did a pretty good job of that in the previous rounds.”

“Oh, trust me, Dan, what you’ve seen so far has been just the tip of the iceberg. All the women made it this far have been using only a fraction of their power. Now that we’re in the finals, they’ll be putting it all out there.”

“I see. And is this a normal tactic in these contests?”

“Of course. Anyone who goes all out in the early rounds isn’t finalist material.”

Dan nodded his head, accepting her answer. “So, Vicki, in your professional opinion, which of the five finalists has the best shot? And how do they compare to you?”

Vicki purse her full, red lips. “Hm, tough to say on both counts. Like I said, since these five will have been holding back so much, I can’t really say. Besides, even we don’t get the full data on them until they perform.”

“That’s right, we don’t even know what they’ll be doing, do we? So you really can’t make any estimations?”

“None at all. Although, I will be very surprised if any of them are able to surpass me in some way.”

Dan was not surprised she was so confident in that. Vicki had held a spot in the top ten strongest people in the world for decades. The woman was known to work out with aircraft carriers.

“Of course. There’s a damn good reason nobody has ever won more times than you.” He said.

She smiled and winked at the camera. She raised one of her arms and flexed. A small but noticeable swell showed itself under her suit. She only flexed for a few seconds, but Dan wondered how many men viewing the contest would have trouble standing. The music in the stadium rose before he could say anything.

“Ah, it looks like the finals are ready to begin. So, what can we expect from this round?” He asked.

“Several very large, very impressive displays of power. Now, keep in mind that when I say ‘power’, I don’t just mean physical strength, although that’s certainly one of the biggest displays we’;; see from these amazing young women. Very few will actually focus on raw strength, and will be using a wide variety of other powers that are just as, if not more, important than their physical abilities.”

“I see. Quite a difference from the previous rounds. And here come the ladies now.”

The announcers looked at the screens hidden in the desk, showing the stage clearly from several angles. All five of the women were incredibly beautiful, with figures no normal woman could ever hope to match. Dan could not help but compare them to his co-host. It was hard to tell how she stacked up to the younger women, since all of them sported figures to die for.

The host was speaking, so both announcers were quiet, knowing their cameras were still running. He gave a brief intro to each woman, who would step forward, wave to the audience, and then step back in line. Once that was done, all of them went backstage to get ready. The turn order had been randomly selected beforehand, and Dan and Vicki were just getting it then.

While the intros were going on, they did as much searching as they could, which was not much. Just enough to do their jobs. And then, it was time to start the show.

“Looks like the first finalist is 23 year old Sakura Greene, from New Hampshire.” Dan said.

As he was making his introduction, Sakura came out onto the stage. She was a young woman with Asian features and a face of almost doll-like beauty. She was several inches shorter, and a bit slimmer than the other finalists, but she still had a figure that would stop traffic. Her pure white one-piece swimsuit clung to her slender curves like a second skin, and her elegant legs seemed to let her glide across the stage. Her breasts were smaller than the rest, but that did not mean they were small by any means, and her perky C cups no doubt made a few men’s throats dry.

“She made quite the impact on the viewers.” Dan finished.

“That’s right, Dan. The internet exploded when she came on the stage. No matter what she does here, she’ll have some die-hard fans waiting for her the world over.”

“Especially with the energetic display she put on in the last round.” Dan said, playing attention to the display and his own memory.

Sakura had made several objects glow and float around in a very intricate way. Many of those objects had been made of steel, all of which she had bent into shape with her bare hands. It had been a very pretty show and was at odds with the screen that said her power was solid form energy manipulation.

“Really? I thought her display was fairly bland.” Vicki said. “I’m fairly sure it was the ease she performed with that got her into the finals, rather than the display itself.”

“It definitely seemed like she was holding back quite a bit, to the point she wasn’t even using her powers correctly. Let’s see what she can do when she does things properly.”

Sakura bowed slightly to the audience, a small smile on her doll-like face. Her vibrant almond shaped eyes scanned the audience for a moment, right before the loud rumbling of powerful engines filled the area.

“Seems like we’re going heavy right from the get-go.” Dan said as five large military tanks rumbled onto the stage.

“Tanks have always been used in these contests, since they represent something most people know is tough and heavy. A good benchmark vehicle to use. If you can’t destroy a tank, you probably don’t belong in the finals.” Vicki said with a nod. “And they do lend themselves to some remarkably creative displays for a wide range of powers. Let’s see what Sakura has in store for these.”

The now decommissioned war machines ground to a halt and the people driving them got out. The young beauty walked around them, checking out the sturdy armor. Dan knew that the audience was getting some information before the display began in earnest, and decided to add a bit verbally.

“Say, Vicki, what does hard form energy manipulation mean?”

Vicki thought for a moment before answering. It’s a very rare form of energy manipulation. It allows the user to form solid objects out of an as of yet unclassified energy type. To put it is very simple and very unscientific terms, she can make matter out of energy, to a limited degree. It’s a versatile and effective power. I’ve seen it only a handful of times, and the users always manage to keep me guessing. I look forward to seeing what she can do with it.”

Sakura was moving. She brushed her long, silken black hair behind her shoulder and hooked each of her arms under the front of two of the tanks, one in each hand. Then she lifted. The tanks rose smoothly into the air, the slender young woman seeming to have no difficulty lifting them. Dan saw his co-host nodding her approval of the casual display of strength.

The half-Japanese woman easily threw both of the tanks high into the air, sending them well over the top of the open air stadium. She extended her hand and a beam of golden energy lanced out. It traveled fast, quickly reaching almost twenty feet into the air. Once there, a flat disk extended outwards, forming a platform the tanks crashed into. The young super woman grabbed and threw the remaining three tanks onto her energetic platform. She did not seem to have any trouble supporting all of them at one.

Sakura slowly lowered the platform until her hand touched the energy, then she cut off all support. She held all five tanks with her one hand and a smile on her face. Her free hand came up and dozens of discs of energy formed around it, each one a different size. The discs began spinning, turning each one into a powerful saw. They moved in perfect coordination with each other, flying up to the vehicles she held so easily. Then the blades began to really move.

Each one cut through the dense metal like paper, shredding and slicing the tanks to ribbons. Vicki let out a low whistle as the two announcers watched the show.

“Now that’s something else.” She said.

“Oh? I thought you said destroying a tank is the benchmark for a finalist.”

“I did. But this isn’t just destroying a tank. Look closer. She isn’t just cutting them into random pieces.”

Dan had his monitor zoom in. Sure enough, there was purpose to each cut. Each saw seemed to have a different purpose. Large blades made large, deep cuts, while smaller ones cut small pieces off, making details and patters in the metal.

“Controlling a large number of energy constructs isn’t easy, even for large, simple actions.” Vicki said. “She controlling dozens of them with remarkable accuracy, while simultaneously using her physical strength. I can’t imagine how much training she had to have done to be able to do all that.”

Sakura was not done though, even when all the tanks had been cut up to her satisfaction. The blades stopped spinning and reshaped themselves into three pronged claws, similar to what were in various claw games. Each one plucked a different piece of metal off the platform and arranged the, into a pattern. The metal was then guided to the woman controlling them.

She pinched the metal with her free hand, fusing and molding it together like a master sculptor working with clay. When she was done, she presented a metal flower to the audience. She then scanned the audience again, and apparently found what she was looking for. The flower was guided to a very pretty young woman, who seemed overjoyed when the sculpture was dropped on her lap.

Vicki frowned when she saw that. She huffed and clicked her tongue.

“Something wrong with what Sakura just did?” Dan asked.

“Depends on who you ask. It’s a new thing that’s come up in recent years. They call it marking. The finalists will pick out an audience member they like and somehow mark them for later attention after the pageant. I do not approve. If you want to meet a member of the audience, then do so after the show has ended, not during it.”

“I don’t see anything wrong with it. That woman certainly seems happy.” Dan said. He almost wished he could be down in the audience himself, but he put those thoughts aside. “And it doesn’t really hurt the finalist’s display, does it?”

“Well, no, not really. I just don’t like it is all. When I was doing the pageant and saw a fellow I liked, I would not interrupt the shot to go flirt. It seems undignified to me. But I suppose if they can work in into the show, it’s not technically a bad thing.”

While they were talking, Sakura was making more steel flowers. These were larger, more complicated, and more detailed than the first one had been. She even formed them into large, elaborate bouquets that she set gently around the stage. When she was finished, she was standing in a garden of steel. With her sculpting done, she gave a slight bow to the audience and judges. She then used her energy constructs to gather the floral sculptures and used her hands to mash them all into a ball larger than she was. She easily carried it off stage as she left.

“So, what did you think about her performance, minus the marking thing, of course?” Dan asked.

“Hm, a good all-around display.” Vicki answered. “While the raw power she put forth was nothing special for this level, her control and precision were amazing. That alone is worth some major consideration, and is what will give her a real competitive edge over the others. Now, that being said, I think her biggest problem was that she did not make use of her looks.”

“Oh? I wouldn’t have thought that was important here.”

“A common misconception. The Ms. Wonderous Pageant is still a form of beauty pageant. Now, just being beautiful doesn’t mean much on this stage. It’s how they use their looks that matter. In fact, it’s almost as important as how they use their powers and is just as hard to get right. Sakura looks great, but she didn’t make use of that fact. She’ll have to hope that the way she used her powers will make up for that. Which, considering just how difficult what she did was, is surprisingly likely.”

“Ah, I see. Well, well see how she compares to the rest soon enough. Here comes the next finalist, 25-year-old Kaitlin Jones, from Texas.

While Dan was talking, Kaitlin bounced onto the stage. She was tall, with a perfect tan to compliment the golden pigtails she wore her hair in. But most men in the audience were not focused on her hair, or her gorgeous, freckled face in general. Her red bikini struggled to contain her wildly curvy figure, and especially her massive F cup breasts. Her long legs strode out onto the stage, where she twirled around slowly a few times, blowing kisses to the audience and making sure everyone could every inch of her jaw dropping curves.

Dan took a deep breath and continued speaking. “She’s garnered quite a few fans as well, although they aren’t quite as vocal as some others.”

“I can imagine.” Vicki said. “I’m fairly sure most of her fans aren’t showing their affection on easily accessed sites.”

“She definitely does know how to use her looks, that’s for sure.” Dan said as he watched the young blonde bounce on her heels, much to the delight of the male half of the audience.

“Yes, I just hope that’s not all she has. If I recall, her main display in the first round involved super breath, an interesting but rarely used ability. In fact, it’s normally seen as a side effect of the super strength most of us have instead of a separate power.”

“Well, it looks like she’s not really using super breath. She’s using…” Dan’s brow wrinkled as he read her power. “Variable breath weapon? What does that mean?”

“Vicki looked just as confused as he did. “I’m not really sure, actually. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of that on.”

“Really? Do you think it could be a unique power?”

“Probably not. There are a lot of super powers in the world, and the number of truly unique powers is thought the be in the single digits. It’s more likely she has a rare power that I simply haven’t heard of. After all, I never made the claim that I know every power in existence.”

“True enough. Honestly, it sounds like something a dragon in a fantasy game would have.” He laughed lightly. Then looked at his co-host. “You don’t think—”

“Maybe. But I don’t think so, at least not really. Fire breath is a well-known power, and surprisingly common. If she has that, that’s how it would be listed. Let’s see what she does.”

Kaitlin waved to someone offstage. Groups of large, muscular men walked on. Each group consisted of six men, and each was carrying a single plate of a dark metal between them. All of their impressive muscles were straining against the weight of the metal. The plates did not look that heavy, each one being about three feet to a side, and a foot or so thick. Large enough to be hard for one person to handle, but six large men? There was definitely more to them.

“Ah, I see.” Vicki said. “Those are made of an artificial metal called gravitonium. Very heavy, very dense stuff. I worked with it a lot during my pageant days. Looking at the size of them, I’d say each plate is around two, maybe three tons.”

“That’s a lot more than I though they’d be.” Dan said. Now he was amazed that each plate only took six men to move. Each one must have been quite a bit stronger than their size would suggest.

When the men finished walking on stage, there were ten plates in total. Kaitlin walked over to the first group with a noticeable sway to her voluptuous hips. Sher reached down, proudly showing that it was not just her chest that was very well developed, and lifted the gravitonium plate with one hand like it was nothing. She then hugged each of the men, one at a time. Each man left the stage with a smile on his face, for a variety of reasons. Dan wondered what a hug from her felt like. Maybe during the after-pageant interviews, he could find out.

The blonde repeated this with each group of porters. By the time she reached the last one though, she was not smiling as widely as she had been, and it looked like she was having some difficulty handling all the plates. She even had to use bother her hands once she had all ten stacked up.

“Looks like she’s having some trouble there.” Dan said.

“It does, doesn’t it? That puts her on the lower end of super strength. At least for this contest.”

“Is that going to be a problem for her?”

“Hm, maybe. It depends on how well she can use her primary power. Strength is, after all, only one of many factors the judges look at, and there have been quite a few winners who could barely lift a small car. She just has to make her main display spectacular enough and she’ll do fine.”

Kaitlin moved the edge of the stage and set the stack down before removing two plates from it. She went upstage and placed them about five feet apart, carefully setting them upright. Then she ran back and did the same to the rest, scattering them around a bit before running to the other side of the stage.

She took a deep breath. Dan could almost feel the collective will of every man in the audience trying to make her bikini top burst. Alas, the clasp was sturdy enough to hold. The blonde blew. A fierce torrent of wind sped towards the nearest plate. The woman had to be standing around thirty feet away from the super dense metal, and yet the force of her breath was enough to send the metal flying. Kaitlin kept blowing, sending the metal well off the stage, where it impacted the heavy barrier in front of the audience. That was over fifty feet from where the blonde stood.

She was in no way done though. She stopped blowing and took another breath. This time when she exhaled, a stream of bright orange flame shot from her mouth. It traveled almost as far as the wind has, hitting a single plate. The metal began glowing red, and Dan could see pieces of it starting to melt.

“What’s the melting point of gravitonium?” He asked.

Vicki was already looking it up. “About 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s some serious heat. And yes, the first display was true super breath. Normal super breath comes entirely from the lungs, and doesn’t last very long. Hers lasted much longer, and was considerably stronger than what can be explained just with strong lungs. But there’s something else here. I can’t tell what yet. Something about the spread.”

The second gravitonium plate had melted to slag, and Kaitlin was already taking aim at a third. This time a column of air so cold that jagged shards of ice formed as it traveled. When she had completely covered the plate in ice, she moved on. The fourth plate was blasted with bolts of lighting as intense as what came from the sky.

“Well, at least we know what her power means now.” Dan said, watching her blast another plate with a green could that dissolved it in seconds.

“Ah! I get it now!” Vicki exclaimed. “I knew it was something with the spread. Breath weapons are not known for their accuracy. They usually take up a wide area, and don’t have much distance. But Kaitlin has focused her breath weapons into a much narrower area. This allows her to have a longer range, and most likely, more power. I would imagine she can also fill quite the area if she wanted to though. She might even be able to get an even more focused spread if she wanted.”

“And I take it that’s not easy to do?”

“Not at all.”

Kaitlin went from plate to plate, each time using another kind of breath weapon. When she was done destroying the last plate, she took one last breath. This one seemed much gentler than the others been. It still managed to reach the audience though. The air current swirled around one of the young men there. The tall, well built man had a dreamy look on his face and his eyes fluttered. Even the people around him seemed to be affected by whatever Kaitlin was doing to a lesser degree.

“I don’t think that’s normal air she’s using, is she?” Dan asked.

“Probably not.” Vicki said curtly.

With her marking done, Kaitlin went to retrieve what metal she still could. She picked up one of the more intact pieces and considered it for a moment. She tossed it into the air and exhaled. The breath she chose was one she had used earlier: A beam of bright white energy that had vaporized the metal. This was much narrower though. It looked almost like a laser beam was coming out of her tightly pursed, very plump lips. The beam sliced through the metal like butter.

She bowed low, maybe a little too low, and skipped offstage. Various people with heavy equipment came out to clean up the metal she had left.

“So, was that sufficient enough to make up for her relatively lower strength?” Dan asked.

“I admit, it was quite spectacular. Having ten different breath weapons is quite impressive, and all of them showed a remarkable amount of power and accuracy. Breath based powers aren’t usually know for their raw power, and are seen more as area based abilities. But Kaitlin showed some serious power, and a degree of control rarely seen is such abilities. On top of that, each one was quite spectacular to behold, and really gathered a lot of attention.”

“Plus, she made use of her looks quite a bit.”

“That she did, Dan. That she most certainly did.”

“So, of the two we’ve seen so far, which has the better chances?”

“Hm, tough to say. Sakura showed greater physical strength and control of her abilities, while Kaitlin made better use of her looks and showed more power overall, as well as respectable levels of control. It depends on how each judge weighs each aspect of the women’s displays. But that could all go out the window, since there are still three more finalists left.”

“Speaking of which, here comes out the next finalist.” Dan said. “She’s the oldest lady today, 28-year-old Shawna Freedman, from New York.”

The woman who came out had an odd effect on the audience. Normally, there was cheering and other assorted sounds. But when Shawna came out, there was an odd silence hanging in the air. The woman was only slightly shorter than Kaitlin was, although her heels put her about even with the previous finalist. Her long legs carried her across the stage in a way that almost made it look like she was gliding. The golden one-piece swim suit she wore contrasted perfectly with her ebony skin, and looked as much like a fine ball gown as it did a swim suit. It still clung to her spellbinding curves, and was cut low enough that her generous D cups formed quite a bit of impressive cleavage. Her short, well kept black hair trailed behind her in tight braids, and her deep brown eyes scanned the crowd as she moved.

Vicki’s eyes were glued to the scene, and she was watching even as she gave her commentary. “I was very surprised to see this one in the finals.”

“Oh? Why is that?” Dan asked. “Did she do something of particular note? I admit that I don’t really remember much of her display in the previous round. And from the looks of things, neither do a lot of others. There’s some buzz about her, but not nearly as much as the other finalists.”

“Maybe for you and the viewers. Her display was a little lackluster visually. But I remember it very well. In fact, I don’t even need to look to know what her powers are. She’s a vocal empath.”

Dan looked at his display. Sure enough, her powers were listed as vocalized empathic control. “How did you know that?”

“Mental powers like telepathy and empathy are very rare in this pageant. They lack the flare and spectacle of other powers. Most don’t even make it passed the qualifiers. So, when an empath makes it into the pageant proper, that’s worthy of notice. And when that empath makes it all the way to the finals? Well, that really gets my attention.”

“Huh. Makes me wonder what she’ll do. She’s alone on stage, which is an oddity for someone with her power set. Although, it does look like she has a microphone. What do you think?”

“I don’t know. But it’ll probably involve the audience in some way. Looks like she’s about to start.”

Shawna had reached the center of the stage. She raised the mic to her bee-stung, dark lips and began to sing a wordless song. Her voice echoed across the stadium, and what a voice it was. Nobody present had ever heard a human being sing like that. Each note rang like a well-tuned instrument, perfect and harmonious. And each note carried something with it. Everyone who heard her song felt a crashing multitude of emotions. Happiness, sadness, anger and more. Every emotion possible swirled through the minds of everyone present in a perfectly tuned mental dance. Even those in the announcer’s room were effected. Dan felt his chest tighten and tears started to trickle down Vicki’s cheeks.

When Shawna stopped singing, she looked around at what her emotion manipulating song had brought. She did not look satisfied. She took the microphone and snapped it in half like a twig. Then she started singing again.

Even without electronic aid, her voice carried through the entire stadium perfectly. Every single person heard her like she was right next to them. And the emotions that the notes brought forth were far more potent, and more varied, than they had been. Pure love and deep desire swirled around utter hatred and longing sorrow. Pure joy moved in and was replaced by incredible ecstasy, only to be moved aside by the deepest longing. Every member of the audience needed her like they needed nothing else before. She could have ordered them to do anything, and they would have done it.

All she did though, was jump. It was a tiny motion, just a light flick of her slender ankles, and she was airborne. She arched through the air, projecting a long, clear note that filled the audience with awe, for a number of reasons. She landed in front of her mark, a seemingly ordinary man with features that could best be described as forgettable.

She gently lifted the man out of his seat, even as she kept singing. She stopped her song long enough to give the man a soft, gentle kiss on the cheek. She resumed her song and effortlessly jumped back onto the stage. The man fell back in his seat with a dreamy smile like he had just had the best night of his life plastered onto his face.

With that done, Shawna’s song ended. She gave a small bow, and then walked offstage. Nobody spoke. The entire place was silent as the minds of those in attendance calmed themselves from the emotional cocktails that they had just been given. When the announcers began to recover, Dan felt his heart beating a mile a minute and a faint sheen of sweat coated his face.

“Well, that… that was something.” He said, still breathing heavily.

“That, uh, that it was.” Vicki replied, equally flustered. “That’s… that’s not going to be easy to follow. Although I definitely see how she made it so far.”

“You think we might have just seen the winner?”

“It’s a strong possibility at this point. The raw power needed to manipulate thousands of people at once is nothing to scoff at, and, well, you felt what she did. The woman is masterful at what she does.”

“I’d think she falls a little short on strength though.”

“At first glance it does seem that way, doesn’t it? After all, breaking a piece of plastic and jumping far isn’t much. But singing with enough volume to fill this place? That takes more physical power than most people thing. Strength is more that just how much you can lift, you know.”

“I see.” Dan said, nodding. It was mostly for the viewers though. He was not sure how super strength resulted in a super loud voice, but he would have to trust her judgement. “So, what about the rest of her performance?”

“Like I said, I think she has a real chance at winning. Now, technically she did a lot of things wrong. She almost ignored her looks and her use of strength was difficult to understand. But the sheer spectacle of her performance, as well as the power and control she showed more than make up for the weaker parts of her show.”

Well, even if she doesn’t win, she’ll have quite the career as a singer in store for her.”

“Indeed. I’d be surprised if she doesn’t get at least five record deals out of this.”

“Probably before she leaves the stadium.”

Vicki nodded her agreement. She knew what that was like. She had gotten offers from a wide range of industries in her pageant days and was often bombarded before she left her dressing room.

“It looks like the next finalist is already coming out.” Dan said. “Seems like the crew didn’t have much to do aster Shawna’s performance, so they sent out the next lady quickly. We’re going from the oldest to the youngest finalist. Here we have 20-year-old Rebecca Harper, from right here in Beverly Hills, California.”

The young woman coming onto the stage wore a fairly regular pink, frilling bikini that on most women would be relatively modest. But on Rebecca, it was practically a lethal weapon, especially the lower half. Her breasts were only slightly larger than Sakura’s, but she sported tear jerking curves, and a rear end that would make men weep with joy. The platinum blonde woman wore a smile that seem off somehow, despite the incredible beauty she possessed.

“Oh dear.” Vicki said. “She’s nervous. I hope she doesn’t let that get in the way of her performance.”

“How can you tell?”

“Just look. Really look at her. She’s a bundle of nerves that’s putting on a brave face.”

Dan watched closer. Rebecca walked with a much stiffer gait than the others had, and her bright, emerald-colored eyes flashed around the audience like the motions of a hummingbird. Plus, he saw a few beads of sweat start to run down her smooth, tanned skin.

“Well, can you blame her? She’s the youngest lady to make it to the finals since, well, your first appearance.”

“That’s true. And that’s why I know exactly what she’ feeling. I felt the exact same thing she is now. Hopefully she loosens up once her display starts.”

“Well, the viewers are certainly cheering for her. I think she’s getting as much attention as Sakura is, and all of it seems to be trying to cheer her on.” Dan said, giving a quick check of his screens. “And I bet her first-round display helped with that. It was quite the spectacular show, filling the air with diamond dust and guiding it in an elaborate routine.”

“Dust isn’t the limit of what she can do. Looks like her power is crystal generation and control. That’s similar to Sakura’s ability, but with a unique type of crystal.”

“That would do it.” Dan read a few more pieces of information. “Looks like hers are almost identical to diamond in appearance, but quite a bit harder. She can make a killing with those, just in the jewelry market.”

“Actually, no. They’ll only last for around four hours. Which is actually quite impressive. All powers that involve the creation of matter have a time limit on how long their material lasts, but most can only handle an hour or two. So four is very good. I can’t wait to see what she does with her diamonds.”

Rebecca had reached the center of the stage and was looking around. She turned and looked more. A look of sudden horror appeared on her face and she ran off, moving far faster than a normal human could ever hope to.

“Now what was that all about?” Dan asked.

“I have no idea.”

The young blonde appeared less than a minute later, this time dragging two massive blocks of steel behind her, each one resting on wheeled platforms. Each block was around thirty feet tall, and half as wide. Rebecca pulled them with thick chains that had been attached to the platforms. She quickly wheeled them onto the stage, seemingly unconcerned with the weight.

“Ah, I see. Looks like she forgot her display.” Vicki said. “First time jitters indeed.”

“I take it those are steel, instead of something more solid?”

“Looks like it. I wonder what she’ll do with them.”

Rebecca lifted the blocks off their platforms one at a time, although it was obvious she did not need to do so, even to Dan. She did, however, grab them by the bottoms, bending at the waist as she did. Dan could almost feel the men in the audience suddenly crossing their legs.

Once the blocks were on solid ground, she squatted down and jumped. She easily cleared the top of the first block. She closed her brilliant eyes, took a deep breath, and placed her hands on the block. Nothing seemed to happen.

“What is she doing?” Dan asked.

“I… I don’t know.” Vicki admitted. That’s not something that happens very often in the pageants. Whatever it is, I can safely say it’s not what I was expecting.”

Rebecca finished whatever she had been doing in less than a minute. She jumped to the top of the second block and repeated the process. The audience was muttering their confusion. Apparently, none of them could figure it out. The second block took a few seconds longer to finish. Once she was, she hopped off, acting like she had just fallen five feet instead of thirty.

She moved to the side and ran her fingers over the smooth metal. She apparently found what she was looking for and slammed her slender hand deep into the steel. It was then that Dan noticed something. The way the camera glinted off the metal.

“Wait a minute. I think I get it.” He said as he watched Rebecca dig her other hand into the block. “I think I know what she’s doing.”

“Oh? Do tell.”

“I don’t think those are solid blocks. I think they’re hollow. I think they might even be molds.”

“Could be. But to fill a mold of that size so quickly would be far faster than any other matter generator. It would take incredible, almost unheard of levels of power, and even then they probably wouldn’t be very sturdy.”

Rebecca began easily tearing through the metal. She created a gap, ripping it away like it was wet clay. Soon, she revealed a small area of shimmering diamond. She continued to rip and tear until the mold came apart on its own. The statue was a highly detailed, very well made representation of a well-known person.

“Huh, well I’ll be.” Vicki said “A statue of Ms. Wonderous herself. And a damned good one too.”

As the crowd applauded the likeness of the pageant’s founder and popular super heroine, Rebecca moved to the second mold.

“You know, I met her once.” Vicki said.

“Ms. Wonderous? Really? Do tell.”

“It was just after my first pageant appearance. I didn’t win, of course. I was too young and inexperienced to do that. But she must have seen something in me, and came up to give me some words of encouragement, and bit of advice.” Vicki sniffed, and Dan swore he saw a tear forming in her eye. “I thought that was something she did for everyone. That it was just something a woman like her did. I found out later that I was the only one she talked to directly. It’s why I kept going. Why I kept practicing and training myself until I was able to win when I was only a few years older than Rebecca is now.”

“Ms. Wonderous really was an inspiration to many supers, wasn’t she?”

“She was. Oh, let’s see who Rebecca made the second statue of.”

Rebecca was just finishing the process of freeing the second statue. This one was just as well made, but drew a much different response. Overly dramatic boos and hisses filled the air. Just as the first statue was of one of the world’s most iconic heroes, the second was of one of its most infamous villains. The sneering visage of Dr. Demise was one everyone knew to have nearly ended the world several times, and was still considered one of the most genuinely evil people that had ever lived.

“Ah, a display of opposites.” Dan said. “An interesting choice. Hopefully she does something with them.”

As if to reply to his words, Rebecca dashed off again, this time coming back with a very large gun. The heavy weapon looked like it could fire bullets large and powerful enough o pierce tank armor and was probably designed for two people to use at once. The slender young woman had no problems with it.

She took a deep breath to steady her nerves and opened fire on the statue of the villain. Bullets rang out, the sound of gunfire almost as powerful as Shawna’s voice had been. Rebecca emptied the magazine of high caliber bullets, then waved the nearest camera over. The camera in question zoomed in until it could clearly see the surface of the statue. It was completely unharmed.

“Now that’s impressive.” Vicki said. “I wasn’t sure how stable those statues would be, considering how quickly she made them. I wasn’t expecting them to be that durable though.”

Rebecca tossed the gun away and went to the statue she had just fired upon. She grabbed it by the base and lifted it just a few inches off the ground, allowing her to reposition it so that it was across from its more heroic counterpart. With that done, she went to the Ms. Wonderous statue and ran her hand almost reverently along the smooth surface.

She took hold of the base, this time using only one hand, and lifted the grand piece of art over her head. Vicki seemed to like that quite a bit, enthusiastically nodding her approval. Rebecca carried the statue to the other and reared back, bringing the statue into a position to swing it like an oversized club.

With a superhuman swing, the statues met. It was no contest. The statue of Dr. Demise was completely demolished. Large chunks of diamond-like material flew away from the heavy impact, scattering around the stage. Some smaller pieces even reached the audience. Fortunately, they were small enough that nobody was hurt, although several people did scramble to gather the crystals up, even knowing they would soon disappear. For those still watching, nobody could tell what the fate of the other statue was, thanks to the thick cloud of diamond dust that swirled around the stage.

Then, like a glittering curtain, Rebecca parted the dust, showing the statue of Ms. Wonderous, still in her hand and still in one piece. In fact, it was completely undamaged. The audience showed their appreciation for that particular bit of theatrics very enthusiastically. Rebecca seemed unsure of how to react to that.

She chose to do so by simply smiling and waving one last time and then rushing off, taking the statue with her. A moment later, she popped her head out from backstage and the chunks of the destroyed statue rose slowly off the ground. The floated backstage, leaving the stage clear for the next finalist.

“Well, that was certainly quite the display, short as it was.” Dan said.

“Oh yes, definitely. That young lady had nothing to be nervous about. And I personally appreciate the fact that she didn’t bother with the whole marking nonsense the others did.” Vicki said.

“I bet.” He could also guess there were a lot of men in the audience who did not like missing out on the chance to have been on the receiving end of such a mark, but he did not mention that. “So, than that little omission, what do you think? Does she have a chance at victory?”

“That’s an unfair question. All the finalists have a chance. That’s why they’re finalists. It’s all up to the judges. But if you’re asking whether I would vote for her had I been a judge? Now that’s a little trickier. Her display was a little shorter than the others, which won’t do her any favors. And her nerves kept her really taking advantage of the audience’s attitude. That being said, what she did do was very impressive. Making statues that large and durable in such a short time is not easy. It would have been much better had she not used those molds though.”

“Do you think she did that to better show her physical abilities, or for another reason?”

“Probably a little of both. If it was just a pure physical display, she could have done the same thing with gravitonium and it would’ve had a much bigger impact. A show of strength was definitely a part of it, but I don’t think it was the main reason. Rebecca probably sacrificed a lot of control in order to produce those statues. Had she made them without the molds, it probably would’ve take a lot longer.”

“And you keep on saying how important control is here, so a lack of it is probably not going to help her chances, it is?”

“Definitely not. I don’t think she’ll win this year, but if she applies herself and works hard, she’ll be an even bigger contender for next year’s pageant. Of course, just because I think that doesn’t mean the judges agree. She did do quite a bit right. She played off the audience reasonably well, and she showed a level of power worthy of being in the top ten matter creators.”

“Dan let out a low whistle. “That’s impressive. Will you be giving her some advice after the pageant? Soft of paying Ms. Wonderous forward, as it were.”

“I just might do that. We’ll see if she needs it though. There’s only one finalist left, after all. Although, with what we’ve seen, she’ll have to make quite the display to remain competitive.”

“Well, let’s see what she has in store for us. Looks like she’s already heading out. Here comes 23-year-old Mary Hawkins from North Dakota.”

The red-haired woman striding out onto the stage definitely gathered some attention, especially from Vicki. She was just as beautiful as any of the others, and with the figure to match. Her bright green bikini barely covered her large DD breasts, and did just as little to hide curves that were almost on the level of Kaitlin’s wildly curvy figure. But it was her muscles that made her stand out. The woman was ripped. Not large, really, but all her muscles were easily visible, standing out in stark relief from the others.

She wore a huge smile on her lovely face and proudly flexed her peaked biceps and washboard six-pack. She turned, hitting a lat spread that nearly gave her wings. The audience loved every bit of her show.

“It’s easy to see why Mary is the only finalist that has a following from before her pageant appearance. She’s quite popular among fitness enthusiasts, and for good reason.” Dan said. “But even without knowing what her fans think, it’s easy to see what her powers are.” He glanced at the screen, seeing exactly what he thought he would. “Yup, she’s a physical specialist, just like you, right Vicki?”

He looked over to his co-anchor. Her eyes were wide open, and she had an almost manic grin on her face. He swore her entire body was slightly large than it had been. She was tensing her own muscles, hidden under clothes. Dan cleared his throat, which seemed to snap her out of whatever had been happening.

“Looks like you’re excited to see someone following in your footsteps, huh?” He prompted.

“Oh, uh, yes. Yes I am.” She said, maybe a little too quickly. It was her turn to clear her throat, and regained some of her professionalism. Dan noted that she kept her eyes on the display a little closer than she had for the other finalists though. “It’s good to see, you know? Pure physical types don’t make it to the finals nearly as much as I’d like.”

“True enough. I guess her showing in the first round was enough. I think she did something with rocks, didn’t she?”

“She stacked a large number of boulders and lifted them.” Vicki confirmed. “I wasn’t sure that would be enough to get her into the finals and am pleasantly surprised to see that it did.” Something flashed on her screen, and she continued. “Of course, it helped that they were not pure stone, and contained a large amount of gravitonium. That was probably what pushed her display into being worthy of the finals. And with that knowledge, I’m very eager to see how she ups her game here.”

Maybe a little too eager, Dan thought. Before he could say anything else, a large rumbling filled the stadium. Two massive construction super dump trucks lumbered out, each with a bed filled to the brim with a familiar dark metal. They moved at a snail’s pace, both from the towering size of the trucks themselves, and their overloaded cargo beds. Mary smirked at the size of them.

She did not wait around for them to take their place on the stage though. Instead, she jumped. She soared over to the audience, landing in front of a man and woman who looked to be a young coupe. Mary sat between the stunned people, held her arms out in front of each of them, and flexed. She pumped her arms a few times, smiling all the while. The man almost reverently placed his hand on her arm. The woman followed suit a moment later, a deep blush forming on her pretty face. The three of them stayed like that for a few seconds until Mary stood and returned to the stage. The trucks had only gotten around half way to their destination.

She gave an exaggerated yawn, and tapped her foot, making a big show of waiting for the slow-moving vehicles. She then took matters into her own hands. She went up to one of them and climbed up to the cabin, speaking briefly to the driver. The truck lumbered to a halt, and the engine turned off. The second truck followed suit a moment later. The drivers climbed out and went back to where the trucks had been housed. Once they were gone, Mary reached under one of them.

She felt around for a moment and then began to lift. The massive truck rose slowly unto the air, held aloft by one of Mary’s arms. She carried it easily to the other, where she effortlessly lifted the second. She carried them to the far side of the stage and set them down.

“Well, that was impressive.” Dan said.

“It was.” Vicki said simply. Her eyes were open wide and glued to the screen in front of her. “But it looks like she’s not done yet.”

More trucks, equally overloaded, were emerging from their hiding place. Instead of waiting, Mary went and, once the drivers were gone, carried the two new trucks next to the first. This repeated several more times, until the stage was full of the massive trucks. By the time they stopped, there were ten of them, each carrying a full bed of gravitonium. Dan could not even guess how much weight was present on that stage. So, he asked.

“Oh, I’d say it gets to around a thousand tons, give or take a few.” Vicki answered. “Although it could get as high as two thousand, depending on how heavy those trucks are. Not sure what she’s going to do with that much though.”

Dan noticed his co-anchor leaning forward slightly, and gripping the desk tight enough that cracks were starting to form in the dense wood. He turned back to his own screen. The red headed super woman was on the ground in front of the stage, and was running her hands along the tiny space between them.

She hooked her hands under the stage and began lifting. Much to his surprise, the stage started rising off the ground. And it was not collapsing from the weight of it.

“Uh, what’s the stage made out of again?”

“Of, you don’t need to worry about it breaking. It was designed to be sturdy. Unlike most stages, this one is solid, and is made of concrete, steel, and gravitonium. It’s very strong, and very heavy. In fact, it probably weighs around the same as what’s on it.”

Mary slowly lifted the huge, multi-thousand-ton weight up and over her head. She then began walking her hands along the bottom as she moved under it. She stopped when she had reached the middle, where she turned and waited for the cameras to find their focus on her. When she was sure she was in full view, she took one hand off the stage and placed it on her hip.

She began pumping the stage up and down, showing how easy the feat was for her. Then, she went one step beyond and lifted one of her long, powerfully built legs off the ground, and began doing one-legged squats with the stage. She did ten seemingly effortless reps with the huge weight before she finished. And, considering the cameras showed she was not even breathing hard, it was not because she was tired. She simply run out of time to do more.

Mary walked herself out from under the stage and set it gently to the ground. She jumped back in the stage, and with one last quick flex, began carrying the trucks back to their waiting area. When it was clear, the display finally ended.

“Well, she’s officially very strong.” Dan said. “I suppose that’s to be expected from a specialist though, right?”

“That right.” Vicki said. She was breathing harder than normal, and her eyes were open wide.

“What do you think? Do we have another candidate for a top ten position on her power category?”

“Possibly. That bar for top ten strongest is a bit higher than matter creators though, since it’s a much more common power. But she gave a good showing, and it probably going to be tested for the position later.”

“That would put her in your category, wouldn’t it?” He asked. Vicki’s eye twitched slightly.

“I suppose it would, wouldn’t it?” She said. Dan immediately regretted asking. He could still try and make sure nothing bad happened though.

“So, what do you think of her performance? How did she do?”

“Very well. She made excellent use of her looks, perhaps more so than anyone else except maybe Kaitlin. And she displayed some serious power. Control isn’t really a factor on pure strength types, unless it’s by interacting with normals and not hurting them, which she did not really do. That could end up costing her a bit, but maybe not as much as it would for other power sets. She more than made up for that oversight with raw power. She was clearly not anywhere close to her max, and yet she was still lifting more than most specialists could ever dream of lifting.”

“That’s impressive.” Dan said. “Another, uh, strong contender it seems. The judges are going to have a tough time choosing a winner from these five young powerhouses.”

“Indeed they are, Dan. It could take some time. These judge deliberations can take anywhere from one to ten minutes. I suspect this year, we’ll get somewhere on the higher side.”

“I see. I’m sure the finalists are anxious to hear the results, as are our audience. But, both will have to wait.” He turned to face the nearest camera. “We’ll be back once the results are determined.”

The signal was given, and the cameras were shut off. The crew began mulling around and talking, mostly about the pageant and their individual favorites. All five had their fans among the crew. Dan turned to the woman next to him.

“Are you—”

“I wouldn’t lose.” She snapped.

“Uh, what?”

“Against that last one. There’s no way I’d lose to her.”

“I… I didn’t—”

“Just because she’s younger and her muscles are a little bigger doesn’t mean I’m weaker. I’m just as strong as I was when I competed. There’s no way I’d lose.”

“I… believe you?”

“Good, because it’s true. And I still look just as good as any of them. Here, I’ll prove it.”

“I… I don’t”

It was too late for him to object. Vicki had already started taking off her suit jacket. She tossed it aside and began taking off the shirt she wore under it. Everyone in the room was staring at her, and for good reason. She did indeed look just as good as any of the younger women that had been on the stage, even though she was old enough to be their mother.

Her large DD breasts were contained by a lacy white bra, and remained almost criminally perky. Her amazing curves and perfectly toned muscles would make a fitness model green with envy. Vicki proved that even more by tightening her toned six-pack abs. She flexed her incredibly fit arms, showing off her relatively small but powerful biceps.

She shoved her flexed arm in front of Dan, who was getting nervous for a variety of reasons.

“Here, feel this.” She demanded.

Dan had little choice but to obey. He placed his hand on her arm. Her bicep was smaller than his, but felt far more solid. It was like she had a ball of warm steel under her smooth, soft skin. He squeezed, but his meager human strength had no chance against her superhuman muscle. Her hand lashed out and grabbed his shift. She easily lifted him out of his east and over her head.

“See? I’m still strong.” She said, with perhaps a little too much enthusiasm. “Does anyone have a metal bar or something? I’ll bend it.”

Some of the crew members began looking for her order. After a few moments of scrambling, someone managed to find a reasonably thick metal pipe. Vicki clicked her tongue, since she had been hoping for something solid. But she still accepted the offered piped and set Dan down. She took the pipe in both hands and did just what she said she would. She twisted the metal around like string for a few seconds before mashing it into a ball and tossing it away.

“More.” She demanded. “I need more!” She flexed her arms proudly. “These muscles demand more.”

“Vicki, we’re in an announcer’s booth, not a super gym.” Dan said, trying to placate her. “There isn’t anything more. Definitely not anything that can challenge you. Tell you what, how about after the pageant, once we’ve done all the interviews and wrap up and all that, we can go someplace where you can really cut lose. We can even invite Ms. Hawkins to come along. That way you can prove that you won’t lose to her. Hell, we can bring all five of the finalists, as long as they’re willing to come along. You know, really put the younger generation in their place.”

Vicki lowered her arms and thought for a moment. She huffed, but grabbed her discarded shirt and started putting it back on.

“Fine.” She said sharply. “We’ll ask them after the interviews. But even if they don’t come, we’re going. And you’re bringing a camera, just to make sure everyone knows I haven’t lost my touch.”

“Sure, sure. I can arrange that. But, uh, I think I should handle the interview with her.” Otherwise Vicki might challenge the younger woman to an arm wrestling match right then and there. And, although that would probably get some great ratings, it would take away from what they were actually supposed to be doing. “And, uh, I’d also like to interview Kaitlin, if that’s okay with you.” He was definitely going to find out what one of her hugs felt like.

“Yes, yes, that’s fine. I’ll handle the other three.” She sighed while putting her suit jacket back on and smoothing out the wrinkles that had formed. She returned to her seat and the wait began in earnest.

It took almost ten minutes for the judges to submit their choice. Dan knew the network would be playing some prerecorded vignettes on the finalists, or some tributes to historical pageant moments between long strings of commercials. Since it was all pre-recorded, he and Vicki did not have to do much. But finally, the moment came. The cameras came back on, and the moment was upon them.

“And we’re back for the conclusion of the 32nd annual Ms. Wonderous pageant.” He said. “The judges have finally reached their decision.”

“One thing’s for sure,” Vicki said, “No matter who wins, this year’s pageant will go down in history as one of the most spectacular showings we’ve ever seen. It couldn’t have been easy to pick on of those five extraordinary super women.”

“I certainly wouldn’t be able to.” Dan said with a nod.

The camera showed the five finalists coming on the stage. All five smiled and waved to the audience, ready to know which of them had won. The hose followed them on, with an envelope in his hand. He took his place center stage and opened the envelope.

It was time for the winner to be declared.

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