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A Very Small Favor

Written by Furlough :: [Tuesday, 07 June 2022 09:47] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 11 June 2022 13:17]

A Very Small Favor

by FURLOUGH

Dr. Megan Byrne sat with a blank, languid expression, her hands resting atop her head, her chin planted on the edge of a cheap plastic dining table that lay littered with empty soda and beer cans.

She needed a break. But she was technically already having one; she had especially requested a few additional days she had saved up to spend on herself during this long weekend occasion, specifically so she had the chance to focus on this project.

It was something unrelated to anything she had going on at work. Computer model engineering was hard enough as it was, but she had taken it upon herself to try and take it to a new level of applied complexity in a way she had never seen anyone bold enough to attempt before. She intended to create a fully functional simulation system that would be able to reproduce the features and behavior of any group of human subjects with absolute, life-like fidelity. As a proof of concept, she set out to create such a model using her own neighborhood, or at least her own little modestly equipped suburban house and a handful more that surrounded it, as a base.

But it was so hard! The measures she had taken just to gather as much information as she deemed necessary to implement the initial iteration of her model were not exactly what you'd call entirely legal. But she needed to go that far in order to acquire as much data as she could possibly manage in order to viably achieve the desired complexity for her system. And she had come so far and done so much in preparation for the first full test, only to be met with an unexpected, unidentified error in the execution. She had been so stoked to finally see some results after all of that hard work, only to run into a brick wall in the form of a smokescreen that kept her from finally seizing her prize.

She hadn't anticipated that at all. It could be anything; some kind of hardware error, a missing comma in the few thousand lines of code she had to cook up, a minuscule hiccup in the electrical wiring she had set up. Whatever it was, it frustrated her to no end, a fact she was reminded of as she tightly gripped her mousy, greying auburn hair in irritation. Dragging herself away from the table to go and grab another drink, she thought about how it probably really was just one tiny detail that was keeping her from reaching the resolution she so desired. But it would probably take a huge amount of work to go over every component of the system to work out exactly what that detail was, just to finally be able to do what she should have been able to hours ago. It would be enough busywork to match all that she had done just to get to this point in the first place. She let out a deep, gravelly groan in desperation.

Not helping were the neighbors, and how they had apparently chosen that one of all nights to have some kind of loud, rowdy get-together. Megan was hardly able to make out what was going down on the other side of the fence that separated her house from theirs, but she gathered it was a bunch of girls in their late teens out having some kind of pool party to celebrate their high school graduation. Or something like that. She didn't particularly care, but she was reminded of how, by necessity, that very same house had ended up as part of the terrain represented on her planned initial simulation, along with all of the people who usually lived there. If only she could get it working, she thought, she might even be able to mess with the virtual representations of those people a little to give herself some much-needed catharsis.

Unable to find any more drinks in the fridge to help allay her growing headache, Megan then dragged her feet over to the living room, where the bulky prototype console for her device was kept. Hardly any of the lights in the house were on, as she calculated she would need a considerable amount of power to get her invention running. Not that it was making a difference now.

"At least I'll be able to save a little on the power bill," she muttered to herself. "But just... why... why the heck won't you work?"

She slapped the side of the contraption in frustration, though being careful enough not to touch or rattle any of the device's more delicate components. Her resolve still depleted, she let herself fall and sink into a nearby armchair. Looking up at the ceiling of her darkened living room, the little flecks of light deflected by the edges of the humble fixtures she had installed reminded her of a rather bleak and dim starry sky. She closed her eyes and sighed as she let her mind wander for a moment.

"Goddammit," she mumbled to herself, "I really wish I didn't have to put up with this stupid nonsense. Help me out... Somebody, help me out..."

Feeling her headache let up a little as she relaxed, Megan slowly opened her eyes again, being instantly reminded of her failure as she faced the same lifeless picture as before. She looked up at the ceiling once again, taking a moment for herself as she focused on the tiny specks of reflected light that shone above her. The forty-something year old contemplated the ephemeral patterns she fancied were being made by these lights, pretending that they somehow connected to form a vague silhouette. She sometimes did stuff like that when she was younger, at times when she was bored or stressed out.

But she didn't keep looking for long before she began to notice something strange. She thought she saw the luminosity of the little lights pulsate slightly with an increase in brightness. At first, she figured it had to be somehow connected with something they were doing at the party next door, some kind of flashy display that was leaking over.Arching her eyebrows upward in curiosity, she turned her head slightly off to the side so she could look out the window through the open kitchen door. But even though she stared for a few seconds, she noticed no change in the intensity of the light coming from that direction.

"Weird..."

When she turned her gaze back up towards the ceiling, she saw the light pulse again. That time, it startled her enough that she hurriedly pulled herself together and stood up from her chair. She circled around the center of the room, expecting the shining flecks to eventually darken and tell her which direction the reflected light was coming from. But no matter how she surrounded it, the light she had been staring at continued to shine just as brightly. And as if responding to her unease in this realization, it pulsed yet again.

Megan began to back away towards the edges of the room, thoroughly freaked out by now. She thought of running, thinking that maybe what she was seeing was the result of some sort of freak energy buildup about to ignite, like will-o'-wisps in swamps. But how could something like that be happening in her perfectly dry and ordinary living room? She didn't have a chance to make a decision on the matter, however, before the light suddenly grew far more intense, prompting her to instinctively shield her eyes with her arm as the luminosity escalated into a blinding flash in the space of an instant. She couldn't see anything, but she fancied she heard something like a muffled sound of arcing electricity before the tremendous light died down as quickly as it had come forth.

Taking some time to cautiously uncover her eyes, Megan took another look at the living room and found almost everything exactly as it had been a few moments earlier. Everything, that was, except for her prototype machine, where she now saw a soft, greenish glow coming from some of the LED displays mounted on the sides. The next moment, she heard a shrill beeping noise, and at once knew that something was happening with the device.

Tossing aside any sense of caution suggested by the potential danger, Megan rushed back towards the machine and began to examine it closely. The colored LEDs meant to indicate that the device was turned on and connected to a stable power source were on, despite it being plainly visible to Megan's eyes that the power cords weren't plugged into anything. Gingerly, she turned her attention to the main display screen embedded onto the topside of the machine, meant to be the main output for the device's readings and renderings. At the moment, it showed nothing. Megan turned her attention to the small input keyboard protruding from the side of the device nearest her, and pecked at a few keys in silent amazement.

Her surprise only grew when the machine reacted, with the top-mounted screen quickly lighting up and showing precisely what she had been aiming for: a computer-generated representation of her own house and those that surrounded it. Looking down upon it with wide, unbelieving eyes, Megan marveled as she finally caught the first glimpse of the fruits of her labor. Most of the display was devoted to the graphical, real-time representation of the model environment and the people within, but several smaller divisions lined the sides of the screen to show rows and columns of the tremendous amounts of data being fed and processed to make this possible. She couldn't be entirely certain that every part of it worked exactly as she had meant for it to, not yet. But just the sight of her project finally taking on a life of its own was enough to fill her with a huge, flooding joy. Her befuddled expression slowly morphed into a grin of surprised jubilation.

"YESSS!!" she shouted, pumping her arms upwards. "Yes! It works, it works!" She was hopeless to explain exactly what had happened to make such a miracle possible, but she wasn't terribly concerned with such details at that moment. Crouching down to examine her baby more closely once again, she gave the machine some additional input in order to better examine each parameter of the rapidly cycling data that defined each of the simulated humans within the virtual house model.

The overall environment seemed to represent a temperate weekend afternoon. She saw a virtual representation of herself meandering around her own virtual home, relaxing just as she would on her days off. Her expression shifted from excited bemusement to a half-scowl as her attention turned to the simulation of the house next door, the one that was currently hosting that racket of a party in reality. She spied a rendering of the young daughter of the family that lived there lounging about on one of the lawn chairs they had outside. She had seemed nice enough from the times they had run into each other, Megan thought, but she could certainly use some more self-restraint if she was okay with hosting a party as loud as that and letting it run so late.

It was then that Megan noticed something that definitely came to her as a surprise. Among the input options for that view, she noticed one she certainly didn't remember programming in herself: "Update scene".

"What's this...?"

Her surprised curiosity at the presence of the unexpected element combined with her sense of obligation to make sure every part of her system worked acceptably led her to quickly activate the function in question. Before her eyes, the monitor that showed the lonesome simulated scene of the backyard became clouded with static and distortion for a moment before the image re-emerged as something else entirely. Rather than just one girl, there was now a small contingent of them roaming about in the computerized environment. Just about as many as Megan fancied were really out there, right then. And the details of the simulation had been adjusted to show that the calculated time of day for the scene in question was just after midnight. Exactly the time it was right then, for the real Megan and the real party going on out there.

Megan's intrigued curiosity grew along with her perplexity as she began examining the technical details behind this new scene. She went over the characteristics for the individual models of each of the girls it represented. The readout showed a rapid scroll of their raw behavioral data along with various pieces of information such as age, height, weight, etcetera, as well as a unique identifier for each model that also displayed the name of the real live human person it was meant to represent. Including plenty of girls that Megan had never even heard of, and certainly hadn’t added in while designing the system.

There was just one more thing that leapt to Megan's attention; something else she definitely hadn't come up with herself. It was a tab for the general scene data, marked "Details - Custom". When she went to examine this section of the data, she found nothing but a blank text box. What she immediately noticed about it, however, was that unlike the other blocks of data for the scene, it was modifiable. Whereas the other fields had their readouts determined by the data they were being fed, it seemed as though this one could be filled in however the device's user saw fit, as though it were a blank slate for writing notes or observations.

The feeling of unease that had been washing over Megan in her helplessness to explain how any of this was truly possible grew even stronger as she made this latest discovery. Still, compelled by a force of determined curiosity far greater than any apprehension she may have felt about the situation, she brought her hands forth and put her fingers to the keys, intent on seeing what exactly this enigmatic, inviting input field was meant for...

***

Cindy looked around with a rather nonplussed expression. Everyone had been excited for the occasion, and that certainly included her, but she wondered whether they really had to take things this far. In a way, she didn't feel too worried; her parents were out of town, which meant that there was no real hard limit for how far or how late the party could go, at least until one of the neighbors called the cops with a noise complaint. She was actually fairly surprised that hadn't happened yet, especially with how much of the noise had to be leaking through to the house right next to hers. That thought led her to wonder, however, whether the woman who lived there —some frumpy odd bird coming up on her middle age— was even around. Cindy didn't see much of her, but she was partly inclined to believe that she would have come around to complain at least a couple hours earlier if she was there at all.

Still, even though she had been having a fair amount of fun, she wasn't terribly excited at the way Grace had effectively yanked control of the party from her, even though this was her own house. But that's how it always was with her; Grace was the typical perfect-looking, sporty cheerleader type who was used to getting her way from everyone. Had to be one in every school, Cindy thought, even if she always fancied that Grace would probably be a particularly high level of intensity if compared to some of the other ones.

Even now, the tall, fit blonde was standing by the edge of the pool with some of her contingent of little drone bees around her, belting out her lungs along to whatever pop power ballad was blasting out of the nearby speakers at that moment. She only managed to be on-key about a fifth of the time, if Cindy was being generous. That was Grace; larger than life, unwilling to put up with the concerns of the little people surrounding her. Cindy figured she would try to find work in Hollywood, Broadway, or some modelling circuit that was well-suited to her diva personality.

However, even though Grace and her little circle of followers were plainly enjoying themselves, Cindy suspected that she wasn't the only one who was more than a little flummoxed by the excessive energy she was projecting. Most of the other bikini-clad girls there were just hanging around, having drinks they were a couple summers too young for, and chatting about whatever. One that definitely wasn't, as Cindy noticed with a quick look around, was Hannah. She had a red plastic cup in her hand like the others, the vibrant color of which contrasted with her own creamy-white skin. The raven-haired girl was just leaning against a wall by herself, looking around with a look of mild annoyance in her sullen hazel eyes as she periodically took sips from her drink. She was pretty in her own way, Cindy thought, but she certainly wasn't known for being terribly friendly at school; Cindy suspected that she had only shown up to the party out of a sense of pressure, fearing what might be said about her down the line if she didn't go.

That sight reassured Cindy's own idea that she ought to go tell Grace to turn it down a notch. But how could she? Cindy began to feel a considerable amount of pressure herself, fearing that the boisterous cheerleader would simply spit her request back in her face, which would be quickly echoed by her retinue of lackeys, while Cindy had naught but the assumed perspective of a sour-looking introvert on her side. She wasn't exactly a wallflower herself, but Cindy certainly didn't feel like she had the confidence necessary to attempt such a feat in that moment. She considered getting herself a few more drinks, even if the alcohol in them was considerably watered down. But she feared that rather than helping, they would simply have the same effect they usually did and just make her sleepier. She was really in a pinch, feeling like she needed to act, but having no idea how to go about it, and without very many options to begin with...

Cindy looked up at the stars in the night sky for a moment, trying to clear her head. I really wish I had a way to make this easier, she thought to herself with remarkable clarity. Surrendering herself to silent resignation for the moment, Cindy began to walk over to the plastic lawn table next to the back door, where all the drinks and snacks were laid out. Crossing her arms as she took a moment to look over her options, Cindy felt something like a very faint tingle pass over her body. It startled her just enough that she quickly looked down to make sure she wasn't stepping on any of the extension cords that had been brought out for the sound equipment, but once she made sure of this, she shrugged it off just as quick.

Finally, she decided on another round of the same special that nearly everyone had been drinking: a splash of rum mixed in with a cup of peach soda. The last 3 liter bottle of soda they had been using was out, and so she reached for an unopened one, somewhat dreading the prospect of having to lift the whole thing up by herself to pour the drink. Even the way the sealed cap sometimes got stuck when she tried to open the bottles was a frequent problem for the rather scrawny girl. Still, not intent on letting something like that get in her way when she was trying to build up some courage, Cindy firmly gripped the bottle’s plastic cap and twisted with all her might.

There was a slight popping sound as the cap flew off to the side and a muted fffssshhh noise as a large volume of the foaming, carbonated liquid suddenly dripped down onto her hands. Cindy took on a look of concern as she slowly, carefully removed her hands from the twisted heap of plastic that now lay in front of her. The top part of the bottle had been instantly, inwardly crushed into a crumpled, deformed husk that continued to leak as much of the sugary concoction as was left at the top.

Cindy looked around her awkwardly, completely confused as to how something like that could have happened. But it looked like none of the other girls had caught sight of it.

"What the fuck...?" she murmured to herself.

She quickly moved to try and take the mangled bottle out of sight, but as she made to lift it with both her hands, it shot up in her grip and spilled even more of the sugary drink about. Even though most of the bottle was still full, it felt far lighter than she had expected. In fact, she fancied it weighed even less that an empty soda can in her hands. Starting to feel thoroughly weirded out now, the ginger set the bottle gingerly back down on the table, but she felt like she couldn't possibly be satisfied without just a little more testing.

After a quick glance back to make sure nobody was looking, she carefully lowered her hands and brought them up on the bottom of the table. She took a look at all of the drinks, snacks and paraphernalia that was lying atop it. Under normal circumstances, she was absolutely certain that she couldn't even hope to budge it. But these were very abnormal circumstances. Gently, slowly, she began attempting to lift.

Cindy's eyes grew wide as she let out a quiet gasp. She was certain that she was only applying a minimum of whatever force she had at her disposal; just enough, she had expected, to tense up her muscles and let her know that the weight was far beyond her capabilities. But instead, the table began to tip upward, threatening to upset the food items it held. She could only stare in disbelief for a few moments before she swiftly drew her arms back, letting the edge of the table crash back down with a blunt clatter.

That made enough noise that, finally, some of the other girls turned to look at what was happeningthere.

"Everything alright there, Cind?" one of them asked.

"Yeah..." Cindy answered, "yeah, it's nothing, everything's fine." The red-haired girl turned away from the table and set her gaze on the pool area. "In fact," she remarked to herself with a whisper, "I'd say things are more than fine, now..."

Cindy hardly understood it, but in that moment, she didn't feel that she needed to. Her walk filled with a confidence the likes of which she had never felt before, Cindy swiftly marched over to the corner of the yard occupied by Grace and her little posse, soon coming face to face with the queen bee herself. The blonde stunner took a moment away from her revelry and the overly loud music to face her host.

"Hey, red," the bombshell spoke. "Nice pad. Cool party. What’s up? Something on your mind?"

As Cindy stood next to her, she couldn't deny she really was a dreamboat, with her supple chest, lightly toned muscles, flat, subtly ridged tummy, and perfect tan. Even her voice sounded like it was soaked with seduction whenever she said something. Cindy found her confidence faltering slightly, but not nearly enough to deter her, not with the knowledge of what she was know capable of.

"Yeah, thanks, Grace," she said. "I'm glad you're all having a fun time over here. There's just one teensy little thing I wanted to ask you."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah! As nice as this party has been, I think it's probably time that we started taking it easy and putting things on cooldown a bit, don't you think? Can I ask you to turn the music down some?"

Grace merely laughed at that request, clearly amused with the situation. She didn't care much if this was Cindy's house and her party; she knew she was the school's alpha bitch, and she never hesitated to exercise that power. The lofty blonde continued to loom over Cindy's petite frame, completely unfazed.

"Well, that's real interesting Cind, but I'm afraid my girls over here and I are just in the middle of some jamming out. Why don't you go and hang out with the others some more, and we'll turn the music down whenever we feel like it, yeah?"

"Yeah... sorry Grace, but that's not gonna fly. I'm gonna ask you nicely again."

"Well, whatcha gonna do? Snitch your own party out to the cops, with all the booze around? I know your folks ain't here to go and cry to."

"Do I look like a fogey to you?"

Graced laughed again. "Well, now I'm gonna be the nice one and not answer that. But you know what, red? You're right about one thing. This shit ain’t gonna fly... you are!"

Grace leaned forward brusquely as she tried to shove Cindy, who was standing between herself and the edge of the pool, backwards into the water. But her smug expression quickly grew into confused surprise when she saw that the smaller girl didn't budge at all. Rather, it was Cindy's turn to put on a knowing smirk as she put her hands on her hips, watching as Grace made a couple more completely ineffectual attempts to push her back.

"Nah," Cindy finally retorted, "I think I'm good on that. But why don't you give it a try?"

Faster than Grace could have predicted, Cindy lunged forward and took hold of Grace's waist and tummy, flicking her wrists a moment later to send the bigger blonde girl flying back into the pool. Her surprised yelp of distress and the loud splashing sound drew the attention of all the other girls there, not the least of which being Grace's little posse, who had already been staring in bafflement for a few moments. Still wearing a smirk of absolute confidence, Cindy made a mock gesture as if dusting off her hands before she turned her attention to the sound system and lowered the volume to a more modest level.

While that was going on, Grace thrashed and wallowed at the bottom of the pool for a moment, her mind in absolute turmoil. Part of her simply wanted to instinctively get out of the water and get her bearings again, but another was completely focused on her reaction to whatever the hell had just happened. How did that little pipsqueak just do that?, she wondered. Ooooh, I really wanna get over there and give that runt a piece of my mind now. But…

Grace's rage was somewhat tempered by the assumption that she couldn't match the strength that Cindy had somehow just demonstrated, but thinking about that notion any further only served to mystify her. The blonde was hardly a fighter, but she worked hard to gain and maintain her ravishing body, and she prided herself in possessing the elegant strength of a gymnast, so for a shrimpy little nothing like Cindy to upstage her so easily seemed unimaginable. She felt a great ire welling up inside her, along with an odd tingling sensation. Taking this strange feeling as the cue to finally surface, Grace focused her efforts on propelling herself upward to the water's edge so she could take a breath.

If what had happened a few moments before had drawn stares of surprise from the other girls at the party, what happened then intensified that surprise to the point that some gasps and screams were heard. Rather than just gently surfacing from the depths of the pool, Grace shot upward and breached the water with tremendous force, sending droplets splashing everywhere. But she didn't stop there; as the others were extremely quick to notice, Grace was floating, suspended not on the water at the pool's surface, but in midair, a good six feet above the pool itself.

The girls looked on in amazement, their sounds of surprise drawing Cindy's gaze back towards the middle of the yard, then up at the flying blonde. Cindy couldn't help but go wide-eyed again, her heart dropping to her stomach with a chill, fearing that somehow, Grace had been empowered in the same inexplicable fashion that she herself had experienced.

For her part, Grace swished around in midair for a few moments, swatting around in the assumed feeling that she was still floating on the water's surface. However, the lack of splashing or the sensation of being submerged along with the sharp cold she suddenly felt led her to stop and look around herself. Her surprise was comparable to the others' when she first noticed the position she was now in, letting out another yelp of terror as she looked down upon the yard. But as she gathered her bearings more closely, her perception of the situation quickly began to change.

Carefully, she tried to move around a little, lowering herself down closer to the edge of the pool, finding the motion to be as easy as moving her arm up and down. As she grew more comfortable in controlling her movement, Grace's expression began to shift from confused surprise back into a smug smile. The way she was looking down upon everyone was so fitting, she thought, more in line with what she was used to. Exactly as it should be. She gazed down at Cindy, the twerp who had tried to humiliate her, and thought it was high time for some payback.

In a lightning-quick motion, Grace swept down through the air to where Cindy was standing and took on a high gamble as she grabbed the smaller redhead by the throat, then began to fly higher up with the other girl in her grip. It worked as beautifully as she had hoped; whatever force had just bestowed the power of flight upon her had also filled her with a herculean strength that was more than a match for the other girl's. Now it was Cindy's turn to thrash about, swatting and scratching at the taller girl's arms however she could. Grace could certainly feel the smaller girl's struggle, experiencing some pain she couldn't ignore, but not nearly enough to loosen her grip and thwart what she now intended to do.

"Well, red," she said, her voice loaded with as much confidence as ever, "that was a hell of a show you put on for them back there. Shame it didn't last you very long. Some freaky shit's going on here tonight, but honestly, I like what it's done to me. You're right, I should've tried flying ages ago. It's a hell of a rush! Hope you enjoy your turn now... and your circus freak strength, even if I'm clearly back on top where that matters."

Grace smiled cruelly as she momentarily turned to look at her other arm, flexing a bicep that looked humble but now held untold amounts of clearly superhuman strength. A moment later, she drew back the arm that held Cindy in its iron grip before she tossed the other girl towards the horizon, sending the screaming redhead flying into the darkness in an upwards arc with such force that she quickly disappeared from sight. Loosing a bold, elegant laugh of complete dominance, Grace spread her arms outward, as she daintily floated down to the ground to occupy her former position, eager to receive all the admiration and adulation that she was sure a newborn supergirl of her stature would command.

Sure enough, she was quickly swarmed, first by her little group of followers, who looked like they were about to move on to straight up worship, then by the other girls, who slowly began to approach her with more than a little apprehension in their hearts. This feeling was somewhat allayed as it became very evident that the newly superpowered jock-ette was perfectly happy to receive their praise, even if they were terrified of so much as speaking a word to her out of turn after what they had seen her do to Cindy.

All of them approached her, that was, except for Hannah. The gothy, pale-skinned girl had certainly been watching the extraordinary happenings of the past few minutes with rapt attention, but now that things seemed to be winding down a bit, her interest didn't lay in playing stooge for Grace— it lay firmly in finding out exactly what the hell had happened to bestow such extraordinary powers upon not only plain, humble Cindy, but the larger-than-life blonde. The stark contrast between the characters of the power’s recipients made it clear that whatever was going on, it didn't play favorites. And shy, reserved Hannah, whose boredom at the party was now turning into a tremendous feeling of fortune at being there to witness such a spectacle, certainly had plenty of ideas of her own as to what she would get up to if she were able to secure that kind of power.

With all of the other girls' attention focused on Grace, Hannah began to inch closer to the one common point she could figure in such a short window of opportunity: The pool. Grace seemed to have instantly developed those incredible powers after getting tossed in there, after all, and she figured that Cindy, the one other person who had displayed power like that, had gotten plenty of use out of it in the past. Of course, that didn't account for why Cindy had tossed the girl she was trying to teach a lesson into a place where she would potentially emerge as a newly minted powerhousethat could threaten her so, or why Cindy herself had never displayed such powers before, but there was no time to get caught up in details like those. Hannah had read up on a superficial modicum of witchcraft, and imagined that maybe something was going on with the moon and the stars on this particular night that gave the pool its unique, empowering properties.

Whatever the case, she saw an opportunity and she wasn't about to let it go to waste. Carefully ensuring that nobody was turning to look at her, Hannah approached the edge of the pool on the side opposite where Grace and her newly formed cult were gathered, stooped down to sit on the edge, and quietly began to lower herself into the water. Just before she closed her eyes to finished dunking her head in, she gave Grace and her retinue one final glare, seeing the blonde as undeserving of that kind of power. She had taken a deep breath before completing her immersion, intent on remaining underwater for as long as possible with the intention of soaking up as much of the inscrutable energyas she possibly could.

Grace paid her no mind at all, having no idea what she was up to, as she was busy soaking up all the devotion of her adoring disciples, loving every iota of attention she was getting.

"What does it feel like?" asked Nicole, a slender, dark-skinned girl from her little posse. "What's it like, being super?"

"It's fucking great," Grace shot back without any hesitation. "Fabulous. Fantastic. Just like me, of course. I always knew I deserved this, it's only natural that I would get it."

"And what are you gonna do now?" someone else asked. "Are you gonna be a superhero?"

"Maybe," Grace answered nonchalantly. "If it suits me. I'm still not gonna waste my time with jobs that other plebs can do. No, I'm thinking I'll still go for what was always meant for me. I'll be a big star! After all..."

Grace began to rise off the ground again, raising her arms as she received gasps and shouts of admiration.

"They'll be lining up at my door for the chance to work with me! Who needs special effects... when I'm the only girl in the world that can really fl—"

Grace's train of thought was interrupted as her lofty position suddenly afforded her the view of something weird going on in the distance. Something like a weird red spark on the horizon, except that it was growing brighter, larger. And something like a whooshing, whistling noise was growing louder along with it. Grace narrowed her eyes in confusion, then widened them in sudden terror as it became clear just what was approaching her: it was Cindy, completely recovered from the punishment Grace had dished out, and whizzing through the air towards her just as she had. Except much, much faster.

Before she had the chance to react any further, Grace felt a tremendous pressure as the smaller flyinggirl slammed right into her abdomen, taking the air out of her lungs. Given how much stronger Grace had proven than even the juiced-up Cindy after both had their surprise ascensions, she was taken aback by how drastically the tables appeared to have turned just based on that one assault. Grace found herself tumbling down to the ground, leaving an aggressive skid mark on the lawn beyond the pool's far edge, yet finding that the impact didn't hurt nearly as much as what Cindy had just done to her. Quickly, she turned to look up, seeing Cindy hovering above her, arms crossed, a newly determined stern look coloring her face.

"I thought I was being clear enough," Cindy offered, "but it looks like you didn't learn your lesson. This is my house, my party, my rules. So you can either play nice... or take a hike."

Grace pulled herself together and floated up into the air once more, trying her best to look confident even if she wasn't entirely convinced that she could take the little fireplug anymore.

"Take a hike?" she spat back. "Does it look like someone like me need to take a hike anywhere, anymore? Take a look at me, Cind. And yourself, for that matter. We've clearly outgrown common humans by a mile now, and... and if what's going on is any indication, it looks like we can get even more powerful. If we play our cards right, I bet we could live like gods! Why the need to act so self-righteous? Who's gonna come around and tell you to turn the music down now?"

"I'm telling you to do that," Cindy retorted. "I don't care about any of that self-serving, egotistical stuff. And as you’ve observed so astutely, it looks like I've more than caught up to you in strength, so you better watch what you're gonna say next."

Grace's wrath built up quickly, inspiring her to bare her teeth in a scowl that showed everyone just how displeased she was with the way things were going.

"I'll teach you to watch your mouth, you puny little—"

Grace leapt into the air and swung her beautiful arm forward at lightning-fast speed, looking to deliver a punch with enough force to rip an elder tree from its roots. But instead, her motion saw itself suddenly interrupted as she looked down to see that Cindy's own hand had caught her fist like a baseball, stopping it flat in its tracks. Looking back up at Cindy's face, Grace saw her expression shift from stern disapproval to a knowing smirk.

"The hell are you playing at?" Grace spat out.

"Try me, bitch."

With that, Cindy motioned to throw Grace's arm away from herself, sending the blonde girl tumbling back in the air slightly, but only for a moment before she re-stabilized herself. For the next few moments, the two newborn supergirls hovered opposite each other, each faintly aligned with the two opposingends of the pool below, glowering at one another in a menacing, silent challenge. Just a few minutes earlier, Grace would have relished this opportunity, to humiliate the only one who could hope to rival her now and assert her supremacy as the strongest and only true supergirl around, but whatever had happened to apparently help Cindy surpass her left her far more reluctant. For her own part, Cindy wasn't terribly fond of the idea of having to fight, but she knew she couldn't go easy on a bully as determined, not to mention as powerful, as Grace, who now really was capable of raining hell down on the ordinary folk around her if she wanted to.

With this in mind, Cindy semi-consciously tried to come up with the most intimidating death glare she could manage, focusing all of her anger into her expression. Her features contorted to show a display of enraged dominance, but unbeknownst to anyone else there, something else slowly began to well up within Cindy; a feverish feeling that suddenly made the cold night air around her feel that much colder. Cindy cottoned on to the fact that something weird was going on, but not nearly enough to mitigate it; like a powerful sneeze, something was about to instinctively come out of her that she couldn't stop. Suddenly falling into a mild panic, Cindy quickly looked down to face the pool she thought was empty moments before a pair of glowing red hot-beams shot out of her eyes and into the water, creating a loud hissing noise as jets of boiling steam shot up into the air.

A few high-pitched shrieks of terror could be heard as a reaction to Cindy’s unexpected display of power, though none that had come from Grace. Rather, it suddenly dawned on her that, if Cindy had more superhuman powers at her disposal than just flight and super strength, perhaps the same could be said of her. Quickly, Grace made an effort to concentrate on herself, focusing feelings such as those that she suspected Cindy must have in order to engineer that blast— but to no avail. No matter how hard she tried, it didn't feel like anything was happening. Was that because of the power gap apparently owed to whatever had caused Cindy's latest increase in strength?

Once again, however, something rather unexpected happened to interrupt everyone's racing thoughts. Where moments before there had only been a thin cloud of steamy mist rising from the depths of the water, there suddenly rose something else entirely— namely Hannah, who had spent the past few minutes sitting at the bottom of the pool.

The soaked, pale-skinned girl had merely been trying to remain there for as long as her mere mortal lungs would allow, ignoring anything else that might be going on around her, but soon she began to suspect that she wouldn't have to wait very long as she slowly but steadily began to feel her body filling with a faint yet pleasant sensation. She suspected that whatever inscrutable force had done its number on Cindy and Grace had acknowledged that it was now her turn, and took advantage of the lack of distractions to grant her special attention. Gradually, she basked in the sensation of being permeated by this unseen, eldritch energy, which felt to her inviting body like nothing she had ever experienced. She knew at once it had to be the same thing that had been capable of granting two ordinary girls such amazing superhuman powers. The alien nature of it ironically only served to make Hannah more comfortable and excited to be within its influence, since it wasn't like she really felt at ease in the company of 'normal' human beings anyway; her greatest interest had always been in the unknown, the supernatural, that which few people ever took care to truly experience and understand.

She felt like she could have stayed down there forever, indulging in the uncanny warmth of those fantastical energies, which by then had probably already improved her to the point that she wouldn't have go up for a breath for a very long time. But a different kind of warmth interrupted her revelry; one that felt far more mundane and less comfortable. Opening her eyes in the chlorinated water without experiencing any sort of burning, Hannah turned her gaze upward, struggling to make out anything that was happening above her through the rippling water. However, she had a pretty good idea of what that was, and decided with a smile that it was high time she showed everyone up there what she had been up to.

Slowly, deliberately, Hannah rose up from the depths of the water and through the rising clouds of steam, which, despite the tremendous temperature it had grown to thanks to Cindy's unwitting show of power, felt no hotter to her than a pleasant, lukewarm mist. It was enough, however, to fill her with a nice, refreshing chill as she hovered higher up into the clear air, posing with all of her extremities limp, like a puppet that had its strings cut. The sight unnerved the onlookers as well as she had calculated before she slowly straightened herself out and brought her arms above her head, clasping her hands together and jutting her humble chest out in an exaggerated stretching motion.

"Hmmmm...." she moaned to herself with a smile, before opening her eyes, coming face to face first with Cindy, then twisting her body around with elegant dexterity to look into Grace's eyes as well. "Hey, guys."

"The fuck did you do, freak?" Grace shot back at once, looking over the flying gothy girl with a face of disgust.

"Oh, nothing... Just taking in the sights. Looks like you two have a leg up on me in that regard."

Hannah acted with complete nonchalance. She didn't know exactly how powerful she was in relation to the other two girls, but she definitely felt extremely good, filled with a sense of absolute confidence and power. She felt so good, she considered the notion that she could be overcome by either of the other supergirls almost unimaginable.

"Hannah..." This time it was Cindy who called out. "Let's just take it easy, okay? Something really weird is happening to us, but there's no need to do anything crazy."

"Oh, you don't have to worry about that, Cindy," Hannah offered in a low, somewhat slurred tone that nevertheless showed its speaker's complete, deliberate lucidity. "I'm not crazy at all. I know exactly what I'm doing."

"Oh yeah?" Grace interrupted in her usual, caustic tone. "And what the hell is that, weirdo?"

Rather than turning to face her again, Hannah simply widened her smile as she closed her eyes, then turned aside, showing each of the other two girls. one of her flanks. She began to mime a walk in midair with her flight powers, distancing herself from them slowly.

"Just a little perspective," she continued. "I've seen what happened to the two of you, and what you decided to do with your gifts. Seems pretty fucking short-sighted, if you ask me. This is power the likes of which has never been seen before, not in our recorded history. It could change everything. We could change everything. But first, you have to make a decision. And the ones fittest to make decisions of such importance... are those with the drive to become the strongest, the most powerful. Like me."

"Like you?" Grace gave a contemptuous sneer. "You got lucky like us, freak, but what makes you think you're the strongest now?" Grace was eager to grasp at any possibility that she wasn't the weakest of the supergirls anymore.

But Hannah simply turned around and smirked as she looked back and forth between the other two girls.

"Oh, I know," she said, not actually knowing her statement to be true, but feeling it. "This power filling me... it's something very special. Your untrained minds won't be able to tell you that, of course, but when you feel it like I do, it's just so... obvious. I just wish I could really make you see, and then maybe..." Hannah suddenly trailed off, feeling herself being overtaken by a different sensation altogether, like a feverish buildup of the bizarre energies within her. "Then maybe..."

Hannah felt herself losing control of her magnificently empowered body for a moment as she suddenly began shaking in violent convulsions. It was the kind of frame that would ordinarily have led someone like Cindy to rush to her aid and try to get her some medical help, but floating several feet off the ground after displaying the same kind of weird superpowers that two other girls had within the past hour was in no way ordinary. And so, nobody dared to go near her, and in fact, the handful of girls on the ground that were left standing as ordinary mortals were nervously backing away, fearful for the effect of whatever may be about to happen.

When it happened, however, it was only fearsome in the tremendous power it evoked. Hannah's petite body exploded outward, giving off a pale, otherworldly glow as her frame expanded and re-molded itself into something far more magnificent. The young girl's spindly frame began growing larger, taller, better proportioned. Her gangly flesh grew firm and taut, bunching up into an impressive set of muscles that quickly came to line her entire anatomy. Her saggy belly grew into the middle of a ridged, ab-lined hourglass that rapidly expanded up and down into her awesomely muscled chest and hips. Her arms and legs grew into thick poles of strength, deliciously contoured with powerful, feminine curves. Her mosquito bite boobs grew large and succulent, her modest black haircut spread and spilled out into a wild, luxuriant raven mane, and even her face reshaped itself from a sullen, perpetually sad-looking visage to a sleek, refined countenance the likes of which would make the most charming swimsuit models blush— a rather ironic sentiment, given that Hannah's sudden transformation had shredded her bikini to nothing, leaving the entirety of her glorious naked self on full display. Where before there had floated a pale, skinny girl possessed of unfathomable yet unreadable power, there now emerged a true goth goddess, whose breathtaking appearance flaunted all of the uncanny power she now possessed, and more...

All of the girls felt the impact of her presence, especially Grace, who had clearly been left in the dust on the beauty department by this latest development, and suddenly didn't feel anywhere near as powerful as Hannah looked. Cindy was locked in a slack-jawed look of amazement, while the ordinary girls below couldn't help but look on in sheer horror.

It soon became clear that there was only one person present who wasn't fazed by the situation at all: Hannah herself, who exhaled with a satisfied aaaahhhh... before raising one of her arms up while gripping the back of it with the other in another deliberate stretching motion, gently tossing her raven mane about her smiling, crushingly gorgeous visage as she did so. She felt even better, mightier, more powerful than ever, and her freshly enhanced super-body was allowing her to feel the pleasure of it in ways she had never even dreamed of. Opening her eyes, she put a glowing, satisfied smirk on her drop-dead gorgeous face as she turned to address everyone present again.

"Well..." she said, in a now deep, sultry voice dripping with sex that made everything Grace had said before sound like a donkey's braying, "I don't think there's really any need for me to say anything more. You can all see for yourselves now..." Hannah caressed her own perfect body as she spoke, doing a quick turn in midairto show off some more. "I am by far the best, most perfect, most indisputably powerful person living upon this pathetic rock. Who else but me could possibly be worthy to rule...?"

The stunned silence that had dominated the yard for the past couple of minutes continued, much to Hannah's amusement. She was completely certain that her incredible power and the speed at which it had developed were more than flooring everyone fortunate enough to witness her ascension that night. Sure enough, as she looked down, she fancied she could almost see the very thought processes of the little bikini-wearing ants below her, as they struggled to not simply drop to their knees and worship their new goddess.

But something she failed to divine anywhere as clearly were the thoughts of her empowered fellows. Cindy, who now seemed to be the second strongest girl around —and felt positively dwarfed by her imposing competitor— was silenced because her mind was still racing, trying to figure out how she could possibly try and reason with Hannah without resorting to violence— not only because she was still very much opposed to the idea, but because she was all but certain that there was just no way she could come out on top if that happened. Trying to figure out how to deal with Grace appropriately had been tough enough, even during the times when she was positive that the blonde's strength didn't measure up to hers.

As for Grace, she was being consumed by a different flavor of mental turmoil. This had been shaping up to be the best night of her life, one in which she had miraculously been granted the awesome power and superiority she always knew she deserved— only to have it snatched away from her not once, but twice, by a couple of uppity, self-important bitches who thought they could order her around. Now, she felt like she had been reduced to a footnote in the yard's extraordinary occurrences as everyone's attention had shifted to that overbloated, oversexed goth weirdo.

It was enough to make her seethe. She didn't feel like she could control herself for much longer— and indeed, as she saw Hannah seductively extend her stunning arms forward and beckon sexily to the girls below with her sharp, lengthy fingernails, stealing away the attention that she herself had been enjoying for a good part of the night, she felt herself racing towards the breaking point. She decided that she couldn't take any more, consequences be damned. With a cry of rage and frustration, Grace lunged forward through the air, looking to scratch that smug expression right off of Hannah's face.

What she saw then was just as surprising to her as everything else that had happened that night. Her perception felt like it went into slow motion as she dramatically careened forth, despite the actual speed of her flight being enough to rival racecars. But as she closed in on her target, she could see Hannah turn her head towards her with crystal clarity, before the pale-skinned ultra-beauty gave a calm smirk of dominance. Grace found herself thwarted once again as Hannah reacted at faster-than-lightning speed to snatch away Grace's arm before it had a chance to connect with anything, taking it into a grip that felt even stronger than Cindy's.

Meanwhile, the red-haired girl, who had been staring at the almighty goth who had just grown to be the largest and most magnificent of the supergirls, reacted to this development with alarmed surprise, feeling compelled to intervene somehow or else lose her chance to do anything about the situation. In a rush, she lunged forward through the air towards Hannah, then tried to grasp the goth goddess's arm in an effort to pry it loose and set Grace free. This motion came as a mild, annoying surprise to Hannah, who could definitely feel the little redhead’s struggles and that theycertainly had more force behind them than the blonde’s, but still not nearly enough to stand up to her godly might. Turning with swift, expert agility, Hannah put Cindy in the second super-chokehold she had been subjected to that night, firmly gripping her neck, though taking care not to truly hurt her. Hannah figured that the smart thing to do would be to find a use for these lesser supergirls, but first she had to pacify and bend them to her will once and for all.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," she began to speak with a tone of venomous contempt, though one that mixed with her impossibly sexy voice to inspire some very strange feelings indeed in her victims. "I can't believe you girls. You witness the ascension of a true goddess right before your eyes, and still you pout and struggle? I could hardly imagine either of you could be this stupid."

"Eat me, bitch," Grace defiantly said as she did her best to wriggle in the pallid uberbabe's grip.

"Naughty naughty," Hannah continued. "Under better circumstances, I might give your offer some consideration. You didn’t get to be the alpha floozy at school for nothing, after all. But right now... I think you two ladies seriously need to be reminded of your place."

Hannah's grip tightened, filling the two lesser supergirls with tremendous pain and more than a little fear for their lives. Following their empowerment, they hardly imagined that they could feel such agony ever again... and yet, there was a strange, yet somehow familiar sensation that accompanied their discomfort. Something like a faint, electric tingle spreading throughout their bodies, with its strongest concentration at the point where Hannah had her vise grip on them.

They could hardly focus on the sensation at all, however, as the next moment, Hannah violently tossed the two girls down onto the lawn below, creating a couple of crashing BOOM sounds and damaging the foundations underneath more than a little. The other girls looking on drew back in terror as Hannah floated down slightly to loom over her victims, the two miraculously empowered girls that she herself had grown powerful enough to effortlessly dominate.

"You see what happens when you don't listen to me?" she teased. "You guys are lucky, you know. If you were still mere puny mortals, that would have been far worse on you. But that's exactly what anyone who opposes me will experience from here on out. For you, it doesn't have to be that way... all you ladies have to do is pledge your eternal loyalty to me, your new goddess, and I'll graciously make sure that you never... want... wait, what's wrong with you?"

Hannah found herself interrupted as she began to notice that the two girls weren't simply lying in a crumpled heap of pain and soreness like they were supposed to— they were starting to shake around violently, spasming around on the ground, and apparently becoming surrounded by an aura of light that was quickly growing in intensity. Now it was Hannah's turn to adopt a look of dreading bewilderment as she witnessed the two girls below her begin to experience the very same transformation that she herself had undergone when she ascended.

"But... why? How in the fresh hell could this be happening? NO!!"

Fearing that the only option left to her was to put the girls completely out of commission before they caught up, Hannah brusquely rushed down to where Grace lay writhing and drew her fist back, meaning to pound the blonde girl's skull in. She hesitated for but a moment, wishing that she didn't have to resort to such base acts to get what she wanted. But she knew that in order to become truly supreme, eliminating any and all potential obstacles in her way was a must. In an instant, she motioned to let loose with a blow that carried enough force to level a skyscraper.

In a complete and thorough reversal, the very same girl who had her own wild swings frustrated twice now had her chance for payback to the one who was trying to hurt her. Swiftly, though not without some visible effort, Grace moved her hand forward and stopped Hannah's punch dead in its tracks, before flashing her attacker a devious, maniacal smile. Hannah almost fancied that the blonde girl's bared teeth were as the fangs of a wild animal, looking upon her cornered prey with frenzied satisfaction.

With a force that shocked Hannah, Grace then threw her attacker back up into the air before floating upward again herself. The mystical glow that had once surrounded Hannah to bestow its blessings upon her now enveloped Grace's body entirely, though it seemed to be giving off a hue closer to that of a fiery orange-red sunset than the pallid moonlight-white it had bestowed on its first recipient. It was Hannah's turn to stare in amazement as the blonde girl’s appearance was transformed from her ordinary self, already statuesque and impressive by mortal standards, into a hyper-magnified version that multiplied her beauty by a tremendous factor.

Hannah hovered and stared in rapt attention as the blonde was transformed in what seemed like the space of an instant, yet one that seemed to stretch on forever. Grace lengthened her frame upward with wild, primal energy, loosing a powerful, guttural roar that threatened to carry her mighty, seductive voice for miles across the horizon, intent on letting everyone know that these lands had a new, almighty mistress. It seemed to Hannah that the blonde underwent a formidable growth the very moment she did so, gaining several extra feet in height as her muscles exploded to bodybuilder levels, yet saw themselves complemented by the rest of her body as it magicallyreshaped itself accordingly to preserve and further accentuate her outrageous, pornstar-level curves. Her golden hair grew out of control into a dirty-looking, frazzled mane, which combined with her manic, grinning expression, lengthened and sharpened fingernails, and complete loss of clothing to evoke the appearance of some sort of super-sexy wild jungle woman the likes of which might have been found in a particularly saucy pulp comic from decades past.

"HAHAHAHAHA!" Grace bellowed, intoxicated by the intensity of her latest infusion of power. Her voice had grown to carry the barbs and perfume of wildflowers, designed to simultaneously intimidate anyone who heard it and instill that person with a tremendous, lustful admiration for Grace, to be brought under the boisterous blonde’s control. "Oh, YEAH! Who's the queen bitch NOW, slut? You're a pathetic excuse for a goddess compared to me. I'm back on top, baby, and here. I'll. STAY!!"

Hannah had spent the last few moments staring at the transforming blonde in a daze of confusion, but prepared herself to snap out of it as it became perfectly clear that the newborn energeticsupergoddess was out for some serious payback. Grace flew through the air towards Hannah, delivering a series of blows in her direction that each carried a catastrophic force. Hannah was able to use her own super-enhanced reflexes to dodge around them, but found it much harder to keep up than before. After but a few moments, Hannah saw herself forced to block one of Grace's strikes due to it coming in too fast to dodge—she managed it, but again, only with a much greater effort than she had exercised previously. Hannah feared that the transformed cheerleader was now on even ground with her; a newly anointed blonde goddess blessed with the strength to wield a force as terrible as her own, and clearly just as eager as Hannah to use it to assert her dominance and superiority over everything and everyone.

Quickly realizing that merely trying to avoid Grace's onslaught wasn't going to work for long, Hannah made some attempts to strike back at the blonde uberbabe with attacks of her own, though Grace ended up handling them just as well as Hannah had been able to. The two super-bombshells gradually came to realize that their newly attained status as equals had put them into an unfortunate stalemate, with neither of them able to decisively triumph over the other. Their newly developed stamina was also vast enough as to feel inexhaustible, meaning that they could potentially keep up this display of attrition for hours and hours, a prospect neither of them was enthusiastic about. Something had to give.

And, just a couple moments after these thoughts finished crossing their minds, something did give... give them both a shove from underneath, de-stabilizing their circling flight and sending each of them tumbling in a different direction. Both goddesses rushed to get their bearings once more to see what exactly had happened, confirming their suspicions but a moment later. It was Cindy, the once-plain redhead, all but forgotten in the heat of their confrontation, but now making it terribly clear that she herself had just finished going through the very same transformation and joined them in divinity. She had been transfigured from an ordinary-looking, modestly built red-haired girl at the end of her teens into a towering, naked titaness who, like her nearby fellows, had developed amazing, powerful muscles and a scrumptious, sensationally sensual feminine figure to go with them, all coming together to accentuate the awesome superpowers that now lay at her command. Her personal defining features lay in the aura surrounding her that now started to fade and die down, tinted as bright red as the glowing magma in a volcano's core, and the way it emphasized her own flaming, crimson hair, which had grown so much that it seemed to envelop her flawless, pinkish skin in a cascade of intense, fiery ringlets. She looked like an impertinently sexy depiction of some Celtic goddess of power and fertility given flesh.

But the initial shock of her appearance quickly gave way as the other two super-beauties came to notice the terrible scowl she had upon her features, and the way her eyes were steadily growing brighter with a menacing red glow. Grace, who had seen what the redhead had done earlier, suspected she knew exactly what was coming, but also found herself emboldened by her own transformation to stand her ground with a renewed determination to retaliate. The next moment, a bright, dazzling stream or red-hot laser beams shot out of Cindy's eyes and seemed to be heading squarely for Grace's body, but saw itself interrupted by a second, equally intense stream that emanated from Grace's own eyes! The unfathomably sexy blonde goddess smiled in diabolical glee as she confirmed her suspicion that her own power had grown to match that of her rival, leaving no chance for Cindy to push her around again. The intense heat coming from the dueling streams of shimmering energy led some of the girls below to back off in terror, repulsed by the same sensation that felt to the super-goddesses as nothing more than the pleasant warmth from a ray of sunlight.

A few more moments, however, and the bout was broken as both supergirls simultaneously relented on their assault. While Grace was pleased at the revelation that her own preternatural might had increased considerably, her experiences in using it to duke it out withboth of her rivalsshowed that it now seemed to be an extremely close match for theirs, close enough to suggest that if any of them tried any renewed attacks on the other, it would prove as fruitless as the first time. Hannah, who had been hovering off to the side and intently watching the latest confrontation between the other two girls, was quickly coming to the same conclusion. And Cindy, who was frustrated beyond belief that such a confrontation had to occur in the first place, saw it as both a boon and a detriment for her own intentions.

"LISTEN, YOU CRAZY SKANKS," shouted the incredible redhead in a booming, commanding voice that carried enough power and elegance to send tingles through the groins of everyone listening, "I don't know WHAT the hell is going on here tonight... but it's clear that it's affected all of us, and now we all seem to be more or less the same, so for all we know it might be over. And because we're all the same, trying to take each other on just ain't gonna work out. If either of you go off and try any of that megalomaniacal bullshit you've been ranting about, you can bet your ass that I'll go right after you to put a stop to it, or else stall you to the point where you won't be able to do jack. So how about you settle the fuck down, quit talking like crazy bitches, and we figure out how to go about this in a way that won't lead to me punishing your asses?"

Grace and Hannah both narrowed their eyes as they listened to Cindy's demand. The redhead had a point, in a way, when it came to their evenly matched power levels, but as far as either of them were concerned, the idea of playing nice and not taking advantage of their newfound powers for their own benefit and pleasure was the real crazy talk. Why settle for something like that when they had risen so far above ordinary humans? Of course, Grace had always acted like a domineering diva, and while Hannah had been coy and reclusive before, what she saw as her own inherently greater intellect had given her a massive, if closeted, superiority complex. Now that their self-images of dominance and excellence had been reaffirmed in such a dramatic, extraordinary way, there was just no question of them changing their minds on the matter.

But what to do about their stalemate? A simple thought briefly crossed the minds of Hannah and Grace both; that if all three girls were equally powerful, if the two of them worked together, they could overpower and overcome the sanctimonious Cindy. But the goth goddess and the blonde ultrababe both saw themselves as infinitely more superior and deserving of power and authority than the other, quickly souring any idea of a possible alliance. And so they found themselves forced into another standoff, looking upon the flying, mightily muscled redhead before them, their minds churning as they all tried to think of something,

As they thought more and more, however, they couldn't help but notice that certain unexpected notions were beginning to form within them. For the power-hungry Grace and Hannah, their own transformations had given them the biggest rush of their lives, and they had found it indescribably pleasant and erotic to fulfill their deep, dark fantasies of growing infinitely more powerful than everybody else in such a visceral, physical way. But now, suddenly, they both were beginning to lend some unexpected thoughts of the same nature to the other girls.

Hannah looked on towards Cindy, the ordinary, demure redhead who had transformed into an ultra-sexy powerhouse filled with might and confidence. Her luxuriant, blazing mane, her exquisitely ridged muscles, her artistically stitched complexion, with parts of her skin densely freckled and angel-kissed in just the right places to enhance her gloriously sensual frame. And of course, the way she hovered in the air fearlessly and with intrepid mettle, one look at her being enough to have any doubt about the nature of her awesome, superhuman power instantly dispelled. Hannah suspected she would never have experienced such thoughts about the old Cindy, but the more closely she looked at the radiant goddess before her, the more a warm, pleasant feeling she hadn't seen coming at all grew and stirred in her loins.

Then, of course, there was Grace, the one who had already started out as a stunningly sexy cheerleader. The old Hannah had never lent any serious thought to the notion of romance or sex, but even she would have had a hard time denying that even the normal Grace was already packed with raw appeal in that regard. The new, ascended Grace however, was something else entirely indeed; while the old Grace's body was a very apparent testament to the fact that she exercised and took care of herself, her new self was a brash, forceful cry that fully exhibited her newfound divinity; how astronomically far she had risen above the vulgar, ordinary crowd. Every fiber of her being screamed strength and intensity. The scrumptious, sun-baked tone of her skin and the unreal curvature of her ultra-fit super-assets evoked an overwhelming raw sexual energy; her tight, bulging, sweat-slick musculature suggested that even without superpowers, she could run like a cheetah, leap incredible distances, wrestle a mountain lion and emerge victorious, holding her subjugated quarry above her head as she loosed a primal roar of absolute dominance. But as with Cindy, her clearly visible station as a superwoman magnified that effect a millionfold, evoking such unimaginable beauty and power that anyone who gazed upon her might fancy that she could single-handedly resculpt mountains, command raging tempests, and put the wildest revellers in the world to absolute shame as she conducted a godlike bacchanalia, a phenomenal orgy the likes of which might never end unless she willed it, carrying enough lustful, hedonistic energy and desire within herself to sustain it for millennia.

This last part, of course, was what Hannah ended up feeling most intensely as she looked upon her rival, steadily finding herself unable to ignore the allure of the impossibly gorgeous, all-powerful blonde titaness and her sublime sex appeal, unconsciously biting her lower lip as she subtly bunched the dampening top of her thighs against one another.

Unbeknownst to her, she had been sharing nearly the exact same train of thought as Cindy, who had mostly been focusing her attention on (and silently admiring) the rowdy Grace, but who then turned to look at Hannah, the first of the three girls to have ascended to such a prodigious level of power. Cindy had previously thought of the old Hannah as little more than a wallflower, a brooding introvert that seemed like she preferred to be alone, and whom she was content to ignore as long as she didn't see anyone picking on her or anything on that vein. But after the way Hannah had transformed, that image seemed extremely remote and distant. Now, Hannah's appearance and character were more in line with something out of an erotic dark fantasy tale; like an ambitious, domineering vampire sorceress who had claimed some kind of mystical force which granted her the unfathomable power to transcend into a dark divinity, and was now fit to rule as an empress of worlds. Furthermore, the way Cindy espied her biting her lip and contorting her legs in an alluring, seductive fashion had a very marked effect on the red-haired powerhouse, who herself began to feel like her breathingwas starting to become more labored somehow. And though neither of the others could tell, this display only intensified the same effect which was also pervading Grace's own being, as the supercharged blonde knockout found herself forced to exercise a tremendous amount of willpower just to avoid giving away what her body was doing to her mind.

A quick glance was suddenly exchanged between Hannah and Grace, however, that led the two to suspect what was really going on between all three of them. Hannah's gaze shifted from the blonde to the redhead and back, a gesture which was momentarily echoed by Grace. In what was quite likely the greatest surprise of the night so far, the two superwomen shared and almost imperceptible assent as it became clear that, for the first time ever, their intentions matched up perfectly. Slowly, deliberately, Hannah and Grace began to hover forth, closing in on Cindy.

"Whuh—what's this...?" Cindy spat out when she noticed the other girls approaching her, snapping her out of her lustful trance. "What are you two up to? Are you gonna try to gang up on me?"

"You know what, red?" Grace slurred, sounding as though the divinely powerful blonde stunner was in a half-conscious drunken haze, even though her uber-enhanced metabolism had now rendered that impossible. "You were right about one thing... we don't need to fight."

"Yeah..." said Hannah with her honeyed, deep voice in a half-whisper that caught the other two girls by surprise with how seductive it sounded. "I think there's something we can do without violence that would be a lot... more... interesting..."

Snapping into action with incredible speed, Hannah and Grace each took one of Cindy's mammoth titties into their hands and squeezed with all their might. Cindy loosed a shocked, overwhelmed cry of pleasure to the heavens, inspiring an intense, preternatural arousal in all who heard her, as the other supergirls descended upon her amazing body, worshipping and licking every curve and ridge of her unreal, uber-sexy self. The sensual bliss overwhelmed Cindy as she let out a series of heavy, breathy moans, clearly losing herself to the sensation the other supergirls incited upon her. Grace, by far the most experienced of the three in these kinds of sexy affairs, was the one to most energetically take charge, caressing every sublime part of Cindy's perfect anatomy as she worked her way down to the redhead’s crotch. Finally coming face to face with a precious, inviting treasure, Grace licked her lips before burying her face into the godlike redhead's snatch. Cindy howled in rapturous excitement at the overwhelming sensation, contracting her thighs together with a force that could have crushed a bowling ball into powder, but which served as naught but a playful caress to the blonde goddess pleasuring her. Cindy brought one of her arms down and tightly grasped the hair on the back of Grace's head, the rough feeling of which only served to psyche up the lust-consumed golden-maned supergirl even more as she lapped at the other girl's oozing ambrosia. Meanwhile, Hannah delicately caressed Cindy's powerful chest and back, expertly using her firm, sharp nails to tease her aching nipples, before finally bringing her face in close to that of the ecstatic redhead as the two met in an amorous, passionate kiss. Their breaths grew louder and heavier as their intense lust overtook them, with all three of the impossibly beautiful and powerful super-goddesses hungrily grabbing at each other's bodies and seeking to pleasure both themselves and one another, finding themselves totally consumed by the extreme erotic gratification of their sexual congress.

Slowly, their loss of control and concentration led the flying, erotic mass of interlocking super-flesh to interrupt their flight and come crashing down onto the lawn near the pool. The other girls there, who had been watching the past few minutes more intently than ever, began to approach the lovemaking goddesses slowly and carefully, drawn in both by an intense interest in the sexy spectacle and by the primal, alluring scent that their warmth and their leaking juices were giving off.

"Whoooooaaaa..." muttered Kendra, a skinny girl of Korean descent, with a trembling voice.

"That's super hot..." drawled Diana, a copper-skinned Latina with squirming thighs who couldn’t help but to bring one of her hands up and stick it under her bikini top to stimulate the tenting tips of her mammaries.

"I know..." said Nicole, the dark-skinned girl who had been part of Grace's retinue before and had been watching her idol's ascension most intently out of the three, becoming quickly consumed with yearning lust and desire. "I really wish I could get in on that..."

As if on cue, a fresh wave of the same otherworldly energy that had surged within Cindy's backyard so many times that night washed over it once more. This time, its electrifying influence was felt more clearly than ever, not only by the three enraptured goddesses, but by every single one of the girls standing there, who began collapsing to the ground and loosing a series of high-pitched, pleasured moans in reaction to how strongly the feeling intensified their already colossal arousal. Its effect proved to be considerably more dramatic as well; in moments, the sound of ripping cloth filled the air for a few seconds as all the girls who had been content to enjoy the show as mere mortals were energized and empowered themselves, and immediately began to undergo transformations similar to the ones experienced by those who had served as the three leading super-ladies. Kendra's flat, thin body stretched and expanded into that of a gorgeous bodybuilder idol, her almond eyes taking on a hyper-seductive confidence. Diana's already ample assets were enhanced dramatically as she became bigger, sexier and fitter than any supermodel. Nicole's frame expanded until she grew into the tallest girl there, her body quickly becoming packed with sexy, powerful muscles that made it look like she could rip a streetlight off its hinges and swing it around like a baseball bat.

And then, amid their lascivious, carnal revelry, one of them rose from the ground, quickly showing off her mastery of the same power that the three titanesses in the middle had displayed. Another girl followed, then another, then more. Soon, a small contingent of newly empowered supergirls were flying over the yard, jubilantly cruising about the air and playing with themselves, giving off cries of pleasure and excitement in mellifluous, seductive voices as they celebrated the onset of their own ascensions. Before too long, however, these lecherous cries were gradually replaced by a different sort of symphony of sensual sounds; one that resonated with that being conducted by the three who had ascended first, and whose presence still commanded the greatest degree of awe. For the newly minted supergirls soon fell under the same seductive influence towards one another that their predecessors had succumbed to, taking hold of each other’s flesh in tight, passionate embraces as they began exploring a world of sexual bliss the likes of which they had never dared to dream about. In less than an hour, the gathering at the yard had grown from a simple, modest get-together with a few rowdy attendants to a wild, unbridled orgy of inhumanly sexy, muscular girls who had miraculously been infused with a power that left each and every one of them far mightier than any other force the world had ever known.

Some of the other people from the neighborhood had been starting to come out to see what was going on since a little while earlier, owing to the strange noises and sights that the events there had created. By now, a considerable gathering was staring at the space above the yard in a mixture of confusion, awe, and arousal, with several of them using their phones to record as much of it as they could. As many of them would come to appreciate, that night would mark the beginning of a change in the world, one so impactful that no one living would ever forget it.

***

Dr. Megan Byrne lay on the massive, opulent sofa-bed that now occupied her living room, panting as she winded down from a fresh bout of her own erotic ecstasy. She could hear them moaning and grunting outside, lost in their shared sea of pleasure. What a delightful bunch of fools, she thought. They have absolutely no idea what the truth of the matter is, but still they revel and indulge themselves.

"Well..." she said, still panting, as she looked down on her own beautiful, naked, sweat-slick body, "works for me. They've been no small help!"

Megan laughed with satisfied amusement, her body still replete with echoes of pleasure and sexual thrills. She calculated that she had gotten off about fifteen times in the space of the past hour, but it still wasn't nearly enough. She suspected that she would have held that same sentiment even before some of the adjustments she had made to her own situation.

Smiling and giggling to herself in a low, seductive tone, Megan rolled over and slumped forward to face the diamond-studded, 24 karat golden coffee table occupying the center of the living room, illuminated by the light of the silver filigree chandelier suspended above. The table held her little darling, the wondrous machine that had made all of this possible. Megan had used the perfect fidelity display atop it to spy on the girls at the neighbors' yard, using them as guinea pigs to see exactly what the device was capable of— and the results had certainly not disappointed. With a knowing, amused expression on her face, Megan briefly turned her attention to the readout of custom details she had personally added to that area, which now displayed as a compiled, unified list:

Cindy is as strong as Superman.

Grace is twice as strong as Superman, and she has his power of flight.

Cindy is thrice as strong as Superman and has all of his powers.

Hannah grows more powerful the longer she sits at the bottom of Cindy's pool.

Because she was submerged for five minutes, Hannah is ten times as strong as Superman and has all of his powers.

Hannah's body will transform into a shape that embodies tremendous, unearthly beauty and shows off all of her incredible power.

Upon coming into physical contact with Hannah, the intensity of Cindy and Grace's powers will grow to match Hannah's, and their bodies will transform into hyper-fit, ultra-beautiful versions of themselves.

All of the empowered girls at the party will develop an irresistible sexual attraction towards one another.

All of the girls at the party who have not yet been empowered will develop all of Superman's powers, transforming into ultra-beautiful versions of themselves as they do so, and develop a similar sexual attraction to one another. Each will develop an adequate, though not perfect, degree of control over her powers to prevent an excessive amount of accidental destruction.

Megan was thoroughly pleased with the results of how she had seen each of her changes unfold. She had used the girls’ desires, helpfully laid out for her by the machine’s readouts, as a starting point, then went creatively from there. She gave herself a mental pat on the back, thinking of herself as an expert mistress of ceremonies. Of course, once she realized the full extent of the capabilities her marvellous machine afforded her, she couldn't resist but to try some of that delectable influence on herself, gradually coming up with a list of modifications that she gleefully applied to improve on her old self:

Megan Byrne has all the youthful beauty, health and vitality of a superfit 20-year-old. She will never grow tired or fatigued, her body will never deteriorate or grow older, and she is immune to all diseases.

Megan Byrne is 100 times stronger than Superman and has all of his powers. She has perfect control over her own strength and complete knowledge and understanding of all her powers.

Megan Byrne can will any superhuman power she can think of into herself whenever she likes.

Megan Byrne has a massive libido and gets superhuman levels of satisfaction from sexual release.

Megan Byrne's home is outfitted with luxurious, indestructible furniture.

Megan Byrne can scream as loud as she wants, but it will be inaudible to other human beings unless she wills it otherwise.

Megan blushed and smiled with an inward chuckle liked an embarrassed schoolgirl upon rereading that last one, as it had definitely come in handy for keeping a low profile. Of course, she figured that doing things that way would be the most fun. Megan was more than smart enough to immediately realize the full implications of what she could do with that miraculous machine, of the power she now wielded. If she exercised the full extent of her influence, she herself could take on a form so omnipotently magnificent that the super-powered bimbos pleasuring each other out there would look like nothing but microbes next to her. But in a way, she was greatly pleased with the knowledge that she could twist the fabric of their realities so dramatically and not one of them came even remotely close to suspecting that she had anything to do with it. It amused her greatly.

I'm really a goddess now, she thought, a goddess who can reshape the world however she likes without anyone even knowing I exist. A goddess who can have as much fun as she wants without anyone trying to spoil it.

Of course, she also knew that even if she chose to reveal herself to the world and show the full extent of her potential, she had the almighty power to simply crush anyone who dared to so much as look at her wrong underneath her heel. But she decided that she liked it better this way. She wouldn't miss out on seeing whatever the super-powered hussies she had created would get up to next for anything. Perhaps she would even empower some saucy new rivals for them, escalate things in the same way she just had, and watch the fireworks. Megan's experiments with the prototype had led her to discover that, even thought she had originally only designed it to cover the small area around her own house, it had also been inexplicably equipped with an import function that allowed it to grab the profile for any object, location or person in the world, allowing her to modify it however she wished.

That was the one thing that still inspired some apprehension in Megan, however. Even as she revelled in her newfound effective omnipotence, she still hadn’t the faintest clue about what kind of force could have granted the machine such incredible properties. The knowledge left her with a lingering twinge of unease; what if she was robbed of all her power just as spontaneously as it had been bestowed upon her, or if someone else somehow got hold of the machine?

Megan sat up and pulled herself together, determined to make one more set of changes before she enjoyed herself any further. They were ones she felt silly for not making at the earliest opportunity, ones that she calculated would be the most impactful for herself... and everyone.

Nobody except Megan Byrne will be able to alter the nature of reality, whether by using her prototype or through any other means.

Megan Byrne herself inherently possesses the same reality-changing power as her own miraculous prototype, and can make whatever changes she likes whenever she likes by simply stating them out loud or thinking them clearly and intently.

The orgasms Megan had felt within the space of the past hour had been the most intense and pleasurable she had ever experienced, but even they paled in comparison to the tremendous sensation that she felt coming over her once she finished drafting those changes. It felt like her body was suddenly being pumped full of fire and ice, a current millions of volts strong, all the force of a cosmic storm washing over her. It felt scary at first, but as all that force continued to flow into her, Megan found it more and more pleasant,understanding that it was a concentration of incalculable power embedding itself into her, inhabiting her very being, irreversibly raising her to never-before-seen exalted heights of godlike might and potency.

The feeling gradually died down, leaving Megan exhilarated to the last second. She took a deep breath before opening a pair of darkly colored eyes that belied unimaginable cosmic wisdom, gazing through the very fabric of spacetime as she looked around. She could perceive every particle of matter before her, from the specks of dead matter invisibly flying through the air to the mind-boggling energies inhabiting the cells of the fornicating supergirls outside her window, something she was quick to focus on again. Her new omnipotent senses led her to appreciate every part of this spectacle in a new light, quickly bringing her to ludicrous levels of horniness once more.

"That's so... fucking hot..." she said, beginning to massage her groin again. "But... this little thing won't cut it anymore. I've got to..."

As her breaths grew heavier and heavier, Megan closed her eyes and concentrated on a newfound wish, wanting to test whether she had truly become all-powerful. Her plainly formulated desires were answered by a pleasant sensation which rapidly grew to mix in with her sexual bliss, as she hovered off the ground and felt her body begin expanding to similar levels of grandeur as those of the young supergirls outside. Megan’s smile widened in thrilled, euphoric satisfaction as her feelings of arousal intensified to gargantuan levels; naturally, she had made sure to specify that such a transformation would carry with it an even greater sensitivity for feelings of carnal pleasure, and an even more earth-shaking release once she worked herself up to climax.

Megan gave a contented, pleasured laugh, basking in the glory of the absolute power she now commanded and the satisfaction of her machine's incredible success. Her thoughts fell back to this last detail for a moment as she opened her eyes, looking upward through the upper level of her lavishly decorated home and into the unfathomable vastness of space, the very same dark depths she fancied she had envisioned earlier when her previous, ordinary self had sat down in frustration. She remembered the call for help she had unconsciously spoken before she had even dared to dream that any of this would be possible.

Imagining whatever lay waiting in the far-off stars beyond her vision, Megan breathed in with a charming smile that reflected deep, pleasured satisfaction before uttering a heartfelt word of appreciation:

"Thank you."

And elsewhere, in an incalculably far-off location, the inscrutable one who had been watching her from the beginning, heard her plea, witnessed her exploits, and now perceived her gratitude, shot back a quick, unheard remark of acknowledgement:

"Anytime, doll."

***

A hazy, enigmatic craft of non-Euclidean construction lurched sideways through space-time, piloted by the very same one who had found Dr. Megan Byrne to be an outstandingly apt recipient for the marvelous gift he had been sent to bestow. But the presence was not alone; as the indescribable ship continued its return journey, another disembodied, plangent voice began to echo through the same contained pocket of unfathomable space:

“You know… if the hot engineer lady’s science doohickey had a virtual representation of her own house that reflected everything in her true reality perfectly, wouldn’t that mean that that same representation would, by necessity, contain a simulated version of the device? And if the changes she made to the simulation were immediately reflected in her actual reality, wouldn’t that mean she could potentially effect some kind of causality-breaking paradox by using the real machine to mess with the virtual one and creating some kind of self-contradictory feedback loop?”

“Aw, you shut up your mouth, you.”

THE END

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