Super Soldiers, Part 2
Written by Scrobthefancyturtle :: [Monday, 02 January 2023 03:39] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 07 January 2023 09:38]
Chapter 2. Learning the Hard Way
Each member of the team was tested against each other.
Leaving the atrium and entering a small courtyard outside, general Tobias observed how each teammate would race each other two at a time. The winner, by a mile was Alex. Running down the 2000 metre track in less than 2 minutes. Well above any human record.
Next was weight training. A 1000KG barbell was set up and each teammate was told to lift it. The three men had a little trouble getting it off the ground but could manage it. Alex could just get it passed her knees before her grip failed her. Lydia however had no problem lifting the weight off the ground, and over her head for that matter.
She couldn’t help but to laugh looking at the massive weight above her. Curious, Lydia slowly lowered the weight to her chest and pushed it back up, pressing 1000KG over her head several times before she decided to really show off. Holding the weight above her head. She slowly lowered her left hand and blew a kiss towards Bradly and rested her hand on her hip. Easily holding the massive weight over her head singlehandedly.
“Impressive.” Said Tobias.
“Thanks.” Replied Lydia pressing the weight a few more times and twirling it in her hand.
“I mean, this feels pretty lite.”
“you’re not serious.” Alex interrupted incredulously.
“Is it really that easy for you?” asked Tobias.
“Can I try something with this?” asked Lydia, nodding upwards to the weight above her head.
Seeing Tobias nod gave her all the permission she needed. Lowering the weight and holding it out in front of herself, she grabbed the bar from both ends and began to try and push her hands together. She didn’t expect it to work but she was surprised to feel very little resistance from the bar as she began to bend it. Reinforced steel failed to withstand her slender fingers and Lydia touched her knuckles together bending the 1000KG barbell as if it was a pool noodle.
Satisfied with her display, she simply opened her hands and let the deformed bar fall to the ground as it cracked the concrete it landed on.
“You think you got anything heavier?” she asked, turning to look at Tobias.
No words were said but Lydia could see in his eyes that he was carefully thinking about his next move. After a moment of silence, Tobias played his hand.
“Wait here.” He spoke. Before he excused himself from the group.
Lydia couldn’t stop smiling looking down at the weight she had just mangled, and she spent the next few minutes chatting with her teammates.
“I figured it out.” Piped up Bradly, pointing his finger towards Lydia.
“Is that really your best name for me?” asked Lydia behind her laugh.
The group were so invested in their chat that they almost didn’t notice general Tobias exiting the car he must have used to reappear so quickly.
“Okay miss Jones” he said, getting everyone’s attention.
Lydia took a mental double take. He couldn’t seriously be asking what she thinks he’s asking.
“Lift what? Sir.” She asked.
“Lift this car.”
Lydia hesitated for a moment. She wanted to believe he was bluffing, but looking at his ungiving face, Lydia followed her orders.
Walking over and crouching down next to the vehicle. She took one look back at her team. Seeing their supportive faces. she took a deep breath, placed her hands on the underside of the car and heaved. she felt the resistance only for a moment before she felt the steel frame of the vehicle slowly rise along with two tires a moment later. A huge boost of confidence shot over Lydia as she realised that she could do it. Not skipping a beat, she slowly bent her arms and watched the side of the car rise further until she could crawl underneath it and slowly stand, resting the car on her back. Bending her knees and readjusting her grip, she pushed up and began to press the car over her head.
She was lost for words, she stretched out her arms fully and looked up at the 2-ton machine she was holding above her head, and she found it easy. She could’ve probably kept it up there all day if she wanted. Breathing heavily, she quickly turned to look at her teammates and watched as they cheered her on.
Feeling confident, she decided to show off again and began to lower the car to her chest before quickly raising it again, completing several reps. She also readjusted her grip, so her left hand was directly in the middle of the car and blew a kiss to her team with her new free hand before placing it on her hip and continued to do reps with the vehicle until she got a bit carried away and accidently threw it several feet straight up in the air and stepped to the side as it landed next to her.
Leaning her arm on top of the car she just treated as a beachball and shooting a smug look over to her teammates. She needed something cool to say. And thinking on her feet and speaking in the “coolest” voice she could come up with. She spoke.
“Oh yeah, I could get used to this.”
The rest of the day was a rush for Lydia. For her, nothing else, of much importance happened, besides her whole team learning that they will be woken up at some point in the middle of the night. Of course, there was no more explanation given.
With that General Tobias had left and sent the whole team back to the atrium and Lydia spent the rest of the day being both equally praised and mocked for her newfound strength and arm wrestling her teammates. There was no contest. She, finally was the most powerful person in the room.
LATER THAT NIGHT
BANG! Lydia awoke, she didn't know what was happening. she heard a loud crash from outside her room followed by footsteps and alot of shouting. there was another bang and Lydias door was forced open.
Several large men all masked and armed pulled Lydia, still in her underwear, from her bed. Before she could collect herself, or her clothes, she was pushed through into the atrium joining her team. It was clear that each member was woken the same way. Assuming that this was what Tobias had warned them about the previous day. Lydia didn’t say anything. But then again, she didn’t have to, because Alex had already said what the whole team was thinking.
“This couldn’t wait until morning?” she asked, mid-stretch.
The group of masked men stayed silent, and they all raised their weapons pointing at each member of the team.
Whatever tension in the air was instantly doubled when the two scientists walked through the open doorway, who were stopped in their tracks as one of the masked men turned and fired upon them.
Blood splattered on the wall behind the scientists who quickly fell, dead.
Lydia was too shocked to move. She stood there like a statue waiting for Tobias to appear and announce this was part of a sick test and that those scientists were actually okay. But something felt off. It was almost like she could look inside those two bodies and see the damage those bullets did. It was almost like out of the 17 people in the room, she could only hear 15 rapidly beating hearts.
She just knew that this was real. And she wasn’t the only person who realised the danger the group was in. Ryan was the first to act.
He ran and grabbed the gun pointing at him, pushing it and its owner to the ground. It was like a bomb went off. Her teammates were fighting. The masked men were shooting. And Lydia stood rooted to the spot, not knowing what to do. She saw James hitting a man in the head with his own gun. She saw Bradly, beating down one of the men. She saw Alex throwing one man into another. And she saw the barrel of a rifle pointing at her face.
Before she could think, there was a flash and she was knocked to the ground. Something must have knocked her on the side of her head. Maybe another shooter but Lydia didn’t have time to think about it. All she could do was stare at the man about to take her life.
Lydia could feel something building up behind her eyes and then, everything happened all at once. The man shot his weapon, a beam of light emitted from Lydia’s eyes, and Ryan had jumped between the two.
It was as if life was moving in slow motion. The bullet shot by the man had entered Ryan’s lung, and Lydia’s eye beams had gone through his head like it wasn’t even there.
Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at what was happening. The beam wasn’t stopping and Lydia watched as it went through the man behind Ryan and the explosion proof walls of the atrium. She closed her eyes, hoping that this was a nightmare, and when she opened them, she’d be back in her bed with no eyebeams and no men trying to kill her and her team. Opening her eyes, she was crushed realising that only one of what she was hoping came true. The beams were gone. But the men were still there, and Ryan was still dead.
Getting to her knees, Lydia scanned the room and counted the rest of the masked men. She was furious, a literal fire burning behind her eyes. The masked men waisted no time in pointing their weapons and opening fire on Lydia. She didn’t dodge, she didn’t even try to stop the oncoming bullets. But she did notice that they seemed to be moving really slowly. She watched one as it approached her shoulder. It was going so slow that she probably could’ve caught it. But she didn’t care, she just watched as it hit her and began to crumple against her bare shoulder, rebounding off and imbedding itself deep into the concrete she was crouched on.
Looking back up to see more bullets coming, she blinked and the world seemed to turn back to its normal speed and she felt every bullet as it bounced off her. Some on her face, some on her bare legs, and some in her cleavage. she had to admit. It felt good.
She attacked, running up to each man and punching them across the room. All the while, being shot with enough bullets to take down a small army. By the time she reached the 4th man, the rest of the masked men decided to make a break for it.
The three remaining men ran to the door the scientists had come from and struggled hard against the handle all the while Lydia began to make her way towards them. She was about to land a punch on one of the men when a stray bullet hit her in the eye. it didn’t hurt Lydia, but it startled her, knocking off her aim and instead of punching the man, she had punched elbow deep right through the reenforce steel door. Shaking her head, Lydia pulled her arm back and to her own surprise, ripped the entire 18-inch-thick door off its hinges and had sent it flying to the other side of the atrium.
Recovering from the sight of her own strength, Lydia turned and grabbed one of the fleeing men by their rifle and crushed it in her grip. Using her free hand, she grabbed the man by the back of his neck and swung him around like a baseball bat, knocking down the other two men, where they laid, unresponsive.
Turning her attention back to the man in her hand, she readjusted her grip and held him off the ground by the throat.
“Who sent you?” She demanded. Her eyes glowing.
The man didn’t respond, so she tightened her grip around his neck. He started to claw at her hand trying his best to free himself. But for all his strength, he couldn’t even budge her little finger. He began kicking Lydia only to get the same result, the strong man kicked her flat stomach with enough force to cave in a normal person’s skull, but Lydia didn’t care.
She squeezed some more. She could feel all the muscles in his thick neck fighting and failing to keep their shape as Lydia continued to close her fist.
“That’s enough Lydia!”
She turned to see James on the floor.
“Drop him.” He ordered.
“Why?” Lydia shouted back.
“Why should I?”
“Cause if you kill him now, we wouldn’t learn anything.” He answered.
“We could ask one of the others.”
“What others!” James shouted gesturing around at the chaos on the floor.
Lydia looked around and was shocked. James was right, she had killed them all. She just thought they were unconscious but looking at the state she left them in it was unmistakeable.
Dropping the man, Lydia retraced her steps. It was easy for her to see the path she took, because each of her footsteps had left a small crater in the concrete. She reached Ryan’s body, now surrounded by Alex and Bradly. Lydia fell to her knees and began to cry with her teammates.
“I did this.” She said in-between sobs.
“What did you do?” asked James as he stood.
“I killed him. He tried to save my life and I killed him.”
She looked down at her teammate. There was no questioning about it. What was left of Ryan’s head was still smouldering and Alex was inconceivable. Lydia leaned into Bradly and cried. Bradly did the same. Bringing his arms around her and they all began to mourn their fallen friend.
The next few days seemed to melt away. After the shock of Lydia’s powers and Ryan’s death, the team seemed to be in a form of limbo. Going through each day as they came.
Lydia awoke with a start. She had another nightmare, the same nightmare as the night before. And the night before that. Clearly not getting any sleep she decided to leave her room. It was easy for her nowadays. The people in charge stopped locking her door after she pulled three of them off their hinges. She stepped outside to the courtyard where she first used her strength and sat down in front of the fence, next to a large pile of scrap and leaning on a broken tank.
There she sat, like most nights, staring at the stars. She was so lost in her thoughts and her feelings that she didn’t notice Bradly sitting down next to her.
“You too huh?” he asked, getting her attention.
Lydia pulled her legs up to her chest and said nothing. Bradly continued.
“Y’know, I used to sneak out all the time. My dad had to put bars on my window to stop me getting onto the roof.”
Lydia continued to look up pretending to ignore him, but she listened to his every word.
“It didn’t stop me though, I found new ways to get there, and you should’ve seen his face on nights where he’d come home from work and see me laying there. He’d say “Get down from there, do you know how dangerous that is.” But it never stopped me.”
Bradly looked at the night sky.
“I’d keep going. He’d find new ways to keep me on the ground and I’d find new ways to get there anyway. It sorta turned into a game for us.”
“Why are you telling me this?” asked Lydia.
“Because it’s the same thing now.”
Lydia stared at Bradly with tears in her eyes, she didn’t know what to say. And she had no idea how these situations are even remotely the same.
“They’re trying to keep us on the ground. Trying to keep us locked up in these cells. I know its what we signed up for, but there’s something off about the whole thing. “
Lydia said nothing.
“I mean, we’ve been here maybe a month now and they still won’t tell us what’s going on. Yeah they told us they’ll make us stronger, but I never thought I’d see you throw a car or see Alex using fully armed men as numb chucks.”
the momentary chuckle Lydia felt she quickly shut down. “Now is no time to laugh” she thought to herself as her momentary happiness was replaced by guilt.
“I mean hell, they still haven’t even told us what that whole situation was about. Were we attacked? Was it the plan Tobias told us about? Nothing.” Continued Bradly.
“What do you think it all means?” She asked him.
“I don’t know it's just... forget it. Are you okay?”
Lydia let her head go limp banging on and denting the tank behind her.
“I don’t know.” She answered truthfully.
“Well, I just want to make sure you know. None of us blame you for what happened back there.” he spoke.
“Don’t. none of us knew that you would do that. But Ryan knew that he was jumping in front of a bullet for you. That was his choice.”
“I know it was but-“ Began Lydia but Bradly interrupted her.
“No buts. He knew that he could’ve died but he did it anyway. He wanted you to live and he did everything he could to make sure you did.”
“He didn’t have to. I’m bulletproof, you saw how they bounced off me, he didn’t need to do that. why did he-”
"Lydia." Bradly cut her off. "it's okay."
There was a moment of silence, Lydia let her tears flow and Bradly took his time before he asked his next question.
“Is this the first time you’ve lost someone?” he asked.
“You?” She asked returning the question.
Bradly shook his head, “I lost some good friends. But I kept going, I made new friends and a carried on along the road they left me on. It’s hard, but I know that’s what they would’ve wanted for me.”
Lydia bowed her head for a moment before she looked into Bradly’s eyes.
“Does it get any easier?” she asked.
“It always scars. But that’s just it. They’re scars. They never disappear, but you grow around them. like chains in a tree.”
Lydia took a moment and looked up at the stars. She didn’t know what to think about it, but she knew Bradly was right. Ryan chose her life over his and she knew that he wouldn’t want her like this. He’d want her out, finding the person behind the attack and returning the favour, he’d want her laughing and smiling. Not how she’s been for the last few days.
“I’m sorry.” She said, looking to the stars.
“Don’t be.” Answered Bradly.
Lydia knew that Bradly thought she was talking to him. But for that moment she didn’t mind. Because for that moment it was like she heard Ryan responding to her apology and it gave her the strength she needed to carry on.
“I’ll give you a minute.” Said Bradly as he rose to leave.
“Please stay.” Lydia asked as she held out her hand.
Bradly took it and sat down next to her as they watched the shooting stars in the night sky.