The Amy Dilemma – Chapter 7 – The Secrets of Our Service
Written by circes_cup :: [Sunday, 15 June 2014 19:20] Last updated by :: [Monday, 11 May 2015 12:18]
The Amy Dilemma – Chapter 7 – The Secrets of Our Service
Warning: This chapter adult features adult content. If you’re not of a legal age to read this stuff, don’t.
Disclaimer: This is a work of pure fiction. No semblance between the characters described here and real individuals – living or dead – is implied or intended.
The Caribbean – it was a welcome alternative from returning to Colorado. The Presidential family had been scheduled for a vacation several weeks from now, but the dramatic attempt on the President’s life had upended the calendar. The Secret Service begged for some time to re-tool their operations to meet the new threats. They wanted to do this when the President was stationary and easily defended, not while he was moving about on a busy travel schedule through many hard-to-defend locations.
So, the vacation was moved up. As the First Family stayed in the Caribbean, the Secret Service leadership back in Washington would be rewriting security protocols, bringing in new weaponry, retooling and retraining. And the selection of a Caribbean Island for the down-time was no mistake: US Navy destroyers and aircraft could easily sweep their radar across the open ocean, while secret service personnel had the small land mass so well covered that even the stray dogs were being tracked. There were several hundred vacationers on the island: all of them had been cleared in background checks and physically searched.
For the first two weeks, the mood around the vacation compound had been somber as the Presidential Family recovered from the loss of friends, colleagues and guards. The Secret Service insisted that the First Family stay put, and out of harm’s way. Many funerals were attended by video conference.
But nonetheless, after the second week, life began to take on an air of normalcy. It had to. There was no other choice but to move on.
But although these weeks brought a hiatus from external threats, it did little to quell the conflict inside Dave. He was the fifth wheel in the group – romantically attached to no one, accompanying his daughter to nag at her and to do little else. And Amy, who only several weeks ago had been hiding her skills from everyone, was now the most popular celebrity in America – twice saving the lives of various members of the Presidential family.
Amy hoisted her oversized t-shirt above her head. Dave saw that, underneath, she was wearing was the bathing suit he had bought her – a tankini, in an off-white, pinkish color.
“I like it,” she admitted. “Although I don’t even know why. It’s not nearly as sexy as my micro bikini.”
“Well, that’s why I like it-- coverage.” Dave said triumphantly. “But I suspect I know why you like it too.”
“Because the pinkish color brings the red in your hair to life …” he said.
“Hmmm,” she replied, her eyes skyward in thought.
“… and because it’s the color of apple blossoms.”
She looked at him with admiration. “You DO have me figured out. Besides, I can wear something sexier for Jacob later, when you’re not looking.”
Dave groaned. At least she could pretend to be following his instructions. “Where IS Jacob, anyway?”
“At the tennis courts with his parents,” Amy replied, as she descended into the beach chair. “There is some ambassador or something visiting, and they needed a fourth so they could play doubles. Suits me fine not to be there.”
“The Prez has been all weird and everything since he nearly got blown up. He needs more time.” She fiddled with that ball of metal that had formerly been his handcuffs. She had been playing with it a lot recently.
Dave watched the metal deform like putty under her unfathomable strength. Her hand moved in a blur, twisting some of the mass into a string-like millimeter-thick strand.
“Jacob and the ambassador are losing,” Amy reported. “I just heard another ball hit the net.”
Dave never ceased to be amazed the sheer magnitude of his adoptive daughter’s talents. She could hear the movement of the tennis ball – on a court was a half mile away. And she was nonchalant about it.
Her hands were moving faster now, twisting delicate strands as they danced around each other forming braids and loops. Faster and faster her hands moved, such that Dave could no longer follow what she was doing. She was re-fashioning the metal blob into something, but he couldn’t tell what. Her hands kept moving, forming strings of steel that were wrapped quickly about each other and through the sculpted object she was creating.
After a time, she stopped. “Ta Da!” she announced, blowing on it to cool it. “Bet you can’t do THAT,” she said handing it to Dave for his examination.
Indeed he couldn’t. The object she handed him was delicately crafted, graceful, and, simply, beautiful. Wireframe shapes, spherical in their design, were nested one inside the other. He tried to count the number of nested spheres and lost track after a dozen. The strands of wire themselves were also embellished, often splitting from a simple straight line to a tiny cube or pyramid before reuniting as a straight line.
“Here, let’s pretty it up it a little.” Amy took the object in one hand and grabbed a handful of sand in the other. She squeezed the sand, the tendons on her forearms jutting out in relief. The sand emitted a familiar grinding sound, and then an unfamiliar CRUNCH.
She was fusing the grains of sand back together, Dave realized, awed.
Amy extended her bottom lip out over her top, an expression not of exertion but of concentration. “If you squeeze too hard when you do this,” she explained, “it just makes a mess.” The fingers of her fist closed further, and heat began to spill off her fist. She was melting the sand, Dave realized, just by squeezing it. Slowly, a molten droplet of quartz plopped onto her leg. She redirected it over her wire sculpture, dripping molten quartz onto the wire itself – PLOP, PLOP, PLOP. The droplets were perfectly sized, crystallizing into small spherical beads on the wire, glistening in the sun. Amy accelerated the process, moving the sculpture faster and faster under a constant stream of drops.
In a minute, she was done. She blew on it gently and then handed it back to Dave. The final piece was a galaxy of bright dots placed in perfect harmony throughout the endlessly complex latticework of the wireframe sculpture. Rotating it slowly made it shimmer as if it were a gem with a thousand beveled edges.
“Amy it’s … breathtaking. It belongs in a museum.”
“It only took me, like, a minute,” she derided. “I guess I’m superior to you in yet another way, huh dad?”
The comment jabbed his spirits with its pointed truthfulness. “A hundred years of practice, Amy, and I could never equal what you just did in a minute. What inspired it?”
“Geometry class, silly. It’s cubes, tetrahedrons and octahedrons, and dodecahedrons and icosahedrons.”
“Oh!” Dave exclaimed. “The five uh … what are those called … they’re like prime numbers … but spatial.”
“The five types of three-dimensional regular polygons. Half of them use triangles as their fundamental component. One uses squares. And the last one uses pentagons. So, although they can be complex, their fundamental structure is very simple – just a 3-sided, 4-sided, or 5-sided shape. Maybe that’s why they reminded you of prime numbers. They are like building blocks for more complex shapes, the way that prime numbers are the building blocks for other numbers.”
Dave stared at his fifteen-year-old daughter and wondered what the hell had just happened. “Have you been … studying math?”
“Dad, I’ve been studying everything. And I’m not super at it, either. I have just a normal brain. I’m busting my ass in school, and outside of it too. I don’t ever want to have the thing with the ambulance and the voltage again.”
“How many polygons did you incorporate into this sculpture?” Dave asked, still amazed.
“I was thinking doing just a few. But then I decided six hundred would be prettier.”
“Can I keep this?” he asked.
“Be my guest. They’re your handcuffs anyway-- just handcuffs and sand,” she chirped, bounding out of her chair. Her fifteen-year-old attention span was already exhausted. “I’m going for a swim.”
He watched his girl bounce away toward the waves. Slowly, he rotated the geometric masterpiece in his hands, the sun glinting off its countless surfaces and angles is if it were made of pure glitter. Superior to you in yet another way, she had said.
She was right. And it hurt like hell.
Watching his daughter swim was akin to watching a torpedo recede into the distance. She moved just below the surface of the water, coming up for air every twenty strokes or so. Her suit, having been exposed to her skin for a few minutes, had been strengthened to many times the tear resistance of kevlar, and would survive its brutal journey. Her arms, with more power than an ocean liner’s turbines, pounded the water in an unrelenting blur. The water around her looked as though it had been in a blender.
As tormented as the water was Dave’s spirit. When she returned, he would have to say it to her. There was no other choice.
He had hoped to savor his last few minutes of fatherly bliss for longer, but before he knew it, the torpedo that was his daughter was streaking back toward him. Reaching the shore, she bounded out of the water.
“How far did you go?”
“Which one?” he asked, peering at the vague green splotches on the horizon line.
“Dunno,” she said, reaching for a towel. “I was thinking of swimming to South America tomorrow.”
She was halfway through toweling herself off when he finally mustered the energy to speak. “Amy, I can be of no more use to you anymore. You’ve outgrown me. I’m just wasting your time.”
She stopped in mid-towel. Drips of water marked time like a metronome – DRIP, DRIP, DRIP. Neither of them spoke.
Dave continued. “You’ve surpassed me in every conceivable way, Amy. I had always known about your strength, and had always suspected that you may reveal other talents as well. But I had harbored hopes of being able to teach you something about life, to guide your development as a person. But you have excelled, and grown up fast-- so fast. In only a few years, you will have more to teach me than I could ever teach you.”
“Dad?” She asked, as if that might not be his title anymore. “What are you talking about?”
“Think about the hostage situation, with the deadbeat drunk and his family. He was lunging with a knife, and you had a residual fear of knives. But you didn’t stop to think. You just acted, and grabbed at that blade with your bare hands. You overcame your fears in an instant. In similar circumstances, many years ago, I failed to pull the trigger, and my partner died as a result. Your crisis skills are better at fifteen that mine were in my thirties.”
“But dad …”
Dave continued, his eyes lost in the waters, unable to meet hers. “And think about Jacob’s abduction in Telluride. You figured it out before anyone – the slight difference in the licenses plates was the key to realizing that the fifth van was a fake, and that it was holding Jacob. And then at the assassination attempt on the President, you caught on to the presence of a bomb by again obsessing over the little things – the discolored leaves on the tree and the temperature of the trunk. I mocked your anal retentiveness, but I was wrong. It’s because of you, and your own way of being you, that Jacob and his father are alive.”
“Well, thanks. But dad …”
“No, I need to finish,” he said methodically, still lost in the ocean before him. “Think about the attack on the President too. You not only detected the attack before any of the rest of us, but you used concepts from school in ways I never could have expected. You compared Pressler to Neville Chamberlain, which I dismissed at the time, but you couldn’t have been more right. You used basic physics to identify a new skill, and one that would prove critical in that conflict. You’re re-educating me on geometry,” he admitted, eyeing his girl’s small sculpture. “I couldn’t be more proud of you. And I couldn’t be more aware of my own growing irrelevance.”
Amy crouched down and blocked his view of the water, as if all his ideas were being churned up by the motion of the waves. “Dad, you adorable, adorable man. You have got it completely backwards. The only reason for any success at all is because of you.”
Dave’s eyes focused on her, but did not understand.
“The hostage scene with the family – do you know how scared shitless I was about screwing up? The only reason I walked through that door was because you said you believed in me – because you were standing right there watching over me.”
“But you seemed so confident …”
“Because of you. And the abduction – sure, I solved the puzzle before anyone else, and sure, I did it by following my own instincts and getting all upset about the difference in the license plates. But I followed those instincts because you encouraged me to. My first father just blew me off as a neat freak – somebody who reminded him of my mother, who he hated. But at the scrap yard on that very first day, you insisted that I learn to trust my instincts. You even made me repeat it back to you. You were the one that got me to appreciate my personality for what it is.”
Dave did not know what to say.
“And the attack on the President – you bet, I used school stuff to figure out my new skills. But the only reason I ever did that was because of you made such an impression on me. When I messed up the ambulance crash, you knew right away what my mistake was. I was so impressed. I mean, if you had had my powers, that ambulance dude would be alive right now. Right then and there, I knew that I wanted to be more like you – with powers, sure, but also smart.”
“I … I didn’t know that I had made a positive …”
“Shut up. You are my strength – my true strength.”
This was coming from a girl who could tear apart a tank without effort. “What the heck are you talking about, young la-”
“Not here,” she said, pointing to her bicep. “Here,” she clarified, as she pointed at her heart.
For Dave, it was if someone had dropped a bomb on the bunker of his emotions. But now having dropped it, Amy’s teenage attention span had maxed out. She was ready to move on.
“Shark!” she noted gleefully, before Dave could even find the dorsal fin. “I’ve never seen one before. I’m going to go play with it.” Amy bounded toward the water, gracefully dove toward the center of a breaking wave, and then swam with alacrity toward the zig-zagging fin.
He saw the creature’s jaws open up. Dave could not resist an instinctive wince as they came down on his daughter with sickening power. He heard the crunch of the shark’s teeth on her body-- as well as the resulting giggle.
His daughter had put much of his troubled spirit at ease. And yet, they had discussed only the past. What relevance could he have in the future? He couldn’t provide for her any better than she could herself. He couldn’t protect her any better than she could herself.
It was about this time that he found his eye wandering. Another beachgoer had appeared. She was standing on the shore and waving to Amy.
He had not seen this woman before. He knew this for a certainty, because this was the type of woman that a guy does not forget. She was was five feet and nine inches of statuesque, toned perfection, covered only in a “slingshot” suit-- an item so skimpy that, should Dave have found it on his daughter, it would have ignited a heated parental lecture. Her legs teased the eye with their long and sculpted lines. A network of taut, athletic muscle danced playfully across her back. Long, rich curls of blond hair tumbled over her shoulders like breaking waves, stretching themselves out over the unblemished beach of her perfect, cream-colored skin. Her breasts, jubilantly large, received no support from the swimsuit. But they didn’t appear to need it. In fact they almost mocked its ability to confine them, stretching the suit to its extremes and pressing large, insistent nipples into its fabric. Despite her college-age appearance, she had none of the vigorous recklessness of a twenty-two-year old, but instead moved with a precise and graceful fluidity. When she turned her head in profile to watch Amy swim, Dave cursed to himself. Her face was perfect too.
The rising desire inside of him was a reminder of how long it had been for him. He began to hope that this woman was not a friend of Amy’s. The distraction of her presence during the rest of the vacation would be too much to bear.
Unfortunately, the two did seem to know each other. Amy waved back at the woman and seemed to invite her into the water. The woman dove in, expertly. Dave did not know what to make of this new arrival. There had been rumors that some of the other enhanced girls would be joining them on the beach. But he personally interacted with all six and studied them extensively. She was not one of them. Perhaps she was unenhanced, swimming with the shark only under Amy’s protection?
Whatever her provenance, the woman’s movements in the water were as mesmerizing as her curves. Whereas Amy rocketed through the water boisterously, this women moved with a practiced grace, like a ballerina in some sort of water dance.
Dave Gordon lost track of how long he watched this woman swim. It could have been ten minutes. It could have been an hour. He became so lost in her that he failed to hear the crunch of feet on the sand next to him.
“Dad? What are you staring at?”
“I was just looking for the shark,” Dave lied. “For safety.”
“He got tired playing with us and moved on.”
“Who’s your friend?”
“She’s pretty hot, isn’t she?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“But you thought it. Every guy on this beach is thinking it. She’s a rocket.”
“It means totally, over-the-top, sexy,” Amy explained as she carefully wrapped her wet hair into a towel.
Dave searched for a way to change the topic. “Amy, I didn’t like seeing you play with that shark. We’ve done nothing to study the resistance of your skin to that particular threat.”
Her ocean-blue eyes searched him. “I think you’re being a worry wart.”
“I’m just concerned for you, that’s all. I need to look out for you.”
“Because of a SHARK?” she laughed. She made it sound as though they were discussing a goldfish.
“There are all sorts of threats out there you’ve never experienced before, physical and otherwise-- sharks, poisons, con artists, manipulative politicians, selfish boys--”
“A-HA!” she exclaimed.
He had stepped right into it, Dave realized.
“Here we go again. You don’t like it that I’m dating. Hockey studs, President’s sons-- it doesn’t matter. You hate it all.”
Dave took a deep breath. “This kid you’re dating comes from a lot of privilege. He could be self-centered. And a self-centered guy could wind up leaving you, and breaking your heart.”
Amy thought about this for a moment. “You’re stuck in your police background, daddy. The only way to help somebody is to protect them from harm and stuff. That’s what you believe.”
“I … I do.” Damn, this girl was sharp when she wanted to be.
“Dad, you’ve done much better than protect me. As much as that thing on the ice rink hurt at the time, you were totally right. I learned to expect – no, demand – that a guy value me for the super-being that I am. I lost the hockey dude, but I wound up replacing him with someone who totally adores me and is in awe of my skills. And that’s all because of you. Other people at this resort think you’re being jealous just for the sake of being jealous. But I don’t think that’s it. It think you’re being … what’s that word for never spending money?”
“Yeah … Stingy. You don’t want me to give my heart away all over the place, like it’s not worth anything. You want me to say, hey, it’s worth a lot and I’m not going to give it away until I’m getting a lot back.”
Dave smiled from ear to ear.
“You don’t have to worry about me. Look, even Jacob has shortcomings: he has this weird thing going on about how I might be the strong one, but he’s going to be the smart one, so that, like, we can both have something to contribute. But I’m studying my ass off now, and I have no intention of being the stupid one with the muscles. We’re BOTH going to be smart, if I have anything to do with it. He’s got two weeks to get over his issues, and if he can’t accept me who I am, then I’m happy to dump him and move on. Oh and by the way, just because he’s the president’s son doesn’t impress me. Does THAT sound like the woman you’re hoping I’ll become?”
Dave tried to reply – yes, yes yes! -- but the words didn’t come out. They were blocked by the guilt he felt at distrusting his daughter so much. “Amy, I’m sorry that I’m constantly second guessing you and worrying about you. It’s just that, well, I want life to be perfect for you, and I don’t every want you to get hurt. And as much as I try not to worry, it happens anyway.”
“Well,” she gave him a mischievous look as she settled into her beach chair. “Your constant worrying does annoy the SHIT out of me. But it makes me really happy too. Nobody has ever cared about what happens to me – not until you. Do you remember what you did at Jacob’s abduction, after you caught up to the van on those incredibly slow feet of yours?”
“You asked me if I was OK – BEFORE you asked if the President’s son was OK. You-- a government man for twenty years who protects people like the President without even thinking. And me – bullet proof, knife-proof, missile-proof, and who-knows-what-else-proof super being. And you were more worried about me than him? Holy shit, dad, that meant the world to me.”
Dave didn’t need to respond with words. Amy simply slumped into him, from one beach chair to the other. He found himself stroking her wet hair, picking grains of sand out.
After a time, Amy spoke again, not taking her eyes off the waves. “Whaddaya want for Father’s Day?”
“You don’t have to get me anything. I’m the one that should be buying things for you --- providing for you.” It would help if I had a job, Dave thought, or some money. It would help if your savings account wasn’t ten times bigger than mine.
“Did it ever occur to you that I might WANT to get you a gift? Aren’t there enough CHALLENGES with raising a super-powered girl? Don’t you think you should also allow yourself some of the benefits?”
“Gosh, Amy …”
“Name it. Cigars from Cuba? No, that’s I’m the neighborhood-- too easy. Champagne from France? A sports car from Italy? I could have it here in an hour.”
“Amy, you’re making me uncomfortable.” Adding to the list of discomforts was his shorts. That woman – that’s friend of Amy’s – was walking the beach alone now, letting the water lap over her feet, her statuesque curves drawing his eye like an undertow did a swimmer.
“You like, her, don’t you?”
“She’s …” He felt his heart thump a little harder in his chest. Perspiration tickled his brow.
Amy looked at her adoptive father curiously. “Oh my gosh, you’re eyes are dilating. You have the hots for my friend-- big time!” She giggled with delight.
“Amy, that’s not fair. I can’t control an instinctive reaction. I am human, after all.”
“I love you anyway,” she replied, pecking him on the cheek. “Even though you slobber over my friends.”
“I’m sorry, Amy,” he said uncomfortably. “I don’t mean to react that way to your friends. She’s only half my age. It’s embarrassing.”
“How OLD are you?” Amy laughed.
“I’m 52, darling.”
“So? She’s 58, you know.”
Dave looked at the perfected woman in the slingshot suit. She was now walking slowly toward toward them. Seeing her at a closer distance only reinforced his earlier impressions. Her body was a symphony of youthful curves, firm lines, and taut muscle. Her skin was free of blemishes; it appeared never to have suffered the sun’s abuse. The curls of her hair were full, strong, bouncy. He looked for crow’s feet next to her eyes and found none. In fact everything about her was youthful: she had the energy and grace of a teenage gymnast.
“She can’t be 58,” he replied.
“Dude, she’s been ENHANCED. By the radiation.”
“Yes, your goon friends at the government are calling her EF7. But we got to her before the dudes-with-the-clipboards did. Renata took her the Arctic for her Rage. Then we took her to Manhattan to pop some tags …”
Amy rolled her eyes, but nodded. “And now she’s all well dressed, well acclimated, super – oh, and hot. You want to say hi to her?”
“Amy, I feel silly. A lady that looks like that would have no ---”
“HEY MARSHA,” Amy yelled. “My dad wants to talk to you!”
Dave adopted a scolding voice. “Amy, she’s never going---”
But Marsha was standing in front of them now. And if her physique had been eye catching twenty yards out, at this closer range it could only be described as eye-consuming. If any part of her body had ever understood how to make fat, it had forgotten the method long ago and had replaced it only with taut, youthful athleticism. And what athleticism it was-- hard ridges of abdominal muscle, and strong yet sinuous limbs. Smooth hips, a pert derriere, and a very generous bust line all competed for his attention, leaving little room for other thought. Dave found his mind following a single water droplet as it traversed a tortuous path downward over her countless curves.
“Amy,” he whispered, snapping out of it, “this is embarrassing. I’m ashamed that you would mock what are really very normal reactions for a guy to have. And for her part, she nev--”
“Is this your father, Amy?” the woman said, flipping a luxurious strand of golden hair behind her flawless shoulders.
His daughter nodded.
The woman turned to Dave. Her brown eyes were rich, molten chocolate. They regarded him gently and coated his anxieties with reassuring warmth. “Your daughter thinks the world of you, you know. She won’t stop talking about you.”
“I adore her too,” Dave replied. Where is this going, he wondered?
“My dad thinks you’re hot,” Amy announced. “Explain to him how this works.”
Dave felt himself become redder than a sunburn.
But the woman was unfazed. “Your daughter here has perhaps ten times the power of any of us – so much power that it spills off her like water over a dam. And when she loves someone, the sluice of her power is opened, and it floods onto that person she loves as well.”
Dave tried to understand. None of this had been in the Agency’s research.
“You, and in fact Jacob as well, are carting around oodles of excess radiation, although through a cruel twist of fate, you cannot make use of it yourself. You might have felt a little extra energy, maybe a slight spring in your step, need a little bit less sleep, but nothing more. But if I or one of the other girls has contact with you, then we can absorb the enormous excess radiation that resides on you. And for me, that is … physically … highly … delightful.”
Was this woman, this vision of youthful sexual perfection, saying what he thought she was saying?
“Dave, I could sleep with you for twenty four hours straight and it wouldn’t be enough for me.”
He found her suggestion endlessly enticing, but also unsettling. “I don’t know,” Dave objected. “I have something you want, and you are forced to pursue me whether or not you like me as a person. That doesn’t sound fair to you. Your affections are captive to your physical needs.”
“So? Are your affections NOT captive to your physical needs? Are your shorts taking on that funny shape in the front because of my … personality?” She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, as if she was drinking in his presence. Her sinfully large chest toyed with the outer limits of her suit’s tensile strength. “Maybe we’ll wind up liking each other, maybe we’ll wind up being friends. Maybe we’ll never see each other again. That’s for us to decide --- you and me, together.”
Marsha raked her hands over long, perfectly-shaped, thighs, now quivering with need. “Whatever the arrangement, I’d have no regrets. In fact, it would be the most enjoyable night I’ve had in decades.”
No sane man would have said no. Dave turned to his adoptive daughter. “She’s your friend. Are you sure this is OK?”
Amy giggled. “The enhanced women treat me as their leader. Marsha wouldn’t be here unless I wanted her to be. So, yes, believe me: it’s OK. I want you to experience this.”
Marsha took his hand but did not pull him out of his seat. The feel of her hand in his was … invigorating: Dave Gordon felt his body come alive in a riot of desire for her. But before getting up, he turned once more to Amy. “Will you be here when I get back?”
“I’ll be here for you-- always,” she replied. “I’m your daughter now and forever.”
Amy hooked an arm around his neck and pulled her lips in close to his ear. He felt his daughter’s whisper in his ear.
“Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.”
T H E E N D