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Starfall - Chapter 5

Written by pansardum :: [Monday, 06 January 2014 18:27] Last updated by :: [Monday, 06 January 2014 19:15]

Chapter 5 - Back to the origin

 

Alice walked through the neighbourhood where it all had begun only a day earlier. The commuters were long gone and the street had slipped back into it’s usual serene state. Alice found her way to the right street and directly spotted the newly patched asphalt. She thought that someone had to have pulled some major strings to get the job done with so short notice.

Alice couldn’t help herself from walking up to the black patch that covered the hole where she had last seen Meteora’s unconscious body. Standing where the hole had been she let her gaze follow the oblong patch that reached towards the closest house. She could clearly visualize the rift Meteora’s body had dug. The earlier episode unfolded before her eyes as she backtracked her actions. The flying heroine, her backhand, the third pill, the female cop’s frantic shots and lastly the event that ultimately brought her here: her amazing transformation.

Something on the lawn caught Alice’s attention, it was a slightly darker patch of grass that would have been near invisible to a regular eye, but to her the darker grass clearly stood out. It was without doubt the outline of her body as the first transformation had occurred. From the dark contour her first steps, as something more than human, radiated and slowly faded as the distance increased.

Alice followed the steps but paused briefly by the closest mailbox, a white box with the blue text "Vanessa Hollowell" engraved on the side. She took a deep breath before she started the walk up the driveway, her sights set on the main door.

The recently awoken Vanessa sat in her upstairs bedroom, wearing only a white bathrobe. She sat on a small stool hunched over her big dresser. Instead of the mirror and drawers the upper part of the dresser were covered in multiple, previously hidden, monitors. The topmost monitors displayed various surveillance cameras from the city and switched view periodically. Scanning every nook and cranny throughout the city. The lower monitors showed various mugshots and police files. Files that completely absorbed Vanessa’s attention. Causing her to miss Alice who appeared behind her.

"I almost thought you had given up crime fighting!" Alice said as she leaned against the bedroom door.

The surprised Vanessa jumped in her chair, nearly causing her to fall off. When she had regained her balance she turned and looked who had spoken. As her gaze fell upon Alice her wide open eyes rapidly narrowed together with her right hand which clenched hard into a fist.

"What do YOU want?  And how did you get in?" Vanessa snarled through her clenched jaw.

Alice couldn’t help but smirk at Vanessa’s response. "So, you remember me?"

Vanessa gritted her teeth. "Of course I do!"

Alice let out a light chuckle. "Good…I was afraid that I gave you a slightly too hard backhand."

Vanessa lightly caressed her cheek, it hadn’t hurt when she woke up but the slap was painfully clear in her memory.

Alice figured that Vanessa didn’t plan to respond and pointed at the dresser. "Nice monitors, I certainly didn’t see them last time I was here."

"Are you planning on stealing them? " Vanessa asked in a condescending tone.

Alice sighed. "Don’t be like that, I just came by to chat."

Vanessa spread out her arms. "Anything else you missed while you dug through my stuff? "

Alice was getting tired of the smug comments but still added in a cheeky fashion. "Well I guess that remains to see."

Alice pushed herself from the door frame and stepped into the bedroom, heading towards the sitting Vanessa.

"I guess you aren’t here to return my pills?" Vanessa said while she closely watched Alice’s approach.

Alice stopped by the dresser and stared with interest at the monitor while it showed different views of the city. "That thought haven’t crossed my mind."

Vanessa’s felt a wave of concern washed over her. "They are genuinely dangerous in the wrong hands, haven’t you noticed?"

Alice kept examine the images that passed by on the monitors. She waved off the worried tone in Vanessa’s voice. "It’s ok, I’m starting to catch up."

"You certainly have…" Vanessa said while she looked at Alice with a hint of distaste. "It’s hard to miss your trail of destruction through the city! "

Alice tore her gaze from the monitor and met Vanessa’s look. "I haven’t hurt anybody that didn’t deserve it."

Vanessa subconsciously caressed her cheek again. Alice noticed the gesture and added. "Except that unfortunate incident. In my defence you attacked me and it was mostly in self defence."

Vanessa’s worry was greater for the not as super-humans unfortunate to have been in Alice’s way. "How about those police officers then?"

"That jerk deserved it!"

"His partner too?"

Alice shrugged her shoulders. "I just wanted to scare her. I think she got the message."

The desperation in Vanessa’s voice grew at Alice’s insouciant attitude. "How about those people in the warehouse?"

Alice’s eyes darkened as she quickly responded through her gritted teeth. "You heard the news!  They were gangsters and thugs. They had it coming and they absolutely deserved it!"

Vanessa rose from her sitting position, causing her to stand toe to toe against the smaller Alice. She stared intently down into Alice’s eyes. "You can’t be judge, jury and executioner!"

Alice didn’t back down and placed her finger against Vanessa’s chest. Gently tapping it against her for each word, causing Vanessa to stagger backwards. "And why should I show criminals mercy when they have none for their victims?"

Vanessa tried to stay strong by hiding the pain from the taps. but the despair broke through her voice. "That is what separates them from us, it is wrong!"

Alice’s taps had forced Vanessa up against the wall. Alice’s finger hovered barely an inch from her chest and made any escape impossible. "And who are you to decide what’s right or wrong?"

Vanessa stood dumbfounded, she hadn’t expected that reply. It took a moment before she found her voice again. "So…so you mean the end justifies the means?"

Alice planted her hand heavily against the wall, causing cracks to spread from her palm. Vanessa could feel the wall creak along the back of her head. Alice leaned in even further, intently staring up into Vanessa’s eyes and almost growled. "At least my means brings an end!"

Their eyes were locked into a staring contest that neither wanted to loose. Time seemed to slow down more and more the longer they were locked into their silent battle. Ultimately Vanessa couldn’t keep quiet any longer and gave in. She spoke with a slightly shaken voice. "So your idea is to scare everyone into submission in a reign of terror, like you are trying to win this argument?"

Alice took a few steps back, enlightened of her almost subconscious aggressive actions. Her face softened as she let out a quiet apology. "Sorry…I’m not really used to be physically intimidating. I…I don’t really know what came over me…"

Vanessa let out a relieved breath and relaxed as Alice sat down on the bed, with her head hanging low. Vanessa couldn’t help herself from asking. "Why do you hate them so much?"

Alice knew what she meant, her hate for criminals was deeply rooted since childhood.

Alice buried her face in her hands. "What haven’t they taken from me?  Everyone I ever loved is dead and buried because people value money over fellow human beings."

Vanessa felt sorry for the crying woman that had broken into her house, for the second time. Her compassion didn’t let her stand idly while Alice spilled her heart. Vanessa awkwardly sat herself on the bed by the crying woman, with her arms on her lap, unsure how she would tackle this situation.

Alice continued, "They took my whole family from me…I was only twelve."

Alice deeply sighed thinking back on that night. "I wasn’t there, probably the reason why I’m the only one still alive. They were just in the wrong store at the wrong time. And for that they died over a handful of dollar."

Alice deeply inhaled in a effort to fight back the tears and find the strength to continue. "They even caught the perpetrator. He was set free for lack of evidence, but I have no doubt; It was him…Ever since that forget and forgive isn’t as easy as it sounds."

Vanessa placed her arm around Alice in a try to comfort. "I know it isn’t easy."

Alice looked up meeting Vanessa’s comforting eyes. "What do you know?  You live in a perfect house and are practically the poster girl for justice!"

Vanessa raised her eyebrows. "You really that naive?  This is just a polished surface…Before I went public as Meteora I wasn’t always friendly with criminals. Believe it or not but we are not really that different."

Alice looked with tear filled eyes on Vanessa. "Why did you choose to go public then?"

"Probably for the same reason you soon will be all over the news. I couldn’t idly stand on the sidelines. Saving people from the shadows greatly reduces the possible interventions."

Alice stopped crying for a moment, wondering what Vanessa meant.

Vanessa noticed Alice’s confused expression. "I heard about the bank."

It took a moment before Alice connected the dots and buried her face into her hands again. "I’m not even smart enough to cover my identity!"

"Don’t be so hard on yourself, neither was I at first. You have probably heard of my first public appearance, It was just lucky that the only photographer underexposed enough to conceal my face." Alice loudly swallowed and managed again to raise her tear filled eyes. "Actually I haven’t, I have had a limited, to say the least, news flow the last months."

Alice paused briefly and sniffled before she continued. "One day I just noticed you in the papers and that was with costume and everything."

Vanessa nodded her head, she was getting a sense that Alice really had some rough history behind her. Which only made Vanessa further question Alice’s suitability as a super being, but at the moment there wasn’t anything she could do to change that.

"Well I started out as a vigilante in the cover of darkness. None of my first meetings with criminals involved the police, at least not for the crime they committed. And really, who would believe them if they reported that they got battered by a woman."

Alice saw how Vanessa’s body slightly deflated as she thought back on those days. Vanessa looked down at her hands as she continued woefully. "During my down time I suffered for that. It’s nothing I’m proud over and I knew something had to change."

Vanessa turned and looked into Alice’s interested eyes. "If you have an ounce of compassion I know you have had the same feelings. No matter how bad those guys were…"

Alice slightly nodded without breaking their eye contact. She clearly remembered the scene in the motel.

"Anyway…One night, I sat high up on a rooftop, surveying the surrounding blocks in search for wherever my intervention could be needed. It was then I saw a driver-less petrol truck careering down a hill. It wasn’t much of a choice, I jumped and placed myself in front of it. It was also the first time I took more than one pill. Needless to say it was more than enough. I guess the truck stopped a bit more abruptly than it was designed for and a spark sent it in the air. It wasn’t a problem for me, but that can’t be said about the surrounding building." Vanessa said and laughed as she thought back on the moment. Her laugh quickly died out and she continued in a serious tone. "It was only lucky no one was injured. The next day the newspapers were full of some hobby photographers photos, showcasing my falling silhouette against the moon and seconds later walking unharmed from the burning truck wreck."

Alice was entranced by Meteora’s first appearance but she could only think of one thing. "How did you get your hands on these pills?"

"It’s a long story..."

Interested beyond belief Alice pushed a bit more, in a more commanding tone. She made sure it really wasn’t an option. "I have time, lets hear!"

Vanessa heard the change in Alice’s tone and decided it was no use to resist. For now it was better to play along and it wouldn’t hurt to tell her story, especially since this was the first and maybe only time she could do it. "Well ok, It actually started with me as a lead scientist on Precision Genetics. A big company, but I worked on a small research department with an even smaller expert team. We were searching for the cure for cancer, like countless scientist around the world. But unlike the rest we were close to a breakthrough when sadly the stock marked crashed."

Vanessa and Alice traded an understanding gaze as Vanessa continued with a shrug. "No matter how close we were some analyst saw our non profit section and was quick to shut it down"

Vanessa looked down on the floor, shortly lost in thoughts before she carried on. "I walked around here unemployed the first week but I couldn’t let the research go to waste. As the workaholic I am, I already had the laboratory downstairs and it stood unused. It wasn’t much to think about. What we had found was a way to speed up cells. All cells in your body work in about monthly cycles before they die and are replaced. We found a way to put the cells in overdrive and speed that process up many, many times over. I refined the formula here and as you understand took the decision to start human trials. But sadly it doesn’t help against cancer"

Alice was truly interested and quick to ask. "How come it doesn’t cure cancer?  I mean I took a bullet in the arm and it healed without a scratch"

Alice showed her unscratched arm to Vanessa who shot it a glance. "As you have noticed it really gives some perks. But the pills enhance everything in your system and since cancer cells are practically a part of you they also work at a much faster rate, actually killing the subject much faster. Even though it doesn’t cure cancer, it gives strength, speed, recovery to injuries and intelligence far beyond human levels. Sadly the same perks prevent me from releasing it publicly. I really don’t trust this kind of power to humanity." Alice’s eyes narrowed as she slightly offended said "I hope that wasn’t a hint to me!"

Vanessa ignored the comment and continued "I did the next best ting, I put on a mask and cape and became this city’s protector. I still work on the formula when I have time, but without progress so far on my test mice."

Alice felt compelled to ask "I gave a pill to…a guy, and he just went to sleep." Alice couldn’t force herself to say neither his name or who he had really been to her. It was too painful.

"That’s actually a safety function, I haven’t really figured it out but it probably has something to do with the Y-chromosome. All my male test subjects showed an overall stronger reaction to the formula and caused in all cases extreme aggression. To counteract that I added an extra hydrocarbon bond that caused the formula to instantly dissolve in male subjects, which makes them only show abnormal fatigue and a light stomach-ache when they wake up. The fatigue also shows in female subjects after a cycle, which you should have noticed by now."

"Yeah, I felt the fatigue as the power left me, but what do you mean by cycle? " Alice asked.

"Well as I said the pills speed up your cells work cycles. One pill compresses a whole work cycle to about 24 hours, with slight variations depending on the person. Then the cells are worn out and replaced by new, which takes about the same time, 24 hours. So I have calculated the amount of formula in each pill to last 24 hours, making it possible to stay super as long as anyone wants. As you noticed they still have a hell of a kick!"

Alice asked curiously. "What if you took more, is there a limit to how powerful one could become? "

Vanessa lightly laughed "Not a theoretical at least, but it would be during a really short time."

Alice thought back on her last cycle. "So you mean that is why I only was super for…6 hours last time?"

"Yes, 1 pill will last 24 hours, 2 pills last half of that and so on."

"By the way, it is long over 24 hours since our last meeting…why haven’t I met Meteora since my little love tap? " Alice asked with a crooked smile.

Vanessa chuckled, slightly embarrassed "Short version. I am out of pills."

"Don’t tell me you only had the pills that i took."

"Well…those were the only pills I had."

Alice looked at Vanessa with a questioning look "I don’t think you are that stupid, keeping all pills in the same place."

Vanessa shrugged her shoulder "I guess I am."

Alice grabbed Vanessa’s hand, lightly holding it while Vanessa’s eyes travelled from their hold into Alice’s eyes. "Don’t lie to me, you know I can read you like an open book with my enhanced senses…I would hate to force the information out of you."

Vanessa knew it was true. Her merest change in movements, smell and even heartbeats were blatantly obvious to Alice and she was even a bad liar to start with. Vanessa sighed, "Ok It really was my last pills, but I had another batch nearly completed in my lab. Problem is that it was connected to the house’s silent alarm."

Vanessa gestured at Alice while she spoke "So this doesn’t happen! "

Alice let out a laugh, "I guess you regret that decision."

Vanessa could only slightly nod in agreement.

"So why not start a new batch? "

"You think I haven’t?  It only takes some days for it to be completed."

Then Alice asked the dreaded question that Vanessa didn’t want to answer. "When will the next batch be ready? "

Vanessa didn’t want to answer, she couldn’t give more of her super-pills to her only really dangerous threat. A misguided woman only dangerous because she had access to those pills. Vanessa knew she had to at least try. What could she loose if the lie didn’t go unnoticed. Vanessa swallowed hard and tried to calm her self down as much as possible. She stared into the floor as she started the short answer "Four days".

It was one day longer than actually needed. During that short answer she hadn’t been able to keep her eyes fixed on the floor, her gaze had rocketed up along Alice’s body and now stared into her eyes. Desperately searching for signs of her being caught. Vanessa’s heart was running wild.

Alice hadn’t realized the importance of the question. She had comfortably leaned herself backwards, into a relaxed position on the bed, leaning on her elbows and staring mindlessly up into the ceiling, calmly awaiting the answer. Her already tight clothes clung even closer to her body, showing off her perfect figure. As Alice threatened she had clearly heard Vanessa’s reaction and her rapidly rising heartbeats. But as Alice looked towards Vanessa she had seen Vanessa’s eyes quickly travel across her out-stretched body. Alice knew she looked gorgeous in her enhanced state and that caused her to misinterpret Vanessa’s physical answer.

Alice turned over on her side, supporting her head with her right hand. She heard Vanessa’s heart race even faster at her movement. Alice looked down on the sheet where she traced small circles on the bed with her left index finger. "You know I…this is kinda embarrassing, but since you or rather Meteora emerged I must admit that I have had some fantasies."

Alice raised her gaze and looked into Vanessa’s wide open, staring eyes. Alice gently placed her hand on Vanessa’s shoulder, she slowly pressed her backwards, down on the bed. Any resistance from Vanessa was either ignored or not even noticed. Alice scooted closer and shifted her hand to trace her left index finger lightly across Vanessa’s torso. It slid carefully across Vanessa’s skin, making its way in and out of her white bathrobe. "I used to daydream of you rescuing me from different dangers, everything from fires to big dangerous thugs. I imagined how you swept me up in your powerful arms at the last second and rushed me to safety."

Alice laughed lightly as she continued, "I guess the roles are reversed now. Except there’s nothing dangerous here." There was a brief pause before Alice smiled as she added, "Besides me…But I don’t bite"

Vanessa wasn’t entirely sure she was safe, in fact she seriously doubted it. She had to struggle with all her willpower against Alice’s captivating amber eyes and her enchanted charm, but it was a loosing battle with little success.

Alice on the other hand sensed that Vanessa was responding to her advances, "I bet you haven’t done this before…"

Vanessa managed to say "N…No…Not with a woman! "

Alice pulled slightly back in surprise before she smiled and continued, "Naughty girl…Really didn’t think that about you."

Vanessa did her best to resist. "THIS ISN’T YOU! "

"Don’t worry despite the powers it’s still all me underneath."

"N-n-noo, I mean the pills reduce all your inhibitions."

Alice rolled back on her back and stretched across the bed. Extending her arms across the sheet. "Wouldn’t this be the purest form of me then? "

With the lost eye contact Vanessa managed to regain her focus for a brief moment and saw her opportunity. She quickly grabbed a pair of handcuffs from her night stand and cuffed Alice’s right arm to the closest of the bed’s wooden headboard posts. With the cuffs locked she quickly rolled off the bed and rushed for the bedroom door. Alice hadn’t bothered when she heard Vanessa’s fast movements. She was relaxed by the fact that Vanessa couldn’t run from her, and certainly not harm her. She looked toward the wooden bed post she was cuffed to. "So you want to play naughty? "

Alice grabbed the wooden post and carefully tugged, "I hardly believe these will slow me down."

Splinters flew through the room as the wooden post broke loose. Standing up she let the post drag along the wooden floor as she followed after Vanessa. "You can run, but I hardly believe you can hide! "

Alice let the post grind into the floor, giving off a scraping sound as pieces slowly broke off leaving a trail in the floor and letting Vanessa know that she was closing in. "Ready or not, here I come! "

Down the corridor Vanessa frantically searched through the bathroom cabinets. She knew her time was limited and Alice approaching footsteps brought her pulse to its peak. It didn’t take long until Alice stood leaning against the door frame showing her cuffed arm. She traced the wooden post with her free hand until it reached the steel cuffs. A quick pinch later the cuffs were in pieces and fell towards the floor together with the post. Alice raised her gaze towards her prey. "I really hoped you would run further! "

Their eyes met at the same moment as Vanessa’s hand dropped a pill into her open mouth. Alice cursed herself for not seeing it coming, her hesitation was brief before she darted towards Vanessa. The pill slowly fell, almost suspended in the air as Alice quickly closed the distance.

The pill touched Vanessa’s tongue at the same moment as Alice strong grip closed around her neck. Alice let her momentum continue forward, heaving Vanessa forcefully against the wall. The scene happened with such speed and force that drawers and bathroom appliances in Alice’s wake got tossed around in the small space.

The strong grip prevented Vanessa from swallowing, despite her many feeble tries. It also constricted her airways, making each breath increasingly strenuous. Her vision started to blacken when she felt Alice’s sweet lips lock onto her own.

Alice easily subdued Vanessa’s tries to break free while her soft lips tightly secured their position. Her strong tongue easily pried open Vanessa’s jaw and continued it’s way into her mouth. Alice’s powerful tongue searched its way around Vanessa’s mouth, exploring the cavity in its hunt for the pill. Vanessa tried to move the pill around her mouth, away from Alice’s tongue, but the longer their hide and seek continued the more aware Vanessa became of Alice’s tongue’s sweet taste and soft texture. For a second Vanessa forgot all about what she was doing and lost herself in Alice’s arms. In the same moment Alice broke off the kiss and released Vanessa, who surprised slumped to the ground and remained leaning against the wall. Standing over her was Alice who slowly licked her lips to savour the, to her, gentle kiss. Alice briefly let the pill show between her lips, in a show to the sitting Vanessa. A show of her catch before she let the pill slide down her throat.

Alice immediately gripped her stomach as she felt the pill take effect, forcing her to take a step backwards. No matter how many pills she had taken she would never get used to the euphoric sensation that flowed through her as the transformation of her inner structure underwent.

The familiar warmth spread from her throat down to her stomach as the pill dissolved on its way there. The warmth lingered in every muscle in it’s path as it spread into each limb. Alice felt how her stomach got an even better definition under her fingers, as her already visible ridges got deeper and further defined her abs. She could feel how her shirt shifted slightly as it filled slightly more, showing more skin in the already deep cleavage. The warmth also spread downwards, filling out her jeans close to their breaking limit. Alice wondered how she would ever get them off, without tearing them in half. To the silently staring Vanessa the transformation was nearly invisible, hidden behind the clothes, but she knew all too well what was happening.

As the transformation subsided the warmth finally reached Alice’s skin and flowed across her body, thickening her skin even further and giving it an unbelievable healthy glow. Alice couldn’t contain the wonderful feeling any longer and let out a small moan as the last changes were applied.

As the transformation subsided Alice raised herself from her hunched position. Stretching herself she showed off her newly acquired subliminal improvements. "I will never get used to that! "

Vanessa’s head sank in defeat at the sight, she had screwed up her last chance. Alice let her hand run through her long flowing black hair and shifted her attention from herself to the nullified Vanessa. After a quick step forward she stood, with her hands on her hips, towering over the sitting woman. Alice looked down, "I thought you were out of pills!"

Vanessa’s head hung low and she stared mindlessly into the floor. "That was my last emergency pill…"

Alice knelt besides the broken Vanessa and said "It really pains me that you see this as an emergency."

Alice gently gripped Vanessa’s jaw and raised her face. She carefully brushed away a lock of Vanessa’s hair that covered her dispirited face. "Anyway, thanks for the talk."

Alice gently placed a kiss on Vanessa’s cheek before she rose and walked towards the door. Vanessa’s gaze followed Alice’s long legs rising up from the floor. Her stare lingered on Alice’s well sculptured backside as it swayed sultry for each step as she slowly made her way towards the door. Alice caught Vanessa’s stare as she turned in the doorway. Enjoying the attention she couldn’t help but smile at the blushing Vanessa.

"Until next time…" Alice said and vanished as sudden as she had appeared.

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