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SENsational – Part II

Written by LaraWatcher :: [Monday, 26 May 2014 14:53] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 03 June 2014 14:39]

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SENsational – Part II

1.

11:07pm that same night …

Since the accident, Priya did not seem to require much sleep – four hours tops – yet, somehow, she always felt fully energized throughout the day. After her dinner with Winters that night, however, Priya felt completely exhausted, probably from the battery of physical tests that she performed earlier in the day. As the young woman dozed off on the couch, she smiled to herself thinking back at how she had surprised everyone – including herself – on her new and improved athletic prowess. “It felt so cool to be fast and strong for once …” Priya mused as she drifted off into a deep sleep.

As Priya slept, like most people do, her tired and exhausted body began to enter a higher anabolic state where her body began to repair and rejuvenate all of the tissues, immune, and nervous systems. However, instead of simply repairing the microscopic tears in her muscle cells, the S.A.M. Serum buzzing throughout her bloodstream sent signals to her body to not only to repair the tissue damage but also to improve and fortify her cellular makeup – vastly improve!

With each passing second, Priya’s heart pumped the S.A.M. Formula throughout her body as it broke down and rebuilt her tissue cells at a sub-atomic level at blinding speeds. Tendons and muscles tore and ripped themselves down to the base fibers where they magically re-wove themselves stronger and denser than before … undreds of times stronger and denser. Bones likewise reinforced themselves, crystallizing into super hard calcium limbs capable of withstanding extraordinary forces. Even Priya’s skin – so soft and supple looking to the external eye – began to become paradoxically harder and denser as well.

The remarkable internal metamorphosis raging inside Priya as she slept was simply not limited to her muscles and tendons. The S.A.M. Serum was non-discriminatory in its efforts to improve the young woman and soon began turn its efforts on the sensory and cranial functions. Dormant and non-functioning brain cells in Priya’s pretty head were suddenly awoken and remapped into her neural network far more efficiently than ever before. Similarly, her cranial nerves, the gateways to the different senses of body, were also affected. While they previously were one-lane roads used to carry neural signals, the S.A.M. Formula had how reconstructed them into multi-lane superhighways now capable of transmitting neural messages in complex packets many times faster and more efficient than before.

The S.A.M. formula’s function was supposed to provide increased strength, stamina and brain functions, it was working orders of magnitude better than originally designed. Priya was getting slightly stronger, faster, smarter and more durable by each passing minute as she slept blissfully unaware. Yet, a slight grin crept across Priya’s beautiful face as she slept and dreamed, almost as if the young girl could feel that something truly wonderful was happening inside of her!

2.

Next Morning …

Winters slowly walked across the base grounds, deftly sipping his black coffee in one hand as he checked and read his incoming emails on his mobile phone in the other. It was only 6:35am in the morning, but the base was still abuzz with activity, mostly the requisite trucks and humvees that rolled past Winters as he made his way over to the end of the base where Priya was being housed.

Since it was the first weekend of the month, as per tradition, the field neighboring Priya’s location was also the host of the monthly flag football game for non-essential personnel that were off duty on Sunday mornings. Athletic competition was a cornerstone of most military bases and Fort Hanson was no exception. Two, sometimes three, dozen soldiers often participated in the game for bragging rights for the next month.

As Winters strolled past the field, he barely looked up, his mind clearly on this morning’s task. With Priya’s athletic and physical abilities starting to blossom, Winters wanted to begin some preliminary mental and sensory tests to gauge the effectiveness of the S.A.M. Serum in those areas as well. However, rather than staging a formal test as he did the day before, Doc wanted simply meet with Priya over breakfast to see if any further changes had manifested themselves. For now, it was imperative to Doc to downplay the progress that Priya was making …

“Whoa, Baby!”

“Yeah!”

“Looking good!”

Doc’s thought process was interrupted by a cacophony of hoots and wolf whistles coming from the playing field as he quickly looked up to see Priya instantly come to a running stop in front of him.

“Morning, Doc!” Priya giggled as her sudden appearance startled Doc enough to make him jump suddenly. And it wasn’t just her sudden appearance – it was her general appearance – which was also the source of the attention coming from the soldiers across the football field.

Gone were the yoga pants and yellow T-shirt from the previous day, replaced with an outfit that made Priya look like she stepped off a fitness magazine cover shoot. She wore a pair of black spandex shorts that wrapped around her newfound buns of steel like a sexy, black spandex cocoon that seemed to pulse with power. Like the shorts, her white and black sports bra was snug – very snug – but Priya did not feel any discomfort and even so, could care less! The tight spandex strained against her chest but barely seemed to compress her boobs in the least. Instead, the tank top warped around them like a second skin and tucked against Priya’s skin near the top of her rib cage. The fact that she was glistening with perspiration seemed to only enhance her beauty, something that was not going unnoticed by her onlooking admirers.

“Priya! What in heavens are you doing out here?” Doc finally managed to blurt out as he tried to direct her back to her barracks as the cat calls finally began to subside.

“Relax, Doc,” insisted Priya. “I woke up about 30 minutes ago, and I felt so incredible from a good night’s sleep. So, I just got up and decided to take a little run around the base a couple of times to burn off some energy. You know, I actually LIKE running now!”

“Priya, you CANNOT be doing that!” Winters chided as Priya turned her head, secretly rolling her eyes as he continued and began to look at the soldiers playing across the field, especially the cute one playing receiver – the one with the deep blue eyes and the cute heart-shaped birthmark on his neck. The fact that Priya could so easily recognize those details from over forty yards away was lost on her as Doc continued to lecture her.

“We still don’t know the full effects of the treatment you’ve undergone. We need to closely monitor your recovery. And that means-”

Winters abruptly paused in mid-sentence as his eyes widened for a second. He looked at Priya who looked confusingly back at Doc.

“What?” she asked.

“Priya, WHERE exactly did you run?”

“I told you. Around the base. You know that little dirt trail that runs around the fence?”

“So you took a lap around the whole base this morning?”

“Yeah … well, twice, cause it didn’t seem too long, and I wasn’t that tired.”

Doc knew how big the base was and silently ran some figures in his head to himself as he grabbed Priya’s wrist and began pushing buttons on her silver wrist monitor.

“What’s wrong? Is everything ok?” Priya asked worryingly as Doc read through the myriad of digital readouts that were displayed.

“Everything is fine, Priya, nothing to worry about! But your monitor readout indicates that you started running at around 6:20. I thought you said you started running THIRTY minutes ago?”

“I said I WOKE UP thirty minutes ago. I have to get dressed you know. It takes a little while to get these shorts on now!” Priya snickered as she slipped her thumbs inside her waistband and pulled the spandex shorts outward before letting them pop back against her tight hips with a pronounced SNAP!

“So you ran the perimeter fence twice starting about fifteen … sixteen minutes ago?”

“I think so … what's the big deal anyways?”

Doc did not answer right away but rather closed his eyes momentarily mouthing figures to himself as his did the math in his head – twice to make sure he had it right. He came to the same answer both times.

“Priya, this base is about 210 acres total, with a perimeter of 2 and a quarter miles. If you went around around the base twice in – say, sixteen minutes – that means you were running a mile pace of-”

“Three thirty-three.” Priya stated matter-of-factly without realizing that she unknowingly just shattered the world record time in the mile OR the fact that she had calculated it so easily in her head. Still, gauging Doc’s reaction, she knew it was fast – really, really fast.

“Y-y-yes, that’s correct,” Doc answered surprisingly. “Priya, do you-”

“Hot Dot?!?!” Priya interrupted as her head quickly twisted to the side to glare at one of the players on the adjacent field.

“What?” Doc retorted, wondering what Priya was talking about.

“That guy!” Priya said, as she pointed at one of the guys in the huddle. “Didn’t you hear him? He just called me a ‘hot dot’! What a jackass!”

“Priya … how could you hear him? He’s at least forty yards away from us.”

But to Priya, it was like he was talking directly to her. In fact, she could hear the whole conversation inside the huddle so clearly. Priya turned away from Doc and took a few steps towards the field, her almond brown eyes locked on the young man, her ears attuned to every word he spoke. Doc tried to regain Priya’s attention, but she was too distracted as she listened:

“C’mon, Mike, get your mind on the game! Go deep … fly pattern”

“Hey, guys … look! Curry Barbie is checkin’ me out!”

“Ringo, shallow cross … Fuzzy, 15 and out … ready, BREAK!”

As the men broke the huddle, Priya’s gorgeous eyes locked on the one named Mike like a tractor beam.

“Priya … did you hear me?” Doc said, unaware of the offensive comments being made at Priya’s expense. Priya still did not answer.

The sexy young woman, now mere feet from the playing field, mischievously grinned as she placed her small hands atop her thighs and proudly gave them a little squeeze, feeling her rock-hard, sexy leg muscles as the soldiers broke the huddle and advanced to the line of scrimmage. Mike was split out wide, closest to Priya but still at least 15 yards away.

“Curry Barbie, huh?” Priya whispered to herself as she her brow furrowed at the thought of the slur. Ironically, if this was a month ago, Priya probably would have relished the comment – being compared physically to Barbie – and never would have dreamed of confronting the man. But she was different now in more ways than one.

“Hike!” the quarterback shouted as the action broke on the field. Priya stood entranced, staring at Mike’s movements as he did a quick stutter step and then broke down the sideline in a straight line. “Pretty fast … riya thought as he ran past the point across where she and Doc were standing and started to pull away easily from the man covering him. “ … but I’m FASTER!” Priya thought to herself as she pushed off with her right leg and, without warning, began chasing after the young man. She could only hear Doc yelling “Priya!” in a futile effort for her to stop, but Priya’s mind was already made up.

As the ball left the quarterback’s fingers in a tight trajectory, Priya had already accelerated to a speed that would put Olympic gold medal sprinter’s to shame. But Priya only got faster. Her legs pumped like sexy pistons, beginning to close the distance rapidly as the ball sailed through the air towards its intended target.

Priya beamed as she could almost FEEL the unbelievable power in her legs as she ran faster and faster. The defensive back seemed like he was running in slow motion as Priya sprinted past him without a care, and despite Mike’s insurmountable lead, Priya was still about 3 yards behind him as she saw the football out of the corner of her eye. With uncanny timing and ability, Priya sprung off her left leg perfectly in stride, rising into the air to meet the football.

Mike smiled as he watched the football continue its descent into his waiting arms for a sure six points when suddenly a female figure leapt up and intercepted the pass, snatching the ball with her hands at a height of close to ten feet in the air.

The was a collective set of gasps from the players and onlookers as Priya deftly hauled down the ball and stopped her momentum as quickly as she started. Priya, still buzzing with energy and partially still a little in disbelief from what she had just done. She just stood there smiling at Mike as she playfully tossed the ball up and down to herself.

“Curry Barbie? More like Super Bowl Barbie!” Priya said as she winked at an incredulous Mike who stood there confused to what just happened. As Priya spoke, his confusion turned to anger and embarrassment as the sound of laughter and cackles began to waft from the crowd that began to gather.

Winters finally caught up to the crowd, majorly perturbed over Priya’s stunt as he quickly grabbed Priya by the arm and began to whisk her away. Priya theatrically smiled and was enjoying the attention as a few members of the crowd began clapping as Doc shuffled her out of the crowd.

“Ok, real cute getting the ball while the sun was in my eyes. Now why don’t you be a good little dot head and give it back"

A murmur swept over the crowd as Priya stopped in her tracks the instant she heard it. Doc continued to tug at Priya’s arm, but he would have been more effective trying to pull a hundred year-old oak as Priya refused to budge. Priya could feel the anger boiling up inside of her as she turned to face the young soldier who stood about 15 feet away from her.

To anyone looking on, it looked almost cartoonish as the 5’3” Priya stood silently leering at the 6’3” soldier who raised his eyebrows and cockily held out his hands for the football.

“C’mon, honey! Just toss it here!” Mike said as he clapped his hands together and held them again out.

Priya looked down at the ball she was cradling as a wry smile morphed on her face as she looked back and slyly smiled at Doc. Winters shook his head disapprovingly at Priya who simply ignored him and turned back to face the arrogant soldier. “You want it? Go get it!” Priya said as she reared her arm back and threw the ball as far as she could.

The quiet gasps of the crowd were drowned out by the high-pitched whiz of the ball as it cut through the desert air once it left Priya’s hand at close to 80 miles per hour. Never having been much of an athlete prior to the accident, Priya’s throwing motion was technically awful, but it didn’t really matter. Priya watched in fascination as the ball flew over Mike’s head … then the field … the road … and finally the motor pool directly next to it – a distance of about 150 yards from where she was standing.

“Priya, we HAVE to go! Now!” said Doc assertively, as he successfully regained Priya’s attention and finally managed to pull her out of the crowd with everyone in disbelief over what they thought they had just witnessed – except for her.

3.

Doc opened the door for Priya, as they walked into the dimly-lit 15x15 conference room. “Sit down, Priya!” he said sternly as Priya took a seat on one side of the table and bowed her head like a scolded puppy. She knew what she did was wrong – intercepting that pass, tossing the football into the next zip code … all of it! But, to Priya, it was like her body – fabulously hot and incredibly powerful as it was-- was on autopilot and she couldn’t stop it. But she secretly did not want to either.

Doc pulled out the chair across from her and took a deep breath and spoke with surprising calmness at he sat down across from her. “Priya … you must understand, you CANNOT be doing that around here. You must exhibit a certain level of restraint now.”

“Restraint? For what? Nobody got hurt or anything. I just wanted to teach that jerk a lesson.”

After taking a deep breath, Winters answers “The procedure you underwent is not only experimental but highly classified. You MUST try to keep a low profile from here on out. Do you understand? I need you to promise me that something like this will not happen again. Ok?”

Priya nodded in agreement with a weak smile as Winters smiled genuinely back at her to help reassure her that all was forgiven. Priya let out a faint sigh of relief as she spied a scientific calculator, a few books and a clipboard resting on the table between them.

“So … how are you feeling after your little exhibition out there?”

“Pretty good” Priya said, shrugging her shoulders with a slight grin on her face.

“Priya …

Her little grin, quickly transforming into a beaming smile from ear to ear, Priya excitedly confessed, “OK … I feel freakin’ unbelievable! I mean … id you see how far I threw that ball?” she said while mimicking the same throwing motion she used only moments earlier.

Doc could only smile and nod in agreement.

“And … oh my god! Did you see how fast I can run now? I mean, that jerk was running as fast as he could and it was almost like he was running in slow motion compared to me!” Priya continued excitedly.

“Which was AFTER you ran four and a half miles at an average pace around three minutes and thirty seconds …”

Priya could only respond in disbelief, trying to understand the absurdity of what she just did. “But HOW? How could the formula do all this? I mean, it WAS the formula, right?”

“Priya what I told you before, about the experimental treatment we gave you and the S.A.M. Formula … ”

“Uh huh … Priya muttered as she began to become skeptical.

“First off, it’s all true, Priya! One hundred percent! It’s just that … ell, SAM isn’t spelled S-A-M”

“How else do you spell it?”

“S period A period M period. Soldier Augmentation Manifestation”

“So you knew this was gonna happen?”

“To this extent, no! Priya, I had no choice but to inject you with it with the hope of saving your life. I thought there was the possibility of you becoming … HEALTHIER, but I couldn’t foresee all of … THAT … happening!” Doc said, pointing outwardly, alluding to Priya’s almost superhuman demonstration at the football field.

Priya sat motionless, listening to Doc while she soaked everything in as she murmured, “Soldier Augmentation and Manifestation …” Her pensive look curled into a slight grin as she stretched her arms forward and arched her back slightly, her arms suddenly exploding with a maze of sexy and feminine muscular definition as she glanced over at her sleek and now oh-so-powerful tricep and thought back to her exploits only moments prior. “Well … verything definitely SEEMS ‘augmented’!” Priya said matter-of-factly as she used ‘air quotes’ to accentuate the point.

“Yes, I did seem to notice that out there as well.“ Doc quipped in response. “You see, all our research and forecasts were that the serum would could likely enhance a person’s strength, speed, senses and mental faculties but only by a factor of two or at the most three Your little exhibition was much more than that and borders on near superhuman levels.”

“Superhuman … wow.”

We were going to do some more formal tests on this tomorrow, but I wanted to see something. One second …” Doc said as he stood from his chair and walked towards the door to the room which had an eye chart hanging on the back of it. “Now Priya, can you cover your left eye and read this line” he asked after dimming the lights and taking out a retractable silver pointer.

“E … … … … …

“Very good! Now this one …”

D … F … P … O … T … E … C”

“Outstanding! Now, the final line here.”

“P … E … Z … O … L … C … F … T … D”

“Remarkable!” Winters barked as he began to fold up his pointer “That was flawless, Priya, now I’d like to-”

“Copyright … Mason Pointer Co. … Ticonderoga, NY” Priya continued to read as she slightly tilted her head to the left.

Winters quickly turned to look at the chart more closely, before turning to Priya with a confused expression on his face. “Where on the chart do you —“

“Not the chart … the marking on your … poin … r.”

Looking down in disbelief, Winters had to turn the lights back up to actually be able to read the etching on the silver pointer in text that had to be no bigger than 6 point text. Yet Priya had read it clearly in a dimly lit room from close to 15 feet away!

“Oh my God! Did I just do that!? That’s AWESOME” Priya giggled.

Ever the consummate scientist, Winters remained calm on the exterior but clearly was excited that Priya’s newfound vision as a result of the S.A.M. Procedure was exceeding his expectations. Reaching for his wallet, the doctor flipped the light switch completely off, clouding them in complete darkness.

“Priya, I’d like to try something. II want to see if you can see what I’m holding ----“

“It’s your social security card. Number 097-62-855 … I can’t see the last number, your finger is covering it. It has your name on it after that-- Daniel Woodrow Winters”

Winters flicked on the light to see Priya still sitting in the same chair with a look of pride and disbelief on her face. “Doc, how is this possible?”

Normally nonplussed, Winters could only shake his head in disbelief as he walked over to the recorder and pushed the button. “Priya … I mean the subject demonstrates exceptional ocular dexterity. 20/20 vision exceeded with acute night vision characteristics.” A faint beep could be heard as Winters stopped his recorder and paused for a moment.

“Priya, how did you do that?”

“I don’t know, I just looked at it and read it. It was like reading something that was a few inches in front of me. Even when you turned the lights off it looked plain as day. I know Sam’s formula was supposed to make me better but this is getting crazy!”

“Yes, with S.A.M. We anticipated an improvement in your senses, but nothing like this!”

“But I’m gonna be fine, right Doc?” Priya asked, looking for reassurance. “I mean I’m not gonna wake up one morning with my face melted off or spotting a third eye right?” She was joking … kinda.

“If everything keeps going the way it is, at the very worst we’ll have to use you instead of night vision goggles on the base.  And seeing as how you were able to hear the rude comments of that soldier, it stands to reason that your hearing has been greatly augmented so we can skip that test for now … How about we test your mental dexterity” Winters said as he sat down and pressed record and then picked up his calculator.

“One of S.A.M.’s functions was to help speed the neural pathways in the subject’s brain.”

“You mean this stuff is going to make me super-smart or something?”

“Well, not exactly. For instance, can you tell me the atomic weight of Tungsten?”

“Um … twelve?”

“See? The serum cannot make one simply know the atomic weight of Tungsten – which is one hundred eighty-three point eight four by the way. But S.A.M. Was designed to speed your thought processes and improve your memory in order for you to recall things that you DO know. Like math for example.”

Wincing, she says “I’ve always OK at Math, so sure … give it a shot!”

Doc fumbled with the keys as he typed. “Can you tell me what is 12 x 34?”

“Four oh eight!” Priya blurted out almost as quickly as Doc finished his sentence. Blinking her eyes rapidly in surprise that she answered so quickly, she looked over at Doc who nodded to confirm that she was correct.

“OK, let’s try a few more. What is 124 x 34?”

“Four thousand two hundred sixteen”

“3 divided by 567?”

“Point zero zero five two nine one zero zero five two nine zero zero … and so on!” She answered even more excitedly

Priya beamed with increasing confidence as the neurons in her brain fired at light speed, almost on auto-pilot. Every subsequent answer coming to her almost magically the nanosecond after Winters asked it. As she blurted out every answer, Priya somehow knew without a shred of doubt that she was 100% right even as the questions got more complicated.

“What is 678 raised to the 31st power? ”

“Five point eight six three zero zero eight three one one nine times ten to the eighty-seventh! You did want it rounded to ten places, right?” Priya giggled as it was evident she was loving this.

“Simply remarkable! OK, 7 factorial times 12 factorial?”

“Pfft … two trillion four hundred fourteen billion one hundred sixty-eight million sixty four thousand!” she said in a mock matter of fact tone as if the answer was obvious

“OK, Priya tell me an odd three digit number whose digits add up to 12 and difference of first two digits equals the difference between the last …

“Seven hundred forty-one!”

“Transpose the atomic weight of tungsten”

“Four eight three eight one! Ha!” Priya exclaimed as her newfound memory was able to instantly recall the numbers despite the morass of figures that had previously been swimming about her head.

Winters set down the calculator and grabbed the recorder and held it as he spoke, “Subject exhibits extreme increase in neural speed and activity. Responsiveness to analytical computations is almost instantaneous. Increase in memory and recall functions exhibited as well. Further investigation will be conducted … Winters hit the stop button and turned to Priya who was still reveling in her mathematical prowess.

“Did you see that? The serum has turned me into Raingirl or something!”

“Yes, Priya, that was exceptional! And I noticed that you remembered the atomic weight of Tungsten as well.”

“One hundred eighty-three point eighty four! Definitely one hundred eighty-three point eighty-FOUR!” Priya replied in her best Dustin Hoffman voice before breaking into laughter.

“Yes, and that is what I’d like to test next is your ability to recall and remember things. Here!” he said as he slid one of the one and a half inch thick text book toward her to which she read the title aloud.

“Introduction to Organic Chemistry? … yuck!”

“Yes, I imagine it’s not on the New York Times Bestseller list but I want you to read as much as you can while I step out and go down the hall. When I get back in a few minutes I want to test your reading comprehension and memory recall. OK?”

“OK” said Priya, opening the book to page one as Doc closed the door behind him. “The study of organic chemistry must at some point extend to the molecular level …” Priya read aloud softly as her brown eyes began to track the words of the sentence slowly across the page, searing the text – and its meaning – into the vastly improved stores of her mind.

As Priya continued, her eyes began tracking faster and faster as she read, digesting word after word almost as instantly as she stared at them. Priya became excited as she realized she somehow was managing to read – and totally remember – every word no matter how fast her eyes passed across and down the page. This only fueled her more as she began to read faster and faster.

Words that were scanned by Priya’s beautiful eyes in fractions of seconds soon became sentences. Sentences became paragraphs which eventually became pages. Forty-five seconds into reading, Priya was reading with the speed of a high-capacity copy machine. Her fingers began turning to the next page almost immediately after the previous one until it looked like she was simply flipping through the pages. But she wasn’t merely flipping through the pages, she was reading them and indelibly searing their contents into her mind!

After a while, Priya popped up her head as she heard the doorknob turn and saw Doc step back in the room\. Sitting at the foot of the table, Doc took his seat once again. Priya grinned as she closed the textbook and slid it across the table then leaned one elbow on the back of her chair.

“Quiz me!” Priya stated with a newfound sense of supreme confidence

“OK. So how far did you get?”

“Page 394”

Winters looked at her in disbelief as Priya did her best to stifle the urge to giggle. “Priya, I was only gone for about seven minutes”

“More like six minutes and forty-eight seconds” Priya remarked as she looked over at the wall clock above the door, surprising herself somewhat since she didn’t remember consciously looking at the clock when Doc left the room.

Unfazed and eager to test her, Doc opened the book to a random page. “OK, tell me what is the molecular formula of cyclopentane?”

“C five H ten”

Flipping the pages, Doc scanned several pages ahead. “OK, tell me about epoxides …”

“Well, Epoxides, or oxiranes are three-membered cyclic ethers that are easily prepared from alkenes by reaction with peracids. Because of the large angle strain in this small ring, epoxides undergo acid and base-catalyzed C–O bond cleavage more easily than do larger ring ethers.”

“Priya! Do you realize you just recalled that word for word?”

“Uh-huh! I remember all of it. C’mon, ask me something hard!” Priya taunted jokingly.

“OK Miss Smarty Pants … page 112. What does it say?”

“Oh that was the chapter on Aromaticity. It said ‘The adjective “aromatic” is used by organic chemists in a rather different way than it is normally applied. It has its origin in the observation that certain natural substances, such as cinnamon bark, wintergreen leaves, vanilla beans and anise seeds, contained fragrant compounds having common but unexpected properties. Cinnamon bark, for example, yielded a pleasant smelling compound, formula C9H8O, named cinnamaldehyde. Because of the low hydrogen to carbon ratio-’”

Interrupting in order to finally perplex her, Winters asks “OK, OK … how about page 197 … third paragraph … thirteenth word …”

“The”

“AH AH AHHH! No, it was ‘steric’,” Doc retorted playfully, wagging his finger at her.

“Sorry, Doc, count again. ‘Steric’ was the fourteenth. ‘hinderance’ fifteenth. “ Priya said unfazed with nonchalant confidence as she admired her nails. She didn’t even waiver for a second, she KNEW she was right. Doc looked down again and pointed each word with his finger as he counted sofly. Priya could only laugh to herself as she watched him count thirteen words in the same time she was reading thirteen PAGES! As Doc counted “… 2 …” He looked up and only smiled at Priya as he picked up his recorder.

“Subject exhibits incredible reading speed and comprehension of complex material as well as total recall of subject matter.”

“So tell me Priya, how you were able to read that many pages so fast.” Doc said as he stood up and paced back and forth on the other side of the room as Priya spoke, his hands fiddling discreetly for something in his lab coat pocket.

“I dunno … I just kinda started reading it and the faster I read, I still managed to understand and remember it. You know, I don’t even remember even having to reread a single sentence. It was kinda cool … like  my brain somehow was just absorbing it and-”

“PRIYA!”

The baseball left his hand at close to 45 mph as Winters called her name threw it directly at the young woman. Forty-five mph was certainly not major league velocity, but at that close distance it would reach its target quickly. And while his arm strength was admittedly lacking, his aim was dead-on as the baseball zoomed through the air towards Priya’s head.

As Priya heard Doc’s voice she swiveled her head to the side and saw the baseball coming – almost floating – towards her. Priya’s first instinct was to flinch and cover her face but the ball seemed to be taking forever to travel the length of the small room. Priya raised her left hand and was amazed at how much faster she was moving than the ball. Opening her hand, she blinked suddenly.

SMACK!

After the audible slap of the ball hitting Priya’s outstretched, unprotected hand that resonated through the room, there was a deafening silence as Winters and Priya both stared at the baseball now caught in her outstretched hand. In the blink of an eye, Priya had spotted and caught the ball with little to no warning. Dr Winters breathed a subtle sigh of relief, confirming his suspicions about her new speed and reflexes. They were off the charts as well!

Meanwhile, despite the several remarkable improvements that she had exhibited, Priya was still a little confused at how slowly the baseball was traveling and still not understanding fully HOW she did what she just did although she became excited at the thought of it. All she could do is stare puzzlingly at the baseball in her hand with her mouth gaped open. “What the hell -- ?!?”

Winters’s mouth warped into a friendly grin as he strode over closer to where Priya was sitting. “I remember when you and Samantha were on that softball team when you were nine or ten. You couldn’t catch a ball to save your life! But look at you now!”

“But Doc, how is this possible? Why was it moving so slow?”

“Your reflexes and reaction time are now much, much faster and improved than before which is why everything seemed slower to you.”

“But it wasn’t just slower … SLOW … REAL SLOW!”

“Hmm …” mused Doc as he picked his clipboard back up and began scribbling. “How slow was it? I mean, how fast did it seem like the ball was traveling?”

“I dunno … it almost looked like it was just floating in mid-air and like EVERYTHING in the room has stopped. When I went to catch it, it was like catching a balloon that was just floating there. I dunno … it' s hard to explain … but it was kinda weird! But kinda cool too!”

“Fascinating …” Dr. Winters murmured as he scribbled some notes, marveling at her account of the event. Winters thought to himself that if what she said was true, her reflexes and speed had increased much greater than three times as well. He knew some more formal testing was needed to ascertain just what Priya was capable of now. As he looked up, he saw Priya staring intently at the ball in her hand. Her eyes swept up her forearm and ogled at her sleek little bicep that seemed to pulse whenever she gripped the ball tighter.

“Priya, I want to run some more formal tests this afternoon to gauge your progress and maybe try to ascertain your limits”

“Limits?”

“Yes, like how fast you really can run, how strong you are … things like that …”

“How strong AM I?” Priya mused to herself as her thoughts quickly raced back to how far she threw that football. She knew she was definitely strong to do that and now the thought of seeing how strong she was now sent chills of excitement down her spine. Staring back at the ball, she knew it was laughable, but at the same time she paradoxically knew she could do it. She grinned mischievously as she slowly clenched her fist tightly around the baseball as the leather creaked and groaned in protest until …

POP!

Winters was startled as there was a loud pop from Priya’s hand as bits of leather and red thread spat out of her hand like shrapnel. He stared in amazement as she opened her palm and deposited the remains of the baseball onto the conference table. Priya grinned from ear to ear as she dusted her hands, removing all the traces of the corky pulp from her tiny feminine hands. The young woman looked up and a wide-eyed Winters trying to suppress a giggle as she looked down at the tattered remnants of the baseball that she had practically vaporized – an instant reminder of the staggering physical potential she had now.

“More tests? Sure … sounds fun!”

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