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Not the One – From Strength to Strength – Chapter 13-16

Written by Dru1076 :: [Sunday, 27 April 2014 13:53] Last updated by :: [Thursday, 08 May 2014 23:44]

Not the One – From Strength to Strength 

By Dru

Chapter 13

The council had not expected to see Susan again so soon. They had fallen from grace among their people, and were engaged in political discussion.

Replacements, ready and waiting as they were, had already filled the chairs that Susan had emptied. The new recruits were a great help, having just recently been the enemy they knew a great deal about long term plans being put in the works by ambitious individuals.

“We have little to worry about. The people already see us as standing between them and the ring.”

“Let us encourage this believe … but alter it a little. Now we protect them.”

“Now we are all that stands between the people and the ring-bearer.”

“But what would you do?” a new, horribly familiar voice interrupted their 0brain-storming, and the whole twelve quivered.

“You …”

Susan hovered near the gathering, looking at the new faces. “Listen up you assholes. I want to know how many messages you sent through the black-holes.”

“We would tell you, but the man who did that is dead.”

“You killed him,” another added.

Susan cursed as she realised it must have been one the councillors whose mind she hadn’t squeezed for knowledge.

“It doesn’t matter though. The more the merrier, I always say …” Showing them Kryall’s addition to her finger jewellery, Susan did a back-flip and stretched as she lifted away from them, the pure energy surging within her making her eyes glow. Leaving them to their petty problems, Susan left their atmosphere without getting any of the information she had wanted.

So powerful now that she could travel at the speed of thought, Susan chose to glide smoothly through the universe and explore a bit. A lot was going through her mind as she passed through galaxy after galaxy. She had learned a good lesson from Kryall. His use of the power had destroyed the beauty of his civilisation, and his mind. She didn’t want that to happen with her.

Approaching the brightest star she had seen in all of the galaxies she had been through, Susan filled herself with abundant strength until her muscles were a thousand times harder than diamond. Going closer to the star, she was cautious. The heat must have been tremendous, she decided, but as the violent churning flames produced a huge flare the column of white fire that consumed her left her hair unsigned. Even the tiny outfit she had made survived the blast of heat. Entering the star, Susan wafted through the fireball and bathed in the warmth for a while, reducing her power level until the incinerating gases comfortably warmed her flesh . Adjusting her eyes so she could see through the flames, Susan headed out into the void to find that universe where she had been so rudely interrupted. If there were any ringbearers around, then she would soon know. Until then, she would have some fun.

Flying clear past Cherone and Kryall’s new home in the void, Susan smiled at the pair. Cherone had scared the beetles away, but not before they had eaten most of Kryall. He lived, and Susan assumed he would for centuries. She was curious to know whether his body would grow back, and decided to call back in a few years to see if had.

The battle in the uncharted universe was over now, so Susan went past the victorious imperial battle cruisers and travelled deeper until she spotted a ship down on a planet. This planet was teeming with life, and Susan’s eyes could penetrate the foliage of the abundant trees and see the crew herding a lot of people toward the ship.

Flying around the planet a bit, Susan streaked into the atmosphere a safe distance away so they were still off guard when she arrived.

Studying the clothes of the captives, Susan copied the style, changing her outfit with a bit of concentration and a blink. Letting gravity take a little of her weight as she settled, Susan waited for the slavers. She was surprised how close they got before they saw her.

“Hey! Get that one.”

A few guards moved toward, and Susan allowed them to herd her into the crowd.

The slavers had only gathered up the village women. A little probing revealed to Susan that the males had all been slaughtered. Only the very old and the very young were left behind in the village. Remembering how Kryall had charged up his guards, Susan got an idea.

“Hey, boss-man!” Susan called out, surprising the ‘civilised’ imperials with her use of their language. “Don’t you know anything about these people?”

“Silence her!”

Susan took a rifle butt in the gut, and smiled at the surprised look on the guards face. “You don’t want to do that,” she told her assailant coldly. But he continued to bring his second hit through to her cheekbone. Unfazed and unmoved by either cruelly delivered blow, Susan looked him in the eye.

Unable to break from her gaze, the guard was suddenly aware how intelligent she looked. Then he noticed how attractive her body was, and could not look away. A corner of her mouth turned, then everything went black.

Susan looked at herself through the guards eyes, his mind unable to fight against her overwhelming power. She had driven him into a corner of his head and taken the wheel. In this body she got a great sense of weakness, the movements he made were very slow, just like the guy Kryall’s palace. Getting his finger to the trigger of his rifle, she made him shoot his boss. Her next target was the guy with the radio. Then Susan started popping them off one at a time until a hail of bullets devastated the doomed slaver. Looking at them through her own eyes again she laughed.

“Take a good look at these women, assholes. They’re going to bring down your empire.” Closing her eyes, Susan set up a series of links using all the energy in Kryall’s ring to change the women crowded around her into indestructible super-beings. Slowly their muscles filled out and condensed as the power flowed into their bodies, their traditional clothes torn as the abundant strength each one possessed became painfully evident. There were startled cries, and confused babbling from the captives. Susan learned their language in two beats of her heart and spoke to them.

“I am you new leader. I have made you unstoppable, for the purpose of destroying the Empire.”

Not wanting the crowd to get focused, the guards started shooting randomly with their tranquilliser guns, but the needle pointed projectiles were shattered on the impervious flesh she possessed. The crowd stood unharmed, checking themselves in amazement.

After firing a few more random shots the slavers ran for the ship, though none of them made it. Susan’s little army was much faster than the equipment-laden slavers. The fight was short. The men disintegrated in the struggle, their useless weapons blasting away pathetically as they were wiped out by the unarmed women. With limbs and blood littering the ground around them, the women stood in awe of their own physical power, some of them experimenting on any nearby tree or rock.

Smiling, Susan led them to the ship.

In a distant corner of her universe, a new challenger came bursting though a swirling black-hole, and headed straight to the home of the Twelve. This particular ring-bearer was unlike the others that had come before him. He came to help the council, and not for his own benefit.

He found them as the vague message had directed, and entered the galaxy at a safe speed to finally land in the remains of the chamber.

“I see your problems have complicated since your message.”

The councillors looked around, uncertain of this newcomer. He wore no ring.

“And who are you?”

“I am Rrygar. I answer your call for help. Where is the renegade now?”

The councillors looked at each other with hope. Could this be the answer to their problems?

“We don’t know. She has complete command of the ring now.”

“Are you a ring-bearer?” the leader of the council asked. “I see no ring on your finger.”

The strange man smiled, holding out his open palm. “I am a ring-bearer. It’s metal flows through my veins and rests in my cells.” A flame jumped into life just above his skin. “I will find the Unchosen, and return the ring to you.”

Chapter 14

The particles of dust and, as predicted, even light rays passing through a wide area around the black hole were drawn in. Everything accelerated as it entered the funnel. Everything except one tiny dot in the fast flowing stream.

Susan could definitely feel the force working on her, but was able to ignore it and fly in at her own cautious pace. She was impressed by the awesome display, and wanted to understand it more.

“Wow,” she thought, going deeper to the point where the trapped debris began to collide in an increasingly violent and beautiful show. Juiced up as much she was, Susan had to reduce her density a bit so she could get a massage from the impact on her flesh.

Moving on down the narrowing tunnel Susan watched the walls gradually change from several shades of black to a dark blue colour. Every now and then a great bolt of electrical energy would arc from on side to the other. Even her mind could not penetrate the wall, so Susan stayed well away from them. Avoiding the bolts became impossible when they intensified into a constant stream.

Studying the odd-coloured lightning, Susan found it was not the same as the power that she accessed with the ring.

“If Kryall got through here,” thought Susan, “I’ll have no problem.”

But she had no intention of taking her time to admire the scenery in there.

Launching herself forward, she passed though the danger zone into a calm area.

She could feel intense pressure here, and as she flew through the condensed core of the black-hole Susan saw the solid mass that was forming at the centre of the black hole. The molecules had been so condensed by the forces in this mysterious place that now formed a singularity.

Spotting the exit, Susan passed through another storm of odd lightning and made her way toward Kryall’s home. The currents of the black-hole worked against her now, but she still accelerated as she flew through billions of on-rushing atoms. Spreading her arms and opening her eyes wide to enjoy the spectacular collisions, she zoomed up the shaft and seconds later burst into the crumbling universe Kryall had controlled for so many eons.

She could have taken Kryall’s power away without coming through the black-hole. But she wanted to see him. See him suffer.

Knowing this place as well as Kryall, she moved through her mind through the expanse of this strange universe to verify his image of it. Getting her bearing, she accelerated up to and far beyond light-speed and traversed the two-hundred and fifty thousand light-years to Kryall’s home planet in twelve seconds. Clothing herself in a few scraps of white, she descended on the tattered planet and examined the result of Kryall’s rule. No new buildings had been constructed for nine millennia, and of those that remained seven out of every ten had had no roof, and half were missing walls.

“Incredible.”

The palace of Kryall was gigantic. Red stone from a distant world hewn by the mind of a madman.

“That’s got to go before I leave,” Susan noted, disgusted by the ghastly architecture. Looking through the walls she found Kryall’s son Zogar enjoying his favourite pastime of manipulating the people of his wretched world. He couldn’t just control them the way his father did, but Zogar was very strong and quite willing to inflict pain when displeased, or kill those who disobeyed him. He was older than she thought. He looked older than his father.

Susan gently entered the mind of one of the men standing around Zogar, learning that he was the man who shipped Zogar slaves from his own home world.

Testing a theory, Susan pushed the unsuspecting man back into his subconsciousness, and slipped behind his eyes. Filling his head with a freckle of herself, she took control of him.

“Bring in the next group,” Zogar ordered. But there was hesitation from Zogar’s second. While the cleaning crew finished throwing the bodies of the last lot, Zogar sat back on his thrown and glared it the shaking man. “You have had your job for only a few years, Regor. But you should know by now that I’m not a patient man.

“My master, the expected shipment had been delayed at drydock. There was an incident during unloading, and we had to kill one of the behoeth. The others are sedated, but others are coming now. They are on their way to the palace.

Zogar’s eye’s narrowed, and he stood up.

“How long will it take them to get here?”

“Ten minutes, Master, maybe nine.”

“I will be entertained by you until they get here.”

Moving faster than the eyes of her toy could follow Zogar had the poor man in his grasp.

“Zogar!” Susan said, using the slavers vocal cords. “Leave that man alone you sadistic fucker! Get your dick out of him. Go on!”

Zogar looked in disbelief at this insolent pest, and with the dagger in his boot Zogar pinned the slaver to the stone with it. His slaves moved in with huge axes to get the knife back.

Back in her own body, having never really gone anywhere, Susan moved up to the wall. Not slowing, she smoothly shattered the dense stone and came to land to the door to Zogar’s playroom. There were guards, and Susan could feel the power that flowed from her new ring to their bodies. But they had seen walls shatter like that before, and stepped back from the subtly muscled woman who landed in front them.

“You’re fired,” she told them, having heard those words herself so many times.

With a gesture of her hand, she took back the energy that Kryall had given them. They sagged, and dropped their oversized weapons noisily to the floor.

“They are heavy aren’t they?” Susan remarked. She held out her hands and the huge axes levitated into her grip. The super-dense metal screeched as she tightened her grip. Slashing the men in half, she dropped the swords in them and opened the door.

Zogar had nearly forgotten about the last disruption when the massive stone doors to his chamber flew open with tremendous force, slamming into the walls and falling from their hinges.

“Fun’s over, dickhead.”

A strange woman walked in, her bizarre white outfit unlike anything he had seen a female wear. But it wasn’t the clothes that made him stare with his mouth open, or the remains of the mammoth doors. His eyes traced the lines of her flawless body, and filled with lust.

Never one to ignore an impulse, Zogar moved to have her. He would have her for hours. But as he got closer, he felt something very strange happen. Looking up at the seductive beauty of the stranger’s eyes he got a chill.

Shaking her head at him, Susan watched him run the length of the hall as she drained him. Her plan had been to have him as she had his father. But she had expected a younger man, and though he was younger, the years had treated Zogar worse.

“You just had that thing in someone’s arse, and now you want to stick it in me?”

Zogar glared with rage, but for the first time in his life he was unsure of himself. He didn’t reach her before the force of gravity … something that rarely concerned him … drove him to his knees. He wasn’t down there long before Susan had him in her hand and was laughing in his beet red face.

“My father will end you when he hears of this!” Zogar told her, relishing his threat.

“Really? How’s he going to do that, now that I have this?” Susan smiled pleasantly as widened eyes as she revealed Kryall’s ring on her finger. “I don’t think he’s going to be a problem. I’ll tell you what is a problem though. He’s gone and shared his power with lots of people to keep this empire going, and now that the power he once had is mine, well … I want it back.”

There was a cry of fear and concern, maybe even a little despair, as Susan drained all the guards in the room. She couldn’t keep back a small sigh of pleasure as the power rushed to her body from all over Kryall’s empire, each every drop of power he’d granted to his followers and his armies returned to the ring he once possessed, and flowed directly into Susan’s yearning flesh. In a matter of seconds she reduced Zogar’s godlike army to normal, in effect freeing billions of worlds from tyrany.

“Who are you?” Zogar demanded. His arrogance remained, but it lacked any energy now.

“I am the one who just ended several millennia of injustice in this universe. I’m sure you’d thank me, if you were around long enough to see what a wonderful universe this could be without you. But looking at you, I can tell your not going to be around much longer.”

Indeed, Zogar was looking much the worse for wear after she reclaimed the power Kryall’s and given his son to extend his life. Much like Bilbo Baggins after he gave the One Ring to Gandalf, age was fast catching up with Zogar.

“Why?” He groaned, the effort of uttering that single syllable written on his aged features.

“Because the power is mine now. And I want it all. Of all people here, you should understand that most.”

“Please! I’ll die!”

“And you’re the only one who’ll be unhappy about it, I assure you.”

Susan dropped him and turned to the gathering of Kryall’s courtiers, if indeed that’s what they were.

“This universe is free now!” she declared. “If I were you guys, I’d be gone before too many of the people you’ve put through hell realise you’re all just vulnerable as any other now.”

Feeling really proud of herself, not caring that freeing this universe had really been a byproduct of her hunger for power, Susan stretched her arms out wide and launched through the high ceiling and into the sky. Within seconds she was streaking through deep space looking for more fun to be had. She spotted something that caught her attention. A slave ship like those she had seen bringing in unfortunates to Kryall’s palace was on the surface of small green planet. Closer examination revealed that the occupants of the vessel were rounding up local women, or had been, and were now preparing to load them into the cargo hold. She nearly passed them by, but changed her mind.  It was good opportunity to show these slavers how much things had changed.

She went low, hovering over the slaver’s ship and watching them a moment. None of these slavers had been enhanced by Kryall, so none of them knew there was no longer a market for the slaves they were kidnapping. The girls were all from a comparatively primitive culture, and not able to offer anything beyond a token resistance. With a grin, Susan waved her hand over the chained up women and willed their bodied to fill with strength and vitality beyond anything Kryall had given to anyone. There were cried of surprise as the women gentle filled out, their bodies rapidly filling with strength and hardening beyond reason. Their thickened necks tore free of the steel collars placed upon them, and the shackles on both wrists and ankles were as easily torn asunder by the gentle yet relentless growth.

Realising something was going wrong at quite a rate of knots, the slavers tried to beat the exuberant women back into submission, but found their electric whips no longer seemed to have any affect  in them whatsoever. Susan decided to go explain the situation to everybody, and landed between the slavers and their ship.

“Hello there! I’ve got some bad news, and some good news. Which do you want first?”

The slavers, and the still growing captives, looked at the irresistible beauty before them in silence.

“Well, the bad news is Kryall is no longer the most powerful person around here. The good news is that I am. Oh wait … that’s bad news and more bad news, at least for you guys!” Susan smiled at her new army. “What are you waiting for? These men killed your people and want to take away as slaves. Show them how you feel about that.”

The women looked at each other, and after the first of them had struck one of the slavers and obliterated him with no apparent effort they all bust into action. The scene quickly descended into chaos.

Sitting in his palace, the great and powerful Rrygar was deep in thought. His thinking was interrupted by a nagging thought that invaded his mind … and quite disturbingly the thought was not his own.

“You must help us! We have a new Bearer, but they are not the one! If you are really out there … find us … help us …”

Interesting. An SOS. Rrygar had never even thought life existed beyond the universe he protected. Within moments, Rrygar had travelled with haste to the Council of the Twelve, in order to learn more.

“Help is at hand!” he declared. “Where is this Bearer you spoke of?”

The councillors informed him of everything they knew, and Rrygar thanked them.

“Don’t worry. I have never failed.”

As he departed, one of the councillors turned to his neighbour. “But … he wasn’t wearing a ring …”

Chapter 15

Rrygar had no trouble finding his target. The foolish woman had spread her power out in a web that made her much easier to find than the council had been. He concentrated all of his own power into his body and accelerated toward the universe she interfered with. Rrygar was pleased with this development. He had become bored in his own universe, and felt exhilarated at this opportunity. Avoiding the Imperial forces, he decelerated and looked down at what was going on.

Susan had amped herself up on all levels, and walked through the melee in a new outfit. The gunfire that ripped chunks out of the walls did nothing to her, the laser beams burnt out on her exposed skin leaving no marks at all.

The army she had charged up were tearing the slavers ship to pieces all around her.

“Retreat!”

The soldiers ran in all directions, but their pace seemed comical in comparison to the Super-Corp, as Susan had decided these woman were now called. She was about fly up through the steel ceiling of the cargo hold when something came crashing into her.

The impact was unlike any of the slaver weapons had produced. Susan found herself thrown sideways until the busting bulkheads turned to snapping trees.

Giggling a little after the initial shock was gone, Susan enjoyed the ride Examining the oddly dressed man who she guessed was the next champion of the council. But when she looked for the ring that was her prize for taking this fool down, she was disappointed.

“You haven’t got a ring,” she noted, as they came to rest and he rolled off her. Smiling at him, Susan realised that he hadn’t suspected how powerful she had become now. As Rrygar turned to rise Susan kicked him, making him do a back-flip and crack a stone with his head. But as she tried to get to her feet, he kicked her in the knee. Susan span around leapt up thirty feet to hover a moment, invading his mind. Smiling she realised he had no idea what she doing. Susan had this whole mind-invasion thing down-pat.

“Hey Rrygar. How did you do that thing with your ring?” Susan looked him over, running a hand over her body and subtly giving him an erection.

“I came to kill you, Unchosen One, not give you lessons.” Launching up, Rrygar plunged his combined fists up under her chin at supersonic speed, the shockwaves timed to add power to the impact only served to knock over a lot of trees. Rrygar broke his fists, and stopped to stare in amazement at the busted digits. Mending the injuries quickly, he turned to see Susan still hovering right there. Going in for another shot, this time going for her gut with everything he had. As he drew closer, Susan raised her hand to show him all three rings, and blew him a kiss. The turbulent air stream that burst from her luscious lips was more powerful Rrygar’s ability to fly, and the he went sailing over the surface of planet until relented.

“Hello.”

As he turned, Susan was right there, her hand on his clothes. She was oozing with supercharged pheromones that rendered Rrygar’s mind completely open to her.

Taking him to a clearing on the surface she landed and pushed him to the ground.

“You were a fool to come here, Rrygar. Give me your ring and I will spare your life.”

“It flows through my blood, you cannot take it.”

“Let me show you what you’re dealing with here,” Susan suggested, stepping back and filling herself with all the power of two rings. As her clothes tore away, the fabric quickly re-knitted under her supervision into something more suitable to her mood. “You were not the first to come, Rrygar. You don’t stand a chance against me.” Dumping the full impact of her new primitive aromas on his senses, Susan admired the way he kept a straight face while his body quivered with desire for her.

“You will not take my power, Unchosen One. I will now …”

Susan’s hand closed on his throat, giving him the first bruises he had known in eons. He didn’t need to breath, but the vital blood flow to his brain was halted as her grip threatened to snap his vertebrae. “Quiet, do-gooder. You’re way out of your league.” She drew him up to her face, her breasts painfully pressed into his chest. “You will tell me everything I want to know, even if you don’t say a word. And then I’ll show you why I AM the One.”

He watched her pupils widen, and felt a chill despite her pleasant warmth.

Something to seemed spark in the deep centres of her intense eyes, and Rrygar found himself in darkness as he was shunted into the depths of his subconscious.

Susan learned a lot about Rrygar, more than she needed to know. He was a real hero back in his own universe, but while he was adored by many different cultures in a multitude of galaxies he didn’t really care for any of them. He loved smashing people around, and fighting bad guys vented that. After sifting for a few seconds she found what he hidden. He had figured that the ring worked because of the strange material it was constructed out of, and then absorbed that metal into his body. Marvelling at the simplicity of the idea, Susan withdrew from his head and looked him the eye. She was about to say something before she remembered to restore his consciousness. Clicked her fingers for the hell of it, she brought him back from his temporary coma.

“Let’s go.” Without changing her grip, Susan accelerated out of the atmosphere with the dragging along behind. “You know what I think?” she asked, stopping and releasing him. “I think you better reconsider. I mean, what’s the use in fighting me Rrygar? You know how strong and unstoppable you are. Imagine that power times three. That’s me.” She drew in the last ring, rendering the Super-Corp below on the planet normal once again. As they weakened, Susan’s already impressive muscles inflated, condensing at the same time to impossible degree of invulnerability. Moaning with the deep rush, she rearranged her tearing clothes to accommodate her growing body while her hands roamed the frighteningly strong curves of her body.

“You are too powerful already,” he told her, his thoughts transmitting feebly.

“True,” Susan agreed, calmly using more force than he could bare, and causing a nosebleed. Gesturing with her hand, Susan drew him to her fingertips. His attempted to fly away were only a small irritation. “But if you keep that ring,” she whispered, “I’ll have to melt you down to get it.” Making her other hand hotter than a supernova, she scorched his cheek. His reflex to move away was powerful, but not nearly enough to escape her influence. Susan marvelled at how much easier defeating other ring-bearers was getting.

“Yes! I’ll give it to you!”

Letting him drift away from her, she crossed her ankles and stretched her immensely muscled body. “I can hardly wait,” Susan drooled.

There was a flash of movement and he was gone. Shaking her head she watched him streak vainly away. “I know where you going,” she thought to herself.

Closing her eyes and picturing the black-hole that led to his universe, Susan’s eyelids rose to reveal the swirling vacuum just in front of her.

Particles collided with her at tremendous velocity, but if it wasn’t for the interesting visuals they produced she wouldn’t have noticed. Her gaze shifted to the rocketing superhero, zooming right in on him until she could see the marks she had left on his neck.

“Was I ever that slow?” she asked herself, smiling at his relatively sluggish fear-driven dash for home. As he passed her, she darted out in front of him.

The collision with her abs broke every bone in his body except for three, but the metal in his cells regenerated him in seconds. When he came too he tried to fly off again, but Susan got in front of him again. She watched in fascination as he crumpled into her firm stomach once again, but as the impact threw him away she grabbed him with both hands. Letting him recover, she broke his arms.

“Looks like you and me are going to have some fun,” she told him, her eyes glistening with the rush her power was giving her. Closing her hand more and bringing them together, she drew screams from him as she broke his ribs and mashed his lungs together. As she drew her hands apart his chest rebuilt itself. “You heal good,” she observed conversationally. “But what if this happens?” jerking his arms of the shoulder, she enjoyed his startled cries of pain. “I guess there are limits, hey?” she observed after waiting a moment.

Regarding the arms she held, Susan tested an idea she had. Shooting lasers from her fingers was no problem, and the beams that shot from her eyes were just as easy to produce. Moments later the limbs ignited. In seconds they were reduced to clouds of ash. Soon even the ash had disintegrated. When she shut of the flow, Susan saw a very fine mist. She smiled, and drew the molecules into her body. It was a strange sensation, on she enjoyed very much.

“See? You should have just given it to me when you had the chance.” Her eyes flashed again, and Rrygar’s screams were cut off just when he was starting to hit the high notes.

Chapter 16

Susan had taken from Rrygar more than his ring. She had liked the name he had for her, and decided that from now on she would call herself The Unchosen.

Looking into the black-hole she decided not to visit the universe Rrygar had made so tediously safe. There was still so much of her own universe yet to see, and she didn’t want to rush things.

There was no extra ring on her finger to indicate her increased energy level, but Susan could feel the power flow through her. It felt different … more enveloping than the rings on her hand were. She tingled all over, even when she reduced her power level and her muscles streamlined.

Looking at her hand she decided to absorb the rest of the rings she wore.

Closing her eyes, she concentrated on making one of them merge with her flesh, spreading the molecules out evenly though her body. The sensation drew a moan of pleasure from her lips, and she didn’t open her eyes until only one ring remained, the rest within her body.

“What to do,” she wondered, steering gently away from the black-hole, but marking its location on her mental map of the universe for future reference.

Curious, she cast her mind out to find out how many black-holes there were.

The Unchosen was pleased to note more than three million of the rare vacuums in the vastness of her home universe. She began to wonder just how powerful she was going to be if just a hundred of them produced wannabe heroes.

Thinking of home, her empty beach house formed around her as she teleported herself there. Looking at the bare room she realised that she never did get around to buying furniture. Piercing several walls to examine her bedroom she saw that the authorities had taken the cash from the robbery.

“Like I need money anyway,” she thought aloud, checking outside to see if anyone was staking out the place. It had been months since Susan had dealt with the cops on the lawn. Not finding any suspicious characters about, the front door swung open with a wave of her hand, and she wandered outside to shake her head at the damage done to her house by the gunfire. Concentrating for a moment, she removed all the bullets and closed the holes. The glass shards, mostly on the floor inside he house, rose and reformed in the window frames. While she was at it, Susan fixed the sagging gutters and mowed the lawn.

The council watched her, having been unnerved by the news she had re-entered the range of their Earth spy network. They were horrified by the precision with which the Unchosen applied her power.

“We must tell her of the ring’s purpose.”

“I agree. There is no hope now of getting it back. If the Darkness comes …”

There was a woosh of air, and a strange woman hovered above them.

“I am Roan. Where is the one who falsely wears the ring?”

The councillors took a moment to get over their second big fright of the day.

“No. You must not go!”

“I have come to help you,” the oddly dressed blonde told them. “I cannot do that unless I go.”

“You don’t understand, Roan. The Unchosen has already killed several other bearers. She has taken their rings.”

“Others have heard your call? Will more come?”

“I fear they will, and when they do the Unchosen will increase her power with their deaths. You must return at once to wherever it is you came from.”

“No. If more bearers will come, I will wait. Together we will defeat this Unchosen.”

Susan flew above the city, looking at the buildings and moving people in a new way. Not long ago she had been a slave of the system, serving time in a dead-end job. The thought of her old job turned her east. She landed in the alley behind the bar she had worked in for so many years and altered her form.

Her perfect body sagged a bit while her refined features shifted back to normal. The fabric of garishly sexy clothes she wore grew and changed colour until it resembled the best outfit from her old wardrobe. Susan wanted to be recognised.

It was morning, and the place was yet to open for business. Through the timber of the door Susan could see the man who had been her supervisor sitting down at the end of the bar with the morning paper and a cup of coffee. He was preparing for the day ahead, getting ready to deal with his lazy staff and drunk patrons. But no amount of preparation would get Greg Breidis ready for the woman outside his door.

She knocked carefully, but the gentle taps made an impolite banging. Watching him turn his head and drop his paper in disgust, Susan was amused as he rose and dug for the keys in his pocket. There had been a time when Susan was afraid of this cranky old fool.

When the door opened and Greg saw Susan standing there with a big smile on her face he snorted with disdain.

“What the hell are you doing here? I’ve got no work for lazy daydreamers.”

The closing door was stopped by Susan’s foot.

“I’m here for a drink.” A shove of her hand opened the door, knocking Greg on his ass. She closed it behind herself, and turned the key before snapping it off and dropping Greg’s key-ring onto his chest. Crossing over to the bar, Susan pulled back a stool and sat there patiently while Greg raged a moment.

“Just what the fuck do you think you’re doing? Do have any idea how much time you’ll do for this? I’ve got a right mind to beat the living shit out of you myself. Locksmiths know how to charge, and so do the police.” He stomped to the phone behind the bar and dialled the station number.

“The phones are dead,” Susan mentioned conversationally. As she finished her sentence the electronic ringing stopped in Greg’s ear. “How about a J.D.?”

Deciding he didn’t need his mates from the cop-shop anyway, Greg walked round the bar and grabbed her by the back of the neck. She played along for a moment, allowing him to drag her across the room toward the back of the pub.

“There’s more than one door in this place.”

“But Frank, I’ve changed since you fired me. Changed a lot.”

“People like you never change.”

Suddenly Greg found his progress rudely halted. He was a large man, and very strong. His strength failed him now, however, and the smiling woman in his grasp remained rooted to the spot despite his best efforts.

“I’ve become a force to be reckoned with now, my feeble friend.” Susan placed a hand on his chest and pushed him through the tables into the wall where he crumpled pitifully.

By the time Greg looked up, Susan had transformed. Her outfit remained the same, but the fabric had shrunk to fit her curves tightly. Blinking and shaking his head a few times made no difference, and Greg felt a chill. There was something very unnatural going on here.

“A suppose it is unnatural, Greg,” Susan observed, “A person shouldn’t be able to do the things I can.” She held out her hand, and Greg lifted from the floor to hover in her unseen embrace.

“What are you?”

“It’s all to do with these silly aliens. They were looking for a champion and, of course, they picked me!”

“This is ridiculous.”

Smiling, Susan wasted no time pumping the story directly into his brain. His eyes went very wide, and he shrank against the wall.

“Are you going to kill me?”

“That would be far too easy. I just wanted to let you know, that’s all.”

Looking at him, quivering in her mental grasp, Susan observed his reaction as she dumped over-active pheromones into the air.

“You might actually enjoy what I have in mind.”

He began to breath differently, his blood moving through his veins faster.

Floating up to put herself against him, she removed her clothes and moved over him until he pulled his pant down and tried to enter her.

“You’d like that wouldn’t you?” she asked him, floating up and positioning herself over his face. She made him stay there until just before the first members of staff entered.

The handle turned, but before the door swung open Susan vanished … leaving Greg to be found on the floor with his pants down.

Susan had taken great satisfaction in humiliating her old boss like that, but he had just managed to get her aroused when they had been interrupted. Flying around the massive sprawl of the city Susan sought a man who could finish what Greg had started.

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