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Stealing Thunder, Part III

Written by TwiceOnThursdays :: [Friday, 09 January 2015 19:35] Last updated by :: [Thursday, 29 March 2018 08:49]

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Author’s Note: yes, I changed Captain Marvel, Junior’s power word. It’s silly that a hero can’t say his own name.


My plan had succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. I had augmented my already vast knowledge of magic and vastly increased my magical power. My strength and invulnerability exceeded anyone else on the planet, and my body was brimming with health and beauty. My new body was so powerful and graceful, it was a joy just to feel my muscles bunch and roll, to feel my body move. Every moment in this body was intoxicating.

I had just stolen Black Adam’s powers, in the battle, I kept having to siphon a bit more, until eventually I drained their source, the Rock of Eternity. Once I started drinking deeply from the hose I couldn’t stop until I had it all. Adam’s former power level was now insignificant to me. I had all the powers of the Marvel family and I also had my considerable magical skills and power. I doubt that anyone could match me now, not even the heavy hitters like Dr. Fate, or even the various gods of magic.

But, what’s the first thing a girl does to celebrate? Shopping! Instead of going shopping, I could remake my costume at will. Why settle for what I was given? I thought for a bit, then willed my costume to change. My costume reflowed, making the top a bustier and thickening the yellow sash around my waist. I called some lightning and let it curl around me and caress my hands. Before stealing this power, I’d have been lucky to make a small spark. Now I could toss large arcs of electricity around, bolts that would fry a normal human to a crisp. To me, the bolts were a pleasant mild tingle.

I was still getting used to that with the barest thought, I could command more power than I could have amassed in a lifetime. I couldn’t help exploring my new power. It was so far beyond what I’d ever even wished for, it was more than a dream come true. I’d never even dreamed this big before.

My magical senses were so enhanced that I could feel the planet breathe, I felt connected to everything and every one. I briefly felt an absence, a hole in my perception, but I was side tracked by the feel of the wind caressing my body. I wondered if I was really stronger than Superman. That idle thought grew, and I felt my senses quest out for him, and quickly, I could feel him flying around, I could sense his power. The warmth of the sun nestled in his body, charging him up with vast power. Power I could feel and taste – and its measure was far below mine. He was on the opposite coast from me, but with my new power, he might as well have been right next to me. I couldn’t resist, and I mentally reached out and gave his cape a sharp pull. Even if he knew it was me, there was nothing he could do to me. Superman better know to not tug on MY sash! I couldn’t help but laugh at the thought, doubly so because it was true!

I had a vague sense there was something I should be doing, there was something that this use of power, of sensing Superman and his measure, something I needed to learn. As I flew around, I let this cycle through my head. Sometimes the way to answer a problem is to NOT attack it head on, but to distract yourself, and let the answer present itself. This felt like something I already knew, I just had to coax it out, like a shy cat.

The secret was to occupy your mind with something else, and while distracted by that, the rest of your brain will provide you with answers to your problem. I’ve often used this to find solutions to vexing problems, it works wonderfully for someone with my memory. For me, it’s never been about remembering a fact, it’s about making the connections between the facts. And often I’ve sense a pattern before I fully understand where and what the pattern is.

This is why instead of worrying about an unknown problem, I decided to play some more, and use that play to test my limits. I’d found and measured myself against Superman, why not try a more magically charged target next? This is how I sent out trying to locate Zeus and see if I could judge his power. I sent my senses questing, and soon felt an eddy, an off-flow of the magic of the world. I drifted my senses into it, and suddenly I could feel Olympus. I carefully, twisted along up to Mount Olympus until I saw Mighty Zeus perched on his throne. Lightly I opened my senses, and felt his power. Much to my glee, I found that once again, the sheer amount of power I possessed outstripped even that of the chief of the gods!

But Gods are still gods, some of them are quite canny in the ways of magic. I saw Hermes start to look around, a bit puzzled, like he’d sensed something. I quickly let myself be drawn back into my body. No use picking a fight when I didn’t need one. I smiled at the fact that if they did try something, I’d win. The thought brought a small snort of laughter, little powerless Ashima, now the mighty Kali, able to take down the Greek Gods!

Laughing with glee, I wondered what else I could do. Thinking back on my life, I remembered a particularly odious little toad who had given my parents grief, and caused some harm to their business. He was a spoiled little rich brat from the hoity-toity of the magical set, Barton Emerson. He had asked my father to procure a particular tome, upon securing it at no small cost and hardship, he refused to pay them, claiming that he specifically asked for the rare Left Heart Edition. He had not done so, and furthermore any serious scholar knew that the only difference is that the copy we procured for him, had some minor transcription errors corrected – meaning that if you tried Garret’s Spell of Advanced Detection it would actually work, instead of backfiring, and turning the caster into a grasshopper with a thirst for beer. Instead he demanded the faulty version, even after he was warned. This prompted my father to once again, slave for a few days to procure the proper copy, having to trade the edition we found for the faulty previous edition. Emerson took the copy, and barely paid my father for his time getting the second copy, leaving him having spent days of work, and nothing to show for it.

Later he stormed back in (a hard feat to do for a grasshopper) and demanded a refund. Despite the warnings, he’d cast the spell, and got exactly the results we’d warned him about. My father managed to cure him of the transformation, but he was left with an almost worship of beer. He then harangued and threatened my father, attempting to get both a complete refund AND the first copy of the book we’d found for him. For free. A copy we traded to get the faulty version he insisted upon. Enraged that my father would not do either, he attempted to set my father’s shop on fire as a petty revenge. He assumed that since my father wasn’t a powerful mage, he wouldn’t have taken some precautions. Indeed, my father would never attack any client. He just didn’t have the power. He had laid a bunch of protections on the house, and had more than a few clients pay for his services by augmenting the protections. The house would defend him, and it did, ejecting the horrible sod into street and baring him re-entry. He then proceeded to try and badmouth us to the community, and did cause a dip in sales for a few years.

This had probably led to my Aunt’s sense of guilt, and why she went off to become a cheesy super-villain to earn money. Mr. Emerson was definitely a candidate for a little justice.

I marveled on how easy it was to find him. He even had some minor protection from divination spells on him which I simply walked right through like they weren’t there. I found him, in bar, talking to John Constantine, another nasty piece of work. For all his faults, at least Constantine wouldn’t try to stiff a poor shop owner. Constantine was a working class mage, and stuck up for people like my family. The magical aristocracy was a different matter. He’d piss in their shoes and steal them blind. Since that’s what Emerson was, he was having a bit of a hard time with Constantine.

I actually liked John, he had that bad boy vibe totally working for him. And when I was young and dowdy, he casually flirted with me while waiting for my father to come back from the back rooms. With my new found beauty, I don’t think I’d have a shortage of men flirting with me, but back then this was something new, especially from someone who made me feel special instead of being creeped on. Having someone as magnetic as John Constantine pay attention to me was something I remembered fondly (even if a woman would have to be a bit daft to sleep with him). Anyway, I could sense he was trying to get the best of Constantine (something that once again proved that Mr. Barton Emerson was a complete idiot). With a casual flick, I turned the liquid in his glass to donkey piss. I tweaked his compulsion so he’d have to finish his beer/donkey piss, and all future beer would taste like Donkey Piss to him, but he’d not be able to stop drinking it. This still wasn’t enough, so I laid down a spell for him to tell the full truth. He could not lie, or even lie through omission. He’d answer any question in full. This would wear off in a week or so, but that should be enough for his scheming to catch up to him. John already didn’t believe a word from him, I think Emerson was about to have a bad day.

Since I remembered John a bit fondly, perhaps more so the he deserved, but fondly nonetheless. I thought of a few things, and then spent a full minute designing the perfect gift for him. The amazing thing about my enhanced speed, is that I could maintain focus for normal human times, despite the fact that I’d perceptually spent 10,000 times longer. Before this would have been a years worth of work, and I’d still never have been able to scrape the power together to build it. Now, I focused a bit, and summoned into the world a gift for John Constantine. It was a glass. One that was unbreakable. It would always look like a correct glass for whatever bar he was in, or whatever he wanted it to look like. And it would fill with any beer (really any common drinkable liquid, but I wondered how long it would be before John discovered that). The liquid would be cool, hot, or room temperature, based on the whim of the owner, and remain that way. The glass would flick away into a subspace, and return with a mere thought.

I used a bit of observation, misdirection, and an advanced teleport spell to swap the glass in for his current glass, though I did make sure it was topped off, just so he’d notice. It would annoy him that he had no idea how it was done, or who had done it, but that wouldn’t stop him from drinking the beer. It would probably save him a fortune in bar tabs. And if he figured out it could be more than beer, probably his life at one point or another. Hell, with as crafty as John was, he’d probably use it to screw over a Lord of Hell and save the world.

Laughing, I once again moved my perception back to my body. I’d had enough of moving my mind around, and wanted to have some fun with my physical powers too. A mere thought and I rocketed up into the darkness of space, and looked back down upon the world. The Earth was a pretty jewel floating in the night. I felt so powerful. The view was so amazing, I floated there for a bit, enjoying the view, letting my mind wander. I could sense the ebb and flow of the entire world up here. I looked down upon Hong Kong, and I was sensing the Ley line that ran through the city. I felt a local magician casting a spell to chase away demons, and watched his technique. I could tell which tome he’d learned his spell from, it was all obvious to me now.

I let my eyes wander along the ley lines, I saw a bunching of them, and realized it was Salem, Massachusetts. Salem was well known for the witch trials, but it had a more current claim to fame. Dr. Fates Tower sat on the intersection of ley lines in Salem. I studied his Tower for a moment, and thought back to the time when Dr. Fate had gifted me with an ankh shaped lollipop. As a Lord of Order, he rarely had a sense of humor. Perhaps I should gift him with a puzzle? I floated down above the Tower. The defenses glared brightly, wrapping around his Tower into multiple dimensions. I bent to my task, unthreading the warps of his wards, and threaded my way inside his Tower without setting off any alarm. This required a combination of power to move the wards a bit, exacting skill to move them just enough to not set them off, and a bit of Super Speed to move quicker than the wards could sense. Inside, normal people would get lost, as the geometry was non-Euclidean. A turn and suddenly you were in an Escher painting, and up was left and down was sideways. Taking the utmost care, I gingerly caused a small gift wrapped package to materialize in his front hall way. Having left my little gift, I carefully worked my way back out of the Tower, leaving no sign of my entry, and zoomed back into space.

I let out a laugh in the airless void of space. It would vex Fate that someone had bested his defenses and doubly so that he didn’t detect it. The package would resist any scrying attempts, the only way to find out what was inside would be to open it. Inside was a lightning bolt shaped lollipop, which was always the perfect flavor. There was also a small note, on nice heavy cream-colored card stock, that said, “Say Knock Knock”. A very hidden and subtle spell on the box would reply “Who’s There?” when the words “Knock Knock” were uttered near it. Hopefully after being perplexed with the problems of how the box appeared, and how to get into its contents safely, this bit of absurdity would remind the Lord of Order that laughing was a gift of life, and is something we all need to do regularly.

I floated back down into the atmosphere and started to fly back towards where I had received my amazing gift from Adam. I’m not sure why I was flying back there, it had just been temporary outpost, and now it was a hole in the ground. I really didn’t want to go home, and perhaps cutting loose in the city would be fun. I’d always led such a proper life, with my books and study. I’d eventually return to my studies, but probably not at parent’s shop. I think I’ll find some place more interesting to live. The entire world was mine now, and I might as well enjoy it.

I kept flying around, soaring casually through the clouds, pulling barrel rolls so fast a fighter jet would have been ripped apart. I let my mind wander, and was yanked out of my idle by a light tinge, a light tapping on my senses. I looked towards the disturbance, rocketing towards me was a blue blur. I blinked, and it came into focus. It was a young man, only a bit older than I was, wearing a garish blue costume, and a white cape. It was Captain Marvel, Jr. My senses were so enhanced that I could hear the sonic booms crackling around him – despite the fact that he was outpacing the sound that he was generating. I wasn’t hearing the world through my ears, I was sensing things directly. I was briefly distracted by feeling the swirl of air left in his wake by the rumbling sonic boom. Invisible to the eye, I could feel the power of the lightning pulsing inside of him. I hadn’t felt Adam like this, but I was so in tune with the power and magic in general now, it was an extra sense, I could feel his power and location without even trying.

It was what had initially snared my attention. And ... was there someone else? I’d sensed something for a moment, but it flitted away. Captain Marvel? No, he was stuck as ... Billy Batson. The name had just popped into my head, but I was correct. Captain Marvel was a young man, just past the age of 18, with a horrible fashion sense. He always wore a red long sleeve shirt with yellow trim, mimicking the colors of Captain Marvel. Now that he was a young man, he probably should update his wardrobe. But, Billy was no problem, he had not said his magic word soon enough, and was shouting “Shazam,” futilely trying to summon his power. I’d probably have to ensure that there was enough in the Rock for him to change. Captain Marvel was a powerful hero, and certainly I didn’t want to be bothered with the things he could stop easily.

Still there was something else other than Billy, I was going to chase down this thought, but Junior was approaching a full speed. He wasn’t quite my type, but he was a clean cut handsome young man with a quite nice build. He looked a few years older than Billy, in his early 20’s. I spent a few moments appreciating the tightness of his uniform, and how it showed off his remarkable ass. I raised my hand to wave, and realized that he wasn’t slowing down. As he saw me, he put his fist out in front of him in the classic “Superman” pose, and sped up, arrowing straight for me!

I was a bit surprised that a hero would attack me unprovoked, I didn’t even think about dodging. I had enough presence of mind to relax. I have no idea what slamming into me full force would have done to him, if I hadn’t let myself be moved.

The impact didn’t affect me much. I knew I’d been hit, but it didn’t hurt. I let the impact push me back a bit, letting the power of the blow dissipate by pushing me back. But, after I bit I’d had enough, and grabbed Jr. and gently tossed him off me.

“Hey! Stop attacking me. I really don’t want to hurt you.”

“Nice try! I know you’re working with Black Adam to break into the Rock of Eternity!”

And with that, he attacked me again. The same way. The Exact same way. Where did this kid come from? Still, looking at him made me smile. A girl could do much worse than spend some time with him. He even made his silly costume work for him. That probably counted as a super-power all its own.

He would be a blur to everyone else, but to me, he was floating towards me. At the last moment, I slipped to the side and let him fly on by. And yes, I appreciated the view.

“I am NOT working with Black Adam. In fact, I made sure that Black Adam wouldn’t be a problem ever again!”

I’ll give Junior something, he was agile. He flipped around, and came back at me even faster. Oh what a woman could do with this young man! This time he had both hands out in front, and picked up even more speed.

“You just admitted to murder! And you still stole power from the Rock! You’ll give it back!”

This was getting a bit tedious. I could end this with a thought. I could feel the lightning, it would come to me. I no longer needed to touch to pull the power out, or even to speak the spell. The power would just answer me at a whim. But I probably shouldn’t deprive the world of a hero. No matter how impulsive he was. My other choices were to hit him, but I really didn’t want to hurt him. Or, just let him hit me, and hope he was smart enough to learn a lesson. And maybe I could teach him a few other lessons later. Meow.

Still, I had no idea what would happen to him if he hit me head on. Theoretically a Marvel couldn’t hit so hard to hurt themselves. The invulnerability seemed more powerful than the strength. Still, why take a chance? I held out my hand, and caught his fists in my hand, and let my arm absorb some of the force and let him push my arm back a bit before I halted his movement. He might have been the mightiest mortal, but stopping him only took a fraction of my power.

This was a good call, because even with a bit of a brake, he looked a bit stunned, and started to drop to the ground. I flitted down next to him, and grabbed his arm. “You all right kid?” His eyes weren’t focusing. I guess some Marvels could hurt themselves. I snapped my fingers in front of his face, and waved my hand. “You with me?” His eyes uncrossed and focused on my hand. And then on my breasts. And they didn’t move for a beat or two. And then he blushed. This was the first time a guy couldn’t take his eyes off me, and I have to say I liked the feeling. So I let him look for a moment, and then made a motion with my hands to draw his attention towards my face. He had some pretty blue eyes.

“I didn’t KILL Adam. I simply took his powers, And removed the transformation spell. Something I might add, your Wizard was never able to do! I guess I did take a bit too much from the Rock of Eternity, but it felt like the power needed out.” As I said it, it felt right. The power did want out. It was a bit restless, but it no longer wanted to be cooped up in the Rock. It wasn’t really sentient, but magic often had instinctive elements to it.

He looked up at me, and smiled. And then threw a mighty punch at me. I could have easily dodged it, but why bother? He should learn.

“Take this villi..OW!” His punch bounced off my chin, I didn’t even move my head a millimeter. He ended up holding his hand in pain. In my research of the battles against Black Adam, Adam always shrugged off their blows, and none of their punches ever seemed to really hurt any of them. I wasn’t sure if Adam had a bit of give and I didn’t, or if I had so much of the Power of the Rock that I was disrupting his invulnerability somehow. That would be something interesting to test I suppose.

But he quickly shook off the injury. Marvels heal fast. He was back on me instantly, this time he tried to punch me in the kidney and knee me in the groin. Except it doesn’t affect me at all, the blows just bounced off me. I slowly moved my hand up, I could see him vainly trying to track my movements, and flicked him in the head with one finger. I restrained the blow, but it still caused his head to snap back and tossed him back a few dozen yards. He tumbled for a bit and then stopped himself. He shook his head groggily for a moment, and then focused back on me.

“Look kid. Calm down before you hurt yourself. I don’t have any problems with you or your family. I’ll even make sure there is enough power left for all of you. The Rock will regenerate the power I absorbed. It probably needed to drain off a bit anyway. It feels like Shazam was hoarding it, it wasn’t meant to be blocked like that for so long.”

The rest was all he needed, and he attacked again. This time he tried to spear my eye with his two fingers. I was getting pretty fed up with Junior. I grabbed his hand, and held it in place, not letting him get away.

“Would you listen for a second. I don’t want to hurt you!” He appeared to calm down, so I let his hand go. Only the little punk was faking, and he came in to grab me.

“I don’t care what it takes, I’ll stop you!”

What’s worse, is that I think part of him realized the futility, but still he tried to wrestle me into submission. Despite being super-human, and having the Wisdom of Solomon, he was still a very healthy young man. My body was pretty stunning, and it caused a natural reaction in him. He started off trying to subdue me, but it quickly became something slightly embarrassing. When I felt a little hard pocket between his legs as he was rubbing up against me, and his hands started to touch my breasts, I’d had enough. I’d welcome this behavior later, when it was mutual, but I didn’t ask for this! Sure he was mostly trying to use wrestling moves to immobilize me, but he was getting a bit grabby.

I effortlessly broke his hold, grabbed his arms, pulled him back, and bent him over my knee. He struggled to escape, but I held him securely against my leg. I then did what you do to naughty boys. I spanked him. Thankfully, I had a sense of how hard to hit. One of the side abilities the lightning gave must be control, so that heroes wouldn’t accidentally hurt someone.

I hit him just a bit harder than his invulnerability could take. My hand hit his behind and there was a loud crack. The shock wave from the blow could be seen shifting trees a half mile below us. He let out a loud wail. I let him have another one. It was a quite nice behind, and I must say, I was enjoying myself. Just a little.

I let him go. His face was solid red, from his forehead down to his neck.

“I didn’t like doing that.” I winked at him. “Well, Ok, perhaps I DID like doing that. But you were going to hurt yourself if you didn’t stop. And young men should know how to compose themselves around a lady! You don’t go rubbing yourself all over them! You WILL behave yourself, or I’ll do that again. I’ll be a bit less gentle next time!”

He flipped around, and he had a glint in his eye.

“Of course if you do behave, maybe I’ll do it again too, only a bit more gentle.” I delivered this with a slightly naughty smile. Girls just gotta have fun after all! This just seemed to set him off and he started to hurtle towards me again. I no longer had to say it to steal his power, but I couldn’t stop from the dramatics.

“SHAZAM!” And his power leapt from him, and landed in me. I barely felt a change in power. How much had I absorbed? I could feel fuzzily that I could grasp the answer if I took some time to find it. But I didn’t have time now.

He looked mostly the same, only he was wearing a button up the front shirt and jeans, and his build was not quite as stellar. And he was holding a crutch. The look on his face was PRICELESS. He had had a bit of upward momentum as he was coming to attack, so it took a moment for that to be expended. As he realized what happened, he looked down as the momentum wore off, and he started to fall. It was like a Wile E. Coyote cartoon! I couldn’t stop laughing. I watched him tumble towards the ground, screaming.

I love quotes, and I could not stop myself from thinking of one:

“What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground!

I wonder if it will be friends with me?”

Snorting, I said, “I wonder if it’ll be friends with him indeed.”

Still, I didn’t want the poor guy to go splat! I could hear him yelling, “SHAZAM! SHAZAM! SHAZAM! SHAZAM!” as he fell, face first towards the ground. I floated down to him, and grabbed his leg, and slowly halted his fall. Dangling him by his leg, we slowly drifted towards the ground. All the while he was yelling “SHAZAM! SHAZAM!” He was getting more and more panicked.

I set him on the ground. I used a gentle tone, I had lots of skills and instincts floating around. The lightning seemed to know a lot of things. “Kid. That isn’t going to work anymore.” He was rocking back and forth, crying, and blubbering. He was still trying to say, “Shazam!” only he was hiccuping from crying. I felt completely horrible. Even though he had attacked me with the power of the gods, he couldn’t really hurt me. In return, I had scared him so badly he was a total mess.

I leaned down to rub his back, and try to calm him down. “It’ll be ok.” My concern caused my senses to focus on him, and they gave me an immediate sense about him, including that he had a lame leg. There was some damage to his muscle, along with some nerve damage, and the bones had not healed correctly. “It’s not all that bad. Hold on, let me fix that.” And with a thought, a bit of lightning sparked down his leg, and it was fully healed. He was so startled by this, that he stopped hiccuping.

After a brief moment of wonder, he grasped his leg and let out a scream of pure agony. Tears started to run down his face, and I quickly scanned him again: there wasn’t anything wrong! I focused and could see pulses through is nervous system, they looked mostly correct, but they caused spasms in his brain. Each one a giant spasm of activity, they coincided with his screams. I let myself flow into it – and snagged at the answer. I’d regrown nerves that had been long dormant and the signals were being misinterpreted as pain by his brain. He’d even out in a moment – I wasn’t quite sure what I could do. I could anesthetize his leg a bit, dampening the signals. That might help him start to make sense of what was going on, but mostly he just needed to get a handle on this, which was hard to do when his brain was going haywire.

I was weighing my options, and figured that giving him a jolt of the ol’ magic lightning, and turning him back into Captain Marvel, Jr, would totally remove his pain. I could then talk to him, and let him understand what the pain was, and that should enable him to get a grasp on things faster. If need be, I’d magically block some of the signal, which should give him time to adapt.

I felt around a bit for the right amount, it was barely a spark to me, and charged up my hand so I could pass him the power.

At the moment before I was going to pass Junior a pick me up, I felt something wrong and glanced back, to see Mary Marvel. She had come in quickly and silently, I didn’t even sense her approach. Somehow she was flying faster than Junior had, but not causing sonic booms, or really any disruption at all. Nor did I feel the power in her until I actually noticed her, and even then, it was a faint echo. Junior had glowed, or more correctly, felt like a buzzing. Even looking at her I could only barely feel the power. She also seemed a bit larger than she’d been when I was doing my research.

I had only a brief moment, even at my incredible speeds, when she slammed into me. As the blow hit, I noticed that there was a little trail of lighting that flicked off her the moment before impact, and it leapt into Freddy just as Mary hit me.

The blow was titanic, far exceeding anything Adam or Junior had given me. Still, my powers were vast, and it didn’t cause me any harm, I just flew back as the shockwave ripped up the blacktop of the factory parking lot. Worse, as she hit me, I had been preparing to gift Freddy with a jolt of power. The impact was enough to force a large spurt out, probably 10-20x the normal Marvel level, and this power went to the closest target: Mary. As I was tumbling away from the impact, I re-asserted control and flipped back around. But I could feel the power slam into Mary. She actually got a bit taller, and the power nestled into her muscles. Her biceps swelled a bit, and she gained some definition. I could see the power flow down her body, tweaking up her size and definition as it went. She was already amazing, now she looked like someone had turned her up to 11.

As I steadied myself, Mary was already assimilating. She didn’t even pause, she whipped around and slammed into me again. As she hit me, I could hear her say, “SHAZAM!” The impact itself still didn’t hurt me. Even with her increased power, she still wasn’t a match for me. But at contact, and her saying the magic word, I felt my power rip out of me. I had thought the flow from the Rock was incredible, this was an order faster, ripping a large chunk of power out in an instant, and the power kept flowing. This caused me the first sensations of pain since I got my new powers, and I was racked with spasms of pain.

The flow caused a bright arc light to leap from me into her. It was brighter than the noon-day sun, if I wasn’t beyond such things, just looking at the transfer would have fried my eyes.

I’m a mage. I have had long hours of training to think past problems of the mere body. With a quick grasp, I grabbed my power and cut the flow. Shifting from brilliant white light to normal daylight felt like stepping into dusk. I blinked and my eyes readapted.

Unlike the first burst of power, this one seemed to have overwhelmed Mary. She was floating in the air, still lost in the sensation.

She grew in height, her clothes altering around her. The next moment muscles appeared all over her body. Her lithe athletic figure was now bursting with power. Her biceps swelled up, adding over an inch in diameter. As this happened, the cut of her suit altered again, to adjust to her broader shoulders, and then again as her breasts inflated a few sizes. Before she had been lithe and trim, now she was buxom and bursting with muscles, yet she still had this feline grace. Her legs were even more magnificent, her calves were just amazing. She still wasn’t nearly as large as I was. I was taller, bustier, and my muscles were larger. But she looked like a sleek panther, all proportional. Her muscles jumped as she flexed her arms, as the power hit its crest. The simple movement made a firm pretty biceps rise from her arm.

She had been gorgeous before, now she was incredible. There wasn’t a flaw on her anywhere. She shook her head a bit to regain focus, and it was the most graceful thing I’ve ever seen a human do before. Her eyes focused on me. Two deep brown pools, they sucked me right in.

She had somehow learned the spell! She’d flown down, and stolen a bunch of my power from me! She didn’t simply use the wizard’s spell to try to transform, she’d known exactly what she was doing as she touched me directly so I wouldn’t have a chance to funnel the lightning. I have no idea how she figured out how to do that! Only my aunt and I knew, and I’d destroyed all evidence! I let this moment of confusion flow through me. It was time to call my power back. I felt it start to flow out of Mary ... and then STOP. And that was the proof. Somehow Mary had known my aunt’s spell! She couldn’t have mastered the power that quickly! Nor did I have any idea how she found the spell in the first place. It took a lot of my research to even finish the spell, and there really wasn’t anyone to match my abilities!

I’d long suspected that Mary was probably the best of them. And she seemed to be proving it here. But my day dreaming ended, as a cute little fist appeared out of nowhere. I noticed her quite fetching red fingernail polish an instant before her fist slammed into my face. Sparks flew from the impact, I felt the impact and flew back, I was tossed about a half mile into they sky. As I righted myself. I looked back down. I had a moment to see that the Freddie had been partially transformed. He wasn’t fully Captain Marvel Jr, but his clothes had changed to blue T-Shirt with a yellow bolt on it, and blue jeans. And he was no longer in pain, though I could tell he was healing from being injured by just being near the blow Mary had given me. He was running away from us pretty quickly, far faster than any human, but far short of what he could have done as Captain Marvel, Jr. And then I noticed two fists coming right at me! Before I could move, they slammed into me, and once again I felt pain along with a shower of sparks! All the air was forced out of my lungs, and I was pushed back up into the sky into the edge of space. Worse, those sparks were her pulling a bit more power out of me!

I’d had about enough, and it was time I started fighting back. I really didn’t want to hurt her, but at the moment, that seemed the least of my problems. As she rocketed in to hit me again, I rolled off Mary’s fists, and grabbed her arm, and flicked her at full strength. This shoved her along the path she was flying and caused her to tumble through the air.

If I’d had been impressed by Junior, Mary was a sight to see. She deftly flipped in the air, and rebounded back at me. I had the time to think ‘Nimble little minx’, as she came back for an attack.

“Hey! STOP!” I held up my had for emphasis. “I don’t want to fight!”

And, unlike Freddy. She stopped. She floated in the air in front of me. She really was quite cute. She let out a little grin, that probably was about a 15 on a cute scale of 1-10.

“Why did you attack Freddy!”

“Is that Junior? HE attacked me! He wouldn’t stop. So I took his powers, to calm him down.”

“That sounds reasonable. Freddie always was a bit of a hot head, even as Captain Marvel, Junior.” She floated a bit closer to me, “Perhaps we can figure this out.”

I thought she was being reasonable, but she was using the opportunity to float closer to me. When I was within range, she made a light movement, moving her left hand in an arc, I felt my gaze follow along the arc. As my attention started to wander for that brief moment, she threw a fast right across my jaw. “Except for the part where you were torturing Freddie when I showed up!”

The blow caused my head to spin a bit and released another shower of sparks. The blow caused me to stagger back a bit, and actually hurt! I could feel her trying to suck power out of me, but Mary was at a bit of a disadvantage. I had a bit more power than she did, which all things being equal, would have given me the edge. But I had more magical power than she did, and a lot more knowledge and training. She might fight better than I could, but with magic she was woefully outclassed.

And things were a bit worse than that for the Maid of Might. The Lightning DID bring knowledge as well as power. It was harder to get at a normal power level, but we were pulling a lot more. When Mary had split the power, the knowledge hadn’t been split evenly. She had gained some magical instincts, that if she focused, and went through some training, would eventually make her a first class mage as she developed the places to properly access the knowledge.

But that was the problem. I HAD the places and a lot of knowledge of magic, so the greater part of the knowledge stuck with me. And it was coming into focus for me. And the more it came into focus, the quicker it happened. On the other hand, Mary had a lot of experience fighting, and she picked up a lions share of fighting and tactics, and she knew how to use it. I could feel some in my head, but it was enough to tell me Mary was instinctively using the knowledge. I’d had little training in fighting, and it would take a bit of time and practice for what I had gained to settle in. Meanwhile, due to the knowledge of Eternity, Mary was probably the deadliest Hand to Hand fighter on the planet, one who was also skilled in fighting with super-strength, speed, and flight. All of tied together with a master tactician’s instincts. If you joined Batman and Superman into one person, she’d still tear him apart.

But in magic, even though I’d been weak, I’d have a lifetime of training. Mary had none.

But the final nail for Mary, was the wizard’s spell. It kept the Marvel Family from using much magic besides lightning blasts. Mary had good instincts and was smoothing out the spell, letting her get at some more magical control. But I’d totally removed those restrictions. Given some time, Mary would remove the restrictions, and would be a canny magical opponent. I doubt she’d be a match for me even then. Currently, it wasn’t even a contest.

So when Mary tried to grab power from me, I shut her completely off. Instead each contact, I nipped a bit of power from her. She had enough presence of mind, that she stopped trying to suck power out of me each time she touched me, and started to hold in her power.

Still, if she’d hold off a bit, I’d be able to pull power out of her.

My analysis was interrupted by a dump truck slamming into my face. Mary’s combat ability and physical superiority were proving quite annoying.

I shrugged off the dump truck, it really was too soft to hurt me. I should have known better. If I knew the dump truck wouldn’t hurt me, Mary did too. As that thought hit me, so did she. She appeared from nowhere. I had absolutely no idea how she was doing that. But as I registered she was there, I had just enough time to admire her pretty nails, curled into a fist, which smashed into my face. And what does surprise do? It removes your protections, and this blow caused a huge spark to fly off me, and Mary sucked it right up.

The blow was so powerful the trees below us were flattened by the shock wave. I was sent spinning in a tumble. I could feel a bit of blood start to whip out of my nose. As I halted the tumble, and turned to go back on the attack, Mary was gone. I had enough time to turn to look for her, and a fist came out of my blind spot, and smacked me on the side of the head. Fortunately I was still focusing, so I didn’t loose any power. I just had a sharp rap to my head, and my vision blurred for a second.

But enough was enough, I tossed off a powerful containment spell. It would hold just about anyone, and even someone of Superman’s strength wouldn’t be able to budge the bars. The spell was powerful enough that it homed right in on her, and encased her in a glowing cage. I floated next to the cage, and as I was about to entreat her to talk, she just punched and shattered the bars, and landed a powerful blow right across my face again. I felt my nose break and another chunk of power get knocked out of me. She’d just acted like my retaining spell wasn’t even there!

I was sent reeling again, and the world became a jumble, and I was a bit disorientated. I stopped suddenly, and was whipped around and sent hurtling towards the ground. I tried to regain control, but Mary was behind me pushing me towards the ground. The Air was cracking and igniting in front of us. I had just enough thought that I stopped the sparks she was sucking out of me. But even at my speed, I only had a moment before we smashed into the ground.

I felt the rocks explode around me, as my face was pummeled into the ground. I lay there for a moment, and tried to get my bearings. Dirt was raining down everywhere, and dust clouded the air. I was prone on the ground, and trying to clear my head.

The wind shifted, and the cloud moved apart. It cleared from the bottom up. It was like a Hollywood movie scene. The cloud parted, and Mary was standing majestically. She had a perfect stance, graceful and powerful, showcasing her amazing legs. I stared at her amazing thighs for second as the dust cleared. Her trim waist appeared, and her perfect breasts. She was breathing a bit heavy, and it was an amazing sight to watch as her powerful lungs pulled in air and her breasts shifted.

Finally the cloud revealed her face. She’d been beautiful before, but she was angelic now. A stunning brunette. Her hair was wavy and luxurious, every hair perfectly in place. She had perfect lips, and skin that was so clear, you couldn’t see a pore. And I knew she wasn’t wearing a smidgen of makeup, and would never need to.

Her brown eyes, normally filled with warmth, had a steely resolve. She was a modern Warrior Goddess made flesh.

I on the other hand, was smashed into the ground, and covered in dirt. I shook my head and started to rise. I had to do something or Mary was going to smash the crap out of me!

I flashed off a force bolt that would have crippled Superman, and likely have killed him.

But she just walked through it, the bolt spattering off her and threw a punch. I will say that I was getting better. I figured out what she was doing right before the fist came in. She’d focused my attention away for a flash and came in for the attack. I had just enough time to turn her blow a bit. Still it bounced off my nose and started the blood flow again.

As I was cheering my partial block, her left fist slammed into my perfect stomach, forced all the air out of my lungs, and bent me over her fist. I was getting ready to pull myself back up, when her knee slammed into my face. I felt my nose crunch and I was sent flying into the air again.

I had a moment as I was regaining control, but I felt a steely grip grab my leg, swing me around and slam me back down into the ground again. And Again. And then I was whipped up into the air, and slammed back into the ground at full speed. This time as the ground exploded, and I was left completely buried.

But, this was finally the break I needed. I was completely buried, only my hand was above ground, and I wasn’t moving it. Since I was buried, Mary had paused for a moment, and that gave me a chance to recover. I made an illusion of myself around myself, and then turned invisible, leaving the illusion in my place. I felt my nose start to reknit. Given a moment, and I’d be perfectly healthy again.

Once I had the illusion up, and I’d turned invisible, I turned immaterial and floated up into the sky. I left the illusion in the ground. It had just enough solidity to keep the ground from sliding in to fill the hole as I floated out of it.

Mary was a majestic sight, as she stood braced over my motionless body. She was perfectly clean. She practically glowed in the dust cloud, all bright reds, white and yellow. From this angle, I could appreciate her bountiful bosom. Her uniform had altered its cut as her form had improved, and was showing generous cleavage. I would have been jealous of her figure if mine had not similarly improved.

I didn’t want to hurt Mary, but this had to stop. Because she was certainly hurting me! And she just walked right through all my spells. I should have guessed that, even the original level Marvel power level was highly resistant to magic. I could probably start to siphon off her power, and eventually I’d have enough edge to end this. But she was really fast, and such a canny opponent, I’m not sure I’d be able to keep this up. She’d played the entire combat perfectly, and it seemed she had tipped the physical power level so she was faster and stronger than I was. Either I figured out how to trick her into letting me drain a big chunk from her, get her to stop pounding on me, or I just ran away. I doubt that she could track my best teleport spell, I just didn’t want to have to keep looking over my shoulder for her.

But aside from Mary, I already had more power than anyone. And Mary was simply glorious. The world would be better served with the power split between us. For one, she could take care of all the world-shattering bad guys, and leave me free to have fun. And if it was tough enough that she couldn’t handle it, likely the two of us would be better than just one of us with all the power. As I had the thought, I could feel an echo of confirmation from the lightning. It wasn’t really sentient, but it did have some limited awareness. Like my feeling that the power shouldn’t be contained, it didn’t want to be contained in just me. And it probably had helped Mary along to be able to grab some of my power.

Still, she outclassed me in fighting ability, speed and strength, and she was mostly immune to my advantage in magical power. I wasn’t going to win this battle by punching. Somehow I had to restrain Mary long enough to get her to listen to me. If she really thought I’d hurt Freddy unprovoked, she would never stop. I could see the love and loyalty burning through her. Attack one of her people, and you would pay.

But that also was the key. I would pay. But I’d already paid. I’d bled all over the ground. She’d hurt me far worse than the spanking I’d given Freddy. And the little masher shouldn’t have groped me. Still, I was quite gorgeous, myself. Even now I could feel the dirt sliding off my body, and my hair regaining it’s luster. And super-charged teenage hormones could overcome even the wisdom of Solomon (especially if you only had one helping). That probably was a reason Billy changed into an adult.

First, I had to let Mary know that I wasn’t going to injure Freddie, nor had I really except for the spanking and the fear of death. But I had healed him. Plus if I were by Freddie, she couldn’t hit me so hard. She’d likely mastered the power enough to protect Freddie from our blows, but I was good enough that I could keep her from doing that, and that would keep her from attacking.

And just like I was figuring out a bit about fighting, at least enough to admire Mary’s utter mastery. I was sure that Mary was figuring out how much I could do. And her tactical sense wouldn’t allow her to hit me hard enough to hurt me near Freddy, else he’d die from the shock wave.

I landed near Freddy, he was still partially transformed. “We only have a moment, you need to tell Mary to stop and listen. I don’t think I can stop her without hurting her, and I don’t want to do that!”

Sure enough, Mary came rocketing towards me, only to pull up short when she saw me talking to Freddy. Freddy wasn’t fast enough to communicate with us during the battle, so we both had to adjust to normal human speeds. Still, the power would instantly kick us up if the other tried to take advantage. It was like a reflex.

I could see that Mary was furious. She thought that I was threatening Freddy. And I guess I was exposing him to danger – if I’d thought that Mary would have blindly attacked. And if she had, I could have just taken the blow and protected Freddy. Theoretically his partially powered state would keep him from harm from indirect blows.

Mary hung in the air with a determined look on her face, then turned her head a bit to the side and looked at me quizzically, as I saw her start to put it together. I could tell that she picked up that I’d have defended Freddie FIRST and myself second, and she could feel the shield that I’d held ready to flow over him.

“Freddie!” He looked over at me. And, for all that I had reduced him to a blubbering ball earlier, I was obviously the subject of a crush. I hated to think what I’d done to him, I suspect that he’d developed a few fetishes from our encounter. It might sound vain, but yes, I was that good looking. As was Mary. I wasn’t all that interested in women, and I still had a hard time taking my eyes off her.

Well, that and every time I took my eyes off her, her perfect little fists would appear and smash my face. And I couldn’t help but admire her all the more because of it. She was a tough cookie.

And come to think of it, I probably had a bit of a hangup about other women before, and that seem trivial now. I had to shake a vision of Mary’s Legs wrapped around me, and her lips locked on mine, out of my head. She and Billy had just turned 18 a few months back, so she was just a few years younger than I was. But still, these really aren’t the things one should be thinking about during combat!

But she was just incredible.

And once the Warrior Queen had left, and she looked at me with her warm brown eyes, I couldn’t help but smile. Damn, she was really cute.

“Freddie. Pay attention!” I could see him gather his thoughts, but he still had a HUGE smile on his face, and he didn’t want to stop looking at my boobs. I’m not sure I could fault him. They were magnificent. Probably the only boobs on the planet that looked better than Mary’s. She had better legs, I had better boobs. And we both had fabulous hair. Oddly, my biceps were still bigger, despite her being stronger than I was.

“I’m sorry! I’m Sorry! I won’t do it again!”, Freddie was babbling a bit. “I didn’t mean to just attack you! I’m sorry!”

“And my leg doesn’t hurt anymore! It’s awesome! You are just the best! Isn’t she the greatest Mary?”

“She took your powers. Aren’t you mad?”

“Well, she was right. She said she would probably have to hurt me to stop me. And I wasn’t listening to her. So on one of my attacks, she pulled my powers out. But then she healed me! The Wizard couldn’t do that! I’ve been in pain every day since then. I know I put on a brave face, but sometimes it’s a bit much. She took all that away. At first my leg felt like it was on fire, but now I can tell it was just the nerves waking up. Being cured is better than my powers. They were never really mine to begin with.” He looked down at his shirt, “Though I’m not sure what this quite is. I have power, but not my powers. You gave me some kind of a jolt? Doesn’t quite FEEL like my old powers, they’re not as strong, but they also feel more natural. Like I’m still Freddie? And saying Shazam doesn’t do anything.”

Mary looked over at me. She crosses her arms together. Still a bit skeptical. She was at least willing to listen to reason. “Perhaps you should go over how all this came together, so I can figure out if I should beat you senseless.” And she emphasized this by smacking her right fist into her left hand. The move was quick and casual, but it was still enough that I flashed a shield around Freddie, as the wave knocked down some of the remaining trees. Just how strong were we now? That was an astounding amount of power for such a casual motion!

I related my story, and I could see Mary listening to me, listening to the lighting, and reading me. I really hadn’t started out to drain the Rock, but it’d felt right. It still felt right, just like leaving the power in Mary felt right. And I could tell Mary felt it too.

As I got to the end of the story, I could tell that Mary had changed her mind. We weren’t going to fight anymore. She still didn’t seem too pleased with me, but she no longer wanted to fight.

As I got to her appearance, she lit up as I described what it was like to be on the other end of her fists. She gave me her first genuine smile and laughed, and my knees almost buckled. I was super powerful, with extreme control, and I was swooning like a school girl with her first crush. No wonder Freddie was glassy eyed when he looked at me.

In response to regaling her with her battle prowess, Mary brought her hands up into fists, then kissed her right fist, and then her left fist. Then she mimed boxing a bit. And she knew that this was getting to me too. I could tell from her sly smile.

“You were on the other end of them, so you probably have already paid for the ticket to see the gun show.” And she brought her arms up into a biceps flex. She wasn’t huge, but she was much larger than the average woman. Each of her arms were adorned with a nicely defined biceps, they were quite pretty. Her entire stance radiated confident power. This brought an appreciative sigh from me, which caused my breasts to shake a bit. That drew Mary’s attention and her smile beamed a bit more. Maybe there was going to be lightning in the clouds later.

“Look, I still think you were more than a little self-serving. You didn’t have to absorb all the power – the Rock would have taken care of the rest. And did a bit.” She gave me a small grin. “But overall, it did need to be done, and you got the ball rolling. So, I’m not going to pound your face anymore.” She stopped grinning and looked serious for a bit. “You WILL put a few bolts worth of power back into the Rock for Billy and Freddie here.”

“Done!” I concentrated a bit, and a bolt leapt off me, and returned to the Rock of Eternity. I could see Mary feeling a bit, concentrating on this extra sense we had, until she eventually smiled.

“That was a bit more than you needed to give, but thanks!”

She looked over to Freddie, “Go ahead, give it a try!”

“Shazam!”. Only nothing happened. “Shazam!”. Still nothing.

The transformation spell was still present, but it wasn’t working. “Hold on, let me look. Try that again.””

“Shazam!”

I motioned Mary over to take a look. “Look closely when he tries the spell.”

“Shazam!”

Mary looked at me puzzled. “I can sort of see the spell, it’s still there. But it...starts to activate, and then just shuts down?”

“Yes. I think you didn’t really transform him in the normal Shazam sense. He’s in a quasi-transformed state. The spell doesn’t know what to do, so it does nothing. I could pull all the power out of him, but that’s really not terribly safe with the healing I did coming so close to the transformation. If you look at his leg you can still see the healing finishing up, and it’s now intertwined with this jolt you gave him. I fear they’re linked now, and he’d go back to being crippled, only now the Power of Shazam would be working to resist any healing we did. I might not be able to heal him anymore. I could force a full transformation, but I fear that since the transformation and the healing are now linked, it’d blow off the healing spell, and also resist my trying it again.”

Freddie was lost in thought. “I really meant what I said before. Being cured is worth more to me than being Captain Marvel Junior.” He scratched his head. “And these powers ... they feel more natural. Like they are mine and I’m still Freddie, instead of being transformed into something else.”

“I guess I’d rather remain as I am now, than risk any pain that you can’t fix. Plus, while not Captain Marvel level, these powers are great. I’m faster than a bullet, I’m stronger than a train, and I can leap over a roller coaster! It’s a bit hard to get upset over that! Plus all those traps we got caught in where we couldn’t say the magic word – I’ll always have my powers!”

I looked over at Mary. We exchanged a glance. We both knew that we’d likely never ever change back. I didn’t really trust her not to cut me off, and she didn’t trust me either. And there was the sense that we’d need to be ready.

Or at least she would. I’m going to have a good time until I’m needed, or my subconscious tells me what it’s worried about.

Mary looked back over at Freddie. “Well, if you’re sure. I guess I’d not want to be in pain all the time either.”

Freddy beamed back at her. You could tell poor Freddie’s brain was overloaded by the two of us. I’m pretty sure we could stop an army just by smiling. I would use my powers for good, when it suited me. And fun. Maybe a whole lot of fun. But not for the status quo.

The Power from the Rock left me with that impression. Something was coming, and things would have to change in order to survive.

Still, I didn’t know what was coming yet, and there was nothing I could do until I figured it out. I’d let Mary worry about things until the answer came to me. In the meantime, there was fun to be had.

And a nicely fit Freddie Freeman to have some fun with, or the magnificent goddess, Mary Marvel. I turned my attention back to them. THIS goddess didn’t want to spend the night alone.

Finis

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