The Towers' Syndrome – Chapter 13
Written by papayoya1 :: [Sunday, 01 July 2018 18:25] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 01 July 2018 21:14]
After her rampage, Sienna visits the city…
“We are fifteen minutes away from the point of no return, Mr. President.”
The dark-suited man spoke in a plain tone, as if he was unable to convey any emotions to anything he said, even when talking about what was probably the most dangerous and most rushed special weapons project the nation had ever been involved with. Of course, both the President and him understood that the situation required it. Even if the public was still unaware, the country and the world were in front of the worst threat they had ever faced.
“Have there been any developments that suggest a change to the course of action?” President Lieberman asked.
“Then you are free to proceed, Mr. Stahl,” the President said.
There were so many unordinary threats the public had not been aware of. The only reason for that had been that Stahl was very good at his job, as had his predecessors. And he had a hell of a team.
Sienna Towers was, by far, the most dangerous situation he had faced. And probably the first one where Stahl did not have the certainty that he would prevail. He would have never approved of Nemesis if there had been another option. It was the riskiest bet his organization had ever taken.
He knew the FBI Director would have never approved. His special branch of the Bureau did not report to him, though, but directly to the cabinet. And he was thankful for Lieberman’s bravery when faced with the tough choice.
“Thank you, Mr. President. I will keep you informed.”
Stahl hung up and reached for the door, exiting the safe communications room.
“Where is Agent Smith?” he asked to one of his aides.
“He left in a rush to the city, boss.”
“I see,” he replied. He had a bad feeling about it.
Sienna spent the next three hours absorbing every piece of information in the servers, letting her superhuman brain process the data while her eyes scanned for new one. She felt frustrated when she realized that the bottleneck was the speed at which the computers could refresh information in the screen rather than her ability to read it, but there was no way around it, so after crushing the first three keyboards, she adapted to the limitations of the hardware.
She had to admit that Larkin’s team had made impressive progress in just four weeks. Of course, they had built on top of her own work. And Sienna had found a couple of mistakes that explained why it had taken them longer than it would have taken her to come up with the means to create an effective weapon. Of course, she was thankful for them. All-in-all, the work was much better than the credit she usually conceded to researchers other than her.
By the end of the data dump, Sienna knew that Angela’s team had been good and that Angela herself had been truthful when she had summarized their investigation. She looked down at her broken body once more, wondering if the way she had finished her life was as kind as it could have been. Sienna had felt a final hug would help to convey to her first mentor the appreciation she still felt for her. In any case, it did not matter anymore. In the end, a couple more seconds of suffering should not make too much of a difference in a fifty-two-year life.
Before standing up, Sienna removed the clip from the modified gun she had taken from Larkin and counted the ten modified projectiles inside. Each of them still had the ability to harm her, maybe kill her. She now understood the science behind them.
Closing her hand around the empty gun, crushing it into an unrecognizable metal pancake, Sienna frowned at the knowledge that she was not completely invincible. If she had been told one year ago that she would hold the power she now possessed save for a small vulnerability she would have thought it was too good to be true. However, now that she had felt the godlike strength flowing through her veins for a few days, the thought of having a weak spot annoyed her enormously. The goddess in her could not accept it, the scientist was already looking for solutions.
Angela’s words still echoed in her mind. “You are a living creature. This means you can die” she had said. Well, not if she could fix it. And once she had made herself stronger than nations, Sienna did not see why she should not be able to make some final tweaks to complete her ascension. As a matter of fact, Larkin’s research had already given her a couple of clues on what to pursue.
None of this mattered right now, though. With the rest of the weapons destroyed, the available ammunition in her possession and the only source for new bullets laying in front of her, Sienna was as untouchable as anyone had ever been.
Grabbing the gun clip and the small remaining piece of the comet, Sienna stood up and felt satisfaction at the significant progress she had made. She had learned everything there was to learn about the secret project to build weapons that could hurt her, had put an end to it and had finished everyone that had been involved to it. Not bad, considering it was not yet dawn.
She had another comet-related project to deal with. After that, the world awaited.
She was not going to leave without cleaning up, though. After a few seconds melting hardware with her eyes, Sienna felt both bored and hungry. Yet another of Angela’s sentences came to mind. She had already accepted that she needed oxygen to survive. Now, she was suddenly very aware of the need to replenish the energy she used when exerting her power.
Sienna’s reason immediately saw the anomaly in the equation. Even if she forgot about everything else she had done and only considered the gigawatts of energy she had released through her eyes, there was no way that it had come from a few dozen energy bars, some burgers and some other pretty standard meals. No matter how efficient her new organism could now be, she was not going to get her next surge of energy in a McDonald’s Dive-Through.
The question was obvious. The answer presented itself. In the end, it was basic Occam’s Razor again. There was only one suitable source of energy she had been exposed to and that could have provided as much power as she had used: the Sun. How it did work, she did not know. But she knew it had somehow worked.
Sunrise was still an hour away, though, and Sienna did not think that a little sunbathing would refill the energy she would need for a second raid. Learning about the Sun had made her formulate a theory on how to handle the situation, though. She did not know if it would work, but she would not lose anything by trying. It would also help her in the cleanup process.
Not in a hurry, Sienna walked back the way she had come, carrying the last remnants of the comet that had unlocked her full potential with her. She strolled calmly past scorched bodies and reached the end of the room, where she pushed the door out of the way with a careless kick. Then, she just followed the map she had mentally drawn on the facility and followed the corridors, taking the right turns, pushing the right doors off their hinges. No longer in a rush, Sienna could observe the results of her previous raid. No wonder people were so terrified! Most of the corpses were not even recognizable in that area of the lab. She felt more pride than remorse as she made the observation.
It was in this state of mind that she reached the exit to the main power plant that the scientists had been so desperately trying to reach when she had broken in. Rather than “flying down”, she took the stairs, enjoying the calm of the slow stroll.
It was then a matter of walking across the deserted main floor and into the only generator that was working. The plant was more than evacuated by now, so she did not need to deal with anyone as she got to the turbine, ripped the encasing away and reached for the output power cables.
Any other creature on Planet Earth would have died a millisecond later. To Sienna, it just tickled. When a few seconds later the hunger started to recede, she laughed out loud to a missing audience.
“So, this is how it works!” she said, her words echoing in the cavernous space.
Her new condition did not cease to amaze her. The way it offered solutions for every problem was both elegant and convenient. Not for the first time, Sienna wondered about the original designer of the comet, the only intelligence in the Universe that she respected as much as her own. If her assumptions were right, they had launched the comet to the Solar System millions of years ago, even before the rise of dinosaurs. As far as Sienna could tell, the Kuiper belt had captured the comet, sending it into a much slower declining orbit to Earth. No one had been able to determine exactly when it had hit the polar cap, but it could not have been more than a few thousand years ago, remaining buried under the ice and unable to accomplish its task since then. Until someone found it and Sienna deciphered it.
Up to some point, Sienna did not like having to thank some very old and very distant intelligence for her ascension. Knowing that the key to absolute power had been handed to plenty more people before her and that she had been the only one bright enough to understand what the original creators had concealed in the rock compensated for that.
Sienna’s energy was restoring as her mind wandered through her change once more. Still, she could feel that the rate was not nearly fast enough.
“I’ll need to force things a bit,” she muttered.
Letting go of the power cables, Sienna walked back to the center of the stance and set her sights on the massive liquefied gas tanks feeding the generators. She was no expert in power plants, but if she had had to guess, she would have bet that she was in a large one.
“Let’s kill two birds with one stone,” she said to no one in particular as her eyes fired two short bursts of intense heat to the target.
Agent Smith rushed into the penthouse as soon as the explosive tape took care of the reinforced door frame. The apartment was way too luxurious to have the sort of door that could be shattered open with a battering ram.
Harper followed suit, despite the protests of the lead SWAT agent, who had insisted on checking the house was clear first.
Smith and Harper headed in opposite directions and started to scan the vast residence. When Harper called for him, Smith hurried to join him in the main bedroom.
“Oh my God!” he murmured. “Medic!” he then shouted.
Smith’s had first been afraid for Agent Black’s life. Someone without his well-honed observation skills would have probably missed the faint movement of the unconscious woman chest. He didn’t, which was the reason he started feeling relief long before the medic let them know that she had a pulse.
After so many years together, it was the first time Smith saw his partner in her birthday suit. He did not even have time to reflect on that, since the fact that she was being held by multiple pipes that had incomprehensibly burst through the wall was quite more bizarre.
The men were both efficient and careful as they tried to free the unconscious Agent Black from her metallic restraints. It was not an easy task, since the pipes had been bent tightly around her body.
Smith was trying to get his cool back after the initial anxiety, and decided to exit to the terrace, where Harper was sitting on an expensive-looking chair and connecting Fiona’s phone to his laptop.
“If it were not for this, we would have never found her” he said, holding the terminal with care.
“What else can you get from it?” Smith asked.
“GPS data. We will know where Fiona was, so we will probably know where Sienna Towers was too. Not much more.”
“It’s better than nothing.”
“You should call Stahl” Harper then said.
Smith nodded. Then, he offered an explanation he had not been asked for:
“He would have stopped us if I had answered to his call before.”
“I’ll make some calls too. Let them know they need to have the infirmary ready.”
The explosion of McGovern’s Combined Cycle Gas Power Plant lit Silverport’s dawn way more than the Sun could. Its thundering roar could be felt deep into the city. The massive fireball that was still growing in the horizon could be seen from every corner of the county. And yet, few realized that it could have been worse, much worse, if all the energy stored in massive stockpiles of liquefied gas had been released.
Invisible against the spectacularity of the blast, a tiny figure shot to the sky through the flames, unnoticed. The sonic boom it produced was masked by the still roaring sound of the fierce flames.
Sienna’s presence was much more noticed when she landed in the parking lot of the small shopping mall less than half a minute later. Not having taken care to slow down when approaching, Sienna’s feet hit the asphalt with way more kinetic energy than the one it could handle. So, by the time she firmly set on the ground, Sienna was standing in the middle of a small crater. The asphalt around her had rippled, overturning some cars. No one in four blocks was left standing.
The effects of her presentation had been unsought but amusing. So, Sienna was wearing a satisfied smile as she slowly pranced out of the crater and headed to her destination, which was no other than the gun shop across the lot.
She could not help but chuckle when she heard the moans of those that had been injured by her unexpected arrival, realizing once more just how weak people now were next to her. She paid them no heed as she ambled towards the store, getting a couple of upturned cars out of the way with casual sweeps of her right arm and left leg.
When the second vehicle, a red wrangler, crashed loudly into a laundry storefront, crushing a couple that had been on the way, the general feeling around her quickly evolved from astonishment to panic.
“Oh, yeah” Sienna said aloud. “In case it was not yet obvious: get out of my way!”
One of the first ones to realize about the danger was the security guard at the gun shop’s door, who reacted in the most sensible way and dashed inside, locking the door immediately after.
It was not as if a human doing the sensible thing was going to stop Sienna, of course. Her fist easily tore through the bulletproof glass and took hold of the door. It was then the easiest thing in the world to rip it off its hinges and toss it over her shoulder, sending it flying across the parking lot.
The security guard was not so sensible when he drew his gun and aimed it at Sienna’s face. She just shoved him, sending him flying fifty feet into the store and violently crashing into the opposite wall. He stayed in there for a couple of seconds before he started to slide down, leaving a wide red streak as he did so.
“Stop right there!” a grave voice commanded from her right.
Sienna turned to face the heavy and quite startled owner of the shop, a man who looked more like a biker gang member than a marine and that was aiming at her with an assault rifle. Apparently relieved by the relative distance, the man moved a hand away from the weapon and did something under the counter. Sienna’s keen ears had no trouble to identify the click, letting her know that the man had called the police. As if that was going to make the difference.
The shop owner was holding the gun properly once more as Sienna started swaggering along the corridor, ignoring the different pieces of military hardware to her sides and focusing on the very spooked man.
He lost it soon enough, emptying the thirty bullets in the magazine in less than five seconds. Not even all of them hit, making Sienna wonder which type of qualification one needed to run a shop like that. It was not as if the ones that did not miss mattered too much, of course. She was amused by the effect of the ricocheted bullets in the exposed merchandise but did not pay it too much attention as she kept advancing. By the time she reached the counter, the man was still pulling the trigger, only getting a click as a response.
Sienna reached out and closed her hand on the burly man’s jaw, the pain she inflicted instantly making him drop the gun and reach with both hands to her forearm. She could tell by his expression that he was doing everything in her power to move her arm away. He did not even manage to make his fingertips dip a fraction of an inch into her skin.
Moving him around as if he were an inflatable, Sienna lifted the man over the counter and rested him against a high shelf, right in front of her. Her hand left his jaw. The man mistook the movement as permission to get away, something that Sienna quickly corrected by taking hold of his armpit. She could not prevent a chuckle when the man broke his toes in a desperate attempt to kick her.
“That was not nice,” she said, amused.
Then, her thumb sunk into the man’s ribcage. Judging by his primeval scream, Sienna guessed that it had hurt. The man’s legs failed, probably because of the pain. He would have dropped to his knees if she had not been holding him.
Sienna realized that it would have probably been best not to harm the shop owner so much, considering that she still needed something from him. Still, she was finding that it was hard to resist the urge to punish people when she had the chance to.
She gave the man a few seconds to recover, even if it was evident that he was still very much in pain. When he looked up at her in terror she interpreted that he was ready to do as she needed.
“I have a problem I was hoping you could help me with,” she said.
The man could only babble something unintelligible as a response. Sienna did not mind and went on.
“You see, I’m finding it hard to find an attire that can keep up with my lifestyle. I need some clothes that can offer some resistance to bullets, heat, explosions and what not.”
The man looked at her incredulously. Sienna was getting impatient, so she shook the man a little and asked again:
“Can you help me or not?”
Her tone was quite clear on what would be the consequences of the answer was “Not”.
“Zylon,” the man finally said.
Sienna arched an eyebrow. The man promptly explained:
“Like Kevlar, only stronger. And lighter. I have it, military grade. Last aisle.”
Sienna smiled back at him and dragged his unwilling body as she calmly walked to the corridor the man had indicated. She was welcomed by a large display of clothing, most in different types of camouflage colors, but a few in much more appealing black.
Sienna just glanced at the man, who pointed to the right shelf. She tossed him with care and scanned the available options.
A minute later she was dressed in the tightest fitting pants she had ever worn and a vest that was clearly insufficient to cover her oversized bust. She loved her reflection in the mirror, the black two-piece making her look as sexy and dangerous as she had intended.
“What do you think?” she asked the startled man.
Sienna had made some adjustments to the vest with her harder-than-diamond fingernails, to let her impressive cleavage some room to breathe. It barely reached to mid-riff, exposing her washboard flat stomach and deep belly-button to the world.
The man could only babble by the time Sienna grabbed him by the collar and dragged him back to the counter.
“Ok, I guess there’s only one thing left,” she said, grabbing a random gun and tossing it at him. She could see his hesitation. “Shoot me!”
The man looked at her, questioningly.
“For God’s sake, which part of ‘shoot me’ did you not understand?”
The owner reached for the gun, his eyes moving between it and Sienna, as if expecting something bad to happen. When he had finally taken hold of the 9mm, he raised it at her, his arm shaking.
“Shoot!” Sienna commanded.
He pulled the trigger twice. As close as she was, Sienna was impossible to miss. The bullets ended up hitting her in the chest. It felt different than when she was hit in her bare skin, but just as harmless. She was not interested in this part, though. Forgetting about the man, Sienna looked down at her chest and smiled when she saw that the fabric had resisted the impact.
“Oh, finally!” she let out. “I’ll have to get a full wardrobe made of this Zylon thing!”
She crouched and reached for the man, pulling him to his feet, letting him rest against the counter to compensate for his broken foot.
“Please, don’t kill me,” the man said. As much as she had seen that look, Sienna still relished at the sight of such a big man so utterly terrified of her.
“Why would I do that?” she asked nicely, amused at the relief in the man’s expression. “You have been very helpful,” she went on, offering her hand.
The man hesitated, but when Sienna kept her hand extended and added some more intensity in her gaze, he had no other option but to take the offer. Sienna closed her fingers around the man’s heftier hand gently. At first.
“Of course, there’s the fact that you shot me even before I gave you my permission” she said, her smile gradually turning into a smirk.
Sienna’s fingers started tightening, the large man’s hand no match for the force they were applying. Bones started shattering soon enough, making the owner shriek and drop to his knees. Sienna just kept going, the increased pressure pulverizing, rather than just breaking, whatever it found on its way.
“That was not nice,” she chastised. She kept going.
“Please!” he pleaded in the only intelligible word he managed to get out amongst his anguished screams.
Sienna ignored him and kept pushing, her fist closing as if there had been nothing between her fingers. Blood oozed through the cracks as the last remnants of the man’s hand tore, leaving only a gory stump.
Sienna tossed what remained of the man’s appendage to the side and then waved her hand at supersonic speed to cleanse it from the remainders of the small-scale carnage.
“In time, you will understand just how lucky you were”
These were Sienna’s las words before vanishing. The shop owner, about to pass out, managed to crane his neck enough to see that she had not left through the door she had come from but that she had rather torn through the wall that communicated his standalone store with the small shopping mall next to it.
Three minutes later Sienna was standing at the entrance of the mall, wearing the fanciest leather high-heel boots she had been able to find in size twelve in the empty shoe shop.
She could not prevent but chuckle when she faced the four police cruisers and the eight jumpy local cops taking cover behind them. After what Sienna had faced, it felt almost insulting. Of course, she understood that she was not yet known to the public.
This was about to change, it seemed. The local news station van was parked a corner away, the satellite dish in its roof and the bright purple letters in the yellow background making it impossible to miss. Its crew was easy enough to find. The cameraman was looking for the best possible position to take a good shot of the complete scene. Next to him, a young redhead girl who must be just out of the journalism school seemed nervous as she wandered around, holding a microphone that had the same color scheme as the van.
Sienna pushed her chest out, making sure that she looked as hot as possible in her new attire. The presence of the news crew was not sought, but it played well enough for Sienna. The Feds had done their best to keep her presence hidden from the population. No longer needing to keep in the shadows, Sienna thought that it was time for the world to meet her. Seeing the two squad cars that were stopping traffic a couple of blocks away and the increasing mass of stalled and upset drivers and pedestrians beyond them, Sienna figured it all out.
“Freeze!” the lead cop said.
The temptation to freeze him and his colleagues right there was very strong. Sienna decided against this course of action, though. She was not indulging herself. She was now playing a role for the world. And since the world was not blessed with her superhuman senses, this meant choosing visible ways of using her powers and not to abuse her super speed.
The first choice was obvious.
Letting the power well up behind her eyes so that they would glow intensely for long enough to be seen, Sienna finally let go two intense and very visible superheated beams, aiming at the rightmost car of the “blockade”.
She was not looking for an explosion, this time. Instead, the beams met their target and just stayed on it. The two cops that had been hiding behind the doors of the vehicle instantly died as their bodies consumed to the flames. The car lasted a bit more, but not long, as it melted and blended with the lava-looking pool the asphalt turned into.
Of course, the remaining six cops were appalled at what she had just done. Sienna used a tone loud enough to be heard as far as the news crew and said:
“Freeze? You see, I’m a rather hot woman!”
The wall screen in Wilbur Stahl’s command center was showing an almost real size image of Sienna Towers standing at the entrance of a neighborhood shopping mall in Silverport’s outskirts. Her hands were on her hips as she stared arrogantly at the eight Silverport cops pretending to block her way out.
“Poor people” Stahl muttered.
Then, he turned towards Coronel Sanders and said:
“Set the base in Condition One”
“I thought we were supposed to keep a low profile. In order not to attract the… woman” Sanders replied.
“She has already found us,” Stahl said.
There was silence. Sanders did not fill it.
“She would not be showing herself unless she knew where to go next,” Stahl explained.
“We are a block away from the mall at 21st with 145th. The Silverport Police Department has cut traffic in the intersection with 143rd and we can see what seem like four squad cars at the exit of the mall. We do not have official confirmation from the SPD, but KSPT has some sources pointing at a possible situation with hostages. At this point, we do not have any official explanation for the very obvious damage in the parking lot, but it would appear to have been caused by heavy ordinance.”
April Malone started to feel more focused as she finished the first sentence and saw the thumbs up from Mike, the experienced cameraman that was shooting her while keeping a good view of the shopping mall in the background.
They had been twenty blocks to the north when they had received the tip from the station regarding the unusual traffic in the police radio. Something big was going on close enough from where they were and forced them to choose between filming a piece about the largest muffin in Silverport or looking for some real action. After three months as an intern at KSPT, April was eager for the latter.
There was some murmur in the back and April turned to see that the scenario had changed. Mike took a step to the side and she realized that she was not supposed to be on the frame anymore. He had to snap his fingers for her to realize that she was supposed to do the voice over of what people at home would be seeing.
“There seem to be some developments… someone is getting out of the mall” April said.
In her mind, she was already thinking on this as a terrorist attack, so she had been expecting someone with whatever look a terrorist must have to come out to negotiate. She was not prepared to see a lone woman, especially one that looked like that.
“It is a woman… young and… good looking” April said, instantly wondering if her last comment was suitable or not. She was nervous at being in front of her first real news since she had graduated and some of the basic rules of reporting were getting mixed up in her head.
“We can see the police aiming their guns at her. We do not have any information about the identity of this woman, but it seems that the police officers think she might be related to the incident going on in the shopping mall.”
She stopped for a second, mentally looking for something else to say. Nervous as she was, April was not sure she would find enough content to fill the silence if the stand-off between the woman and the police lasted too long.
It did not.
April was so astonished at what happened next that she needed five seconds to start reporting. She would not stop from here onwards.
“Oh my God! Oh my God!” she blurted. “The woman has… has shot what look like… like energy beams through her eyes. I repeat, she has shot energy beams through her eyes. At least two police officers seem to have been hit by the… emission… a squad car seems to be gone…” April stuttered.
“Oh my God!” she repeated, realizing that without the accompanying images her words would have probably sounded like the product of some type of delusion.
“Freeze? You see, I’m a rather hot woman!” the voice from the woman sounded way louder than it had the right to, easily reaching to April’s ears and the microphone. Then, the woman, who had kept an insulting smile in her face all along, removed her hands from her hips and moved towards the remaining cops.
“She is advancing towards the police line…” April went back to reporting nervously. “We can… we can hear shots. The police officers are definitely shooting their weapons at her. This does not seem to be stopping her, though. They cannot be missing all the shots!” she finished in a too high pitch.
“The officers seem to be retreating. They are afraid of the woman! I repeat, the woman is making the SPD officers retreat. What… she has jumped. She has jumped and cleared the line of cars… she is in the middle of the group of policemen now. The woman… oh my God! She had grabbed two of the agents by the throats and is lifting them. She is holding them a couple of feet off the ground!” April kept going.
The remaining four cops reacted in varied ways. Two of them turned, in what April assumed was an attempt to help their friends. The other two changed directions and moved towards the far most squad car.
“The woman… she is still holding the two cops. She does not seem to be straining to do so. She seems… strong!” she said, not finding any better words to describe the surreal situation she was living. “I can hear more shots. The two cops are shooting back at her. They are practically at point blank! They cannot be missing!” April yelled. Then, she stopped and took a couple of seconds to recover and take a deep breath before adding: “She is laughing. I repeat, she is laughing. The shots do not seem to affect her. How can this be possible? Who is this woman?” she wondered live on air.
Almost as an answer, the blonde woman tossed the two cops she was holding over her shoulder. They easily cleared the shopping mall behind her, not starting their descent until they were well beyond it.
“She sent the two officers flying… she is projecting… laser… beams from her eyes again. The two SPD agents in front of her… we cannot see them anymore…” April reported through heavy breathing.
“Calm down, April” she told herself, even if it was hard to, considering the nightmarish situation she was living. She could not deny that part of her was pushing her to leave the area as soon as possible. Her journalism training, still very recent, and her idealism prevailed and required her to keep reporting.
She managed to steady her voice as she went on:
“The… woman is now heading towards the car the last remaining officers chose… possibly to… escape.”
She wondered if referring to an escape attempt from two agents of the law was politically correct, but she quickly pushed that thought out of her mind when she concluded that there was no other way to refer to what she was seeing.
“She has taken the car and is now lifting it over her head… she is holding a car over her head. And she is… smiling.”
There was a loud metallic groan soon after. If she could hear it, she guessed the microphone had caught it too. April’s heart shrunk when she realized what was going on.
“She is… folding the car,” she said, questioning if that was the best way to refer to what the woman was doing. In any case, she was holding the vehicle with her hands far apart and was applying some incomprehensible force that was making the police cruiser bend in the middle. Glass shattered as she went on. Soon, the anguished screams of the two officers on board reach her position too. The supernatural woman was unaffected by them and kept going… until the screams ceased. Even then, she still pushed a little more, finally bringing the two ends of the car together before carelessly tossing it to the side.
There were a couple of seconds of quiet. April realized that she had not yet internalized what she had seen and reported. It was just so inconceivable!
And then, the uncanny woman turned and locked her deep gray-blue eyes with hers. April petrified, much as if she had crossed looks with Medusa. And then the woman was there, barely two paces away. If she had not been so terrified, April would have put more thought in the impossibility to cover an entire city block in a fraction of a second.
“Are you live?” the woman asked as she pointed at the camera.
April felt the urge to turn and run. Once more, her professional instincts prevailed. However, all she could do was nod, unable to produce any intelligible sound.
The woman, who looked even more gorgeous from up close, smiled in an unnerving way and faced the camera. April could hear the new shots just then.
The look of irritation in the woman’s face was obvious, but she did not feel at all concerned as the remaining four cops, who had been working to stop traffic in 21st rushed towards her, shooting their standard issued guns.
Once more, April could not understand how the woman could not be affected by the shots. Just then, a loud clank made her jump backwards. Once she had settled, April looked down at the source of the noise, only to find that the asphalt by her feet was chipped.
The sudden realization that bullets were hitting the woman but bouncing off her was perplexing. She looked at her, wondering if she could get more surprised. The fact that the woman was looking back at April was unsettling. She only said:
“One moment, please.”
She turned towards the four approaching officers. April took a step to the side, trying to get a better view of the scene, who was now blocked by the tall woman’s back. She did not see her face. She could clearly hear the gradually increasing whooshing sound, even if she could not find its source. Two seconds later, the four SPD agents were stopped in their tracks, each in a different and quite unexpected position. April felt a deep chill as a shiver ran down her spine. It was not until she realized about the iced stretch of street that she realized what had happened and that the four police officers were not simply stopped in their tracks but frozen.
The look of mad satisfaction in the woman’s face as she turned back to her was confirmation that she had been the cause for that as well. April was stunned. Who was this woman? And how was anything of what she had done even possible?
It turned out she was going to get her answers soon enough. Posing comfortably in front of the camera with her hands back on her hips, the superwoman smiled and addressed those watching.
“My name is Sienna Towers and what you have witnessed is but a taste of my power. I’ve decided it’s time for a change in the ruling order. It’s now time for me to rule. I’ll let you know about my plans soon enough but for now, there are only two simple things you need to know: obey me and do not try to cross me. And know this… I will be merciless with anyone who does not follow these basic instructions.”
“What do you mean by merciless?” April questioned instinctively without fully understanding the ramifications of her question.
Sienna slightly turned her head to the young reporter as a sinister smile crept over her flawless lipsthat nearly froze April’s blood. The young superwoman spoke as she non-chalantly surveyed the landscape.
“I think perhaps a demonstration is in order. After all, I expect people won’t take me seriously right away, right?”
She turned without further word and headed for the blockade. April felt her heart shrink, incredibly afraid of the consequences to come.
Two empty squad cars marked the point where the SPD had cut traffic. The agents that had been enforcing the blockade were no longer there; Sienna had walked past their frozen statues a few seconds ago. No one was using their absence to break the roadblock, though. On the contrary, most people were running in the opposite direction. Running from her.
Her path led her straight to one of the police cruisers as April and her camera crew followed her every move. Glancing at the cameras for show, the uberwoman then bent down and grabbed the front bumper of the cruiser with her hands, lifting it effortlessly straight over her head. .The sight of a seemingly normal girl holding a two-ton automobile vertical over her head emitted a collection of gasps from April’s crew as well as various onlookers. With her super hearing, Sienna relished the sound of fear coming from the crowd.
“You wanted a demonstration? Well, as you can—”
The young superwoman stopped her sentence abruptly as she glanced up at the car suspended overhead and then across the street at a city bus filled with people. Snickering, Sienna tossed the car over her shoulder without even looking as easily as she would have tossed a wadded piece of paper only a month ago. The police cruiser made a horrendous CRASH as it sailed in an arc about 30 feet under the casual whim of the impossible woman as she continued to saunter across the street to the city bus.
Sienna wasn’t even trying to be alluring, but she swaggered with the sexiness and poise of a runway model even as a remaining sniper managed to fire off a shot at her. Without even looking, Sienna swung her left hand behind her, catching the bullet in mid-air, before whirling around to fire it back from where it came – at ten times its previous velocity. Sienna quickly piroqueted back without breaking stride as the bullet impossibly traveled back towards the shooter and flew up into the barrel with otherworldly accuracy. Sienna simply smiled contentedly as she heard the bullet explode back through the barrel killing the sniper instantly.
As she crossed the street, she glanced over her should to make sure April and her news crew had followed her and were continuing to document her little demonstration.
“As I was saying before, I’m Sienna Towers and I’m invulnerable to your puny little weapons. I am far smarter than all of you. I am faster. And I am stronger…”
With her latest boast, Sienna crouched, making a point to be slow and graceful as she took hold of the underside of the bus, placing a hand on either side of its front right corner. Slowly and steadily, the bus rose in Sienna’s arms as if it was made of paper.
“… much… much… stronger!” Sienna bragged as relished from the screams inside the bus as she started to stand up, lifting the front of the vehicle with her and walking her hands underneath so that she was now supporting the weight of the entire coach.
April’s heart was racing with excitement and fear at the sheer contrast in size between the mass transportation vehicle and Sienna which made the sight of her lifting it even more spectacular. Completely aware of the reaction, Sienna did not rush as she started tilting the bus upward, enjoying the panicked yells that came from the people inside who were now holding to whatever they could find not to be dragged to the front.
Sienna couldn’t help but taunt the crowd. “Impressed? Well, you have no idea how EASY this is for me. I could lift 10 of these – with one hand!” she declared as she incredibly took her left hand and placed it on her hip for show. Sienna was sure that she could do it, but the fact that she WAS doing it – lifting a fifteen ton bus over head with one hand – made her nipples harden to the point that her bulletproof vest began to expand and creak under the pressure of her expanding chest.
“God, I feel so unstoppable!” Sienna whispered momentarily to herself before snapping back to the task at hand.
It wasn’t remotely hard for Sienna to hold the fifty-foot long vehicle like some sort of super-sized javelin. She thought about saying something witty but just finally decided to let her actions do the talking, as she launched the transport, conveying enough momentum to it to send it soaring over a dozen city blocks.
There were a series of screams as the shocked population around her watched in disbelief as the bus left her hand like a missile. The result of her action was far from done, though, for the bus had yet to hit the target that Sienna had chosen carefully. It was no other than the top third of the tallest building in that section of the city, which was practically demolished upon impact.
Her laughter echoed in the street, her exhilaration fueled by the frenzied stampede in front of her.
“Shocked? This was nothing!” she hollered.
Her body was asking her for more. And Sienna did not see any reason not to satiate it.
Arms akimbo one again, Sienna pushed her lips out and started blowing at the receding mass of people. She was gentle at first but her super breath was noticed nonetheless. Many of those closer to where she was standing lost their footing immediately. Those farther away had to fight to keep their balance. It was a little disappointing but nothing that she could not solve easily, since after all she had only been using a fraction of the strength her superhuman lungs now possessed.
Sienna decided to play it safe and bring her intensity up a couple of notches. She considered she had got the right balance when those less than four blocks away were sent flying by the intensified hurricane, with some abandoned vehicles threatening to catch up once their parking brakes and gear shaft could not take it anymore and broke.
Sienna loved the whooshing sound of her exhalation as it was channeled along the canyon between buildings. By that point she started to turn her neck slightly, to spread the effect of her breathing to everyone.
Trees were uprooted, lampposts and traffic lights started to bend, benches were ripped from the sidewalks and shot like projectiles. Encouraged and seemingly having an unlimited supply of air, Sienna pushed it a bit farther. Cars started rolling over themselves and running over people. Those that were not hit by the flying debris became airborne for blocks.
And then, Sienna got tired and cut the hurricane she had unleashed with a simple gesture of her lips. It still took a few seconds for the effects of her self-generated natural disaster to wither. By the end of it, a dozen city blocks ahead of her had been emptied of anything with weaker foundations than a building.
Sienna tuned and swaggered back to the very noticeably shocked news crew. To their credit, they stood their ground, even if the cameraman was shaking very obviously as he pointed the objective at her. She drew a wicked smile in her lips as she faced the camera and addressed what she guessed would be a stupefied worldwide audience.
“Consider this my presentation card. Do as I say, and I will not have to get harsher. Think about what you have seen. I’ll be back with some ground rules soon!”
Sienna was not careful as she shot to the sky, the shockwave sending the cameraman and the young reporter a few feet back. She did not even notice, their wellbeing completely inconsequential to her once they had served their purpose.
Like everyone else at Atlantis Medical, Senior Claims Specialist Dick Morris, had been watching the images from the local news station with sheer awe. Morris had heard the villainous superwoman just announce her name to the world and for some reason, the name sounded familiar to him, but he just couldn’t remember where he had heard it.
Seconds later, Dick Morris whirled around in his desk chair to a tapping sound and became horrified at the sight of what he saw, for ‘standing’ motionless outside and effortlessly hovering twenty-three stories in the air was the woman from the news reports. In spite of all of her recent physical upgrades, Morris almost recognized Sienna immediately and fearfully recalled their last encounter where he denied her insurance claims.
Sienna gave a playful little wave to him as Morris stared catatonically at her, seemingly incapable of moving as a coldness swept over his entire body. Initially, Morris thought it was just a deep sense of fear, but as the windows began to frost over, he knew it was the doing of this woman.
Sienna continued to gently purse her beautiful lips and blow a super concentrated stream of subzero air at the window as it quickly began to ice over. While the temperature certainly was no threat or inconvenience to her, she nevertheless felt the chill of the arctic blast emerging from her sexy mouth. “I’m so amazing!” she thought to herself as her heartstopping body responded instinctively.
Underneath her Zylon vest, her already harder-than-diamond nipples begin to harden even further and surge forward like tiny little bullet trains, digging into the Zylon material with incredible force. Sienna’s super hearing picked up the sound of the the bulletproof, microscopic Zylon fibers bursting like soap bubbles from some of the softest and most sensitive parts of her unstoppable body. Sienna bit her lip and smiled in evil delight at the concept that her soft and perfect nipples were far more powerful than any caliber gun on the market!
Stopping short of shredding through her vest, Sienna finally relented her ice breath to relish her super handiwork. Dick Morris’s window – as well as several neighboring ones – had been completely frozen over. Hovering closer, Sienna raised a curled finger and simply flicked at the frozen pane of glass. Her superhuman digit struck with the power of a pneumatic hammer as the entire pane shattered instantly on contact.
Sienna smirked at the cowering claims adjuster as the door to his office swung open and Melinda Fielding, his executive assistant, rushed in to check on the crash.
“Mister Morris, are you al—”
Melinda never finished the sentence as she was swept up by Sienna’s telekinetic powers and found herself now in the grasp of the superwoman, dangling by her neck outside the twenty-third floor.
“Hi… I’m Sienna Towers, and I’m here to see Mr. Morris. I don’t have an appointment” Sienna chided as she smiled innocently, effortlessly holding the young assistant with one hand and looking her up and down. Melinda Fielding was nowhere near the beauty that Sienna was now, but she was certainly attractive and had an impressive silhouette. A quick glance at her chest with her sonar vision made Sienna chuckle as she looked at Morris disdainfully.
“Really? I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that you’d have Silicon Barbie for a secretary!” Sienna said as she continued to hold her aloft by the throat.
“F-F-Fuck you!” the young woman managed to spit out as she reared back and jabbed her 3” heeled foot squarely against Sienna’s chest. It was like kicking a concrete pillar and made Sienna snicker at her futility as she kicked two more times with the same result.
Sienna lowered her hand and held the attractive blonde at eye length, still in her loosened but still impenetrable grip.
You know… we both have something in common. But MY enhancements are a little more of an upgrade than yours, “ Sienna said as she pointed to her own incredible chest before looking at the young woman matter-of-factly. “You thought kicking me in my boobs was gonna hurt? That’s just stupid! Yours, on the other hand, are not so durable…”
Sienna reached out gently with her free hand and grabbed Melinda by her left breast, gently massaging it momentarily till a cruel smile washed over her face. Melinda’s eyes turned white as she stared at Sienna and then began screaming as Sienna’s superpowerful thumb and forefinger began to pinch against Melinda’s silicone implant with ungodly force, popping it like a balloon inside of her. She quickly repeated the trick with her other breast as Dick watched in horror amidst Melinda’s screams of protest.
“You see? Despite winning the genetic lottery, you’re still just soft and fragile like any normal person. I, on the other hand, can run faster than a race car, toss a locomotive into orbit, and get hit with an anti-tank missile, and it wouldn’t even mess up my hair! And the coolest thing is being able to fly! But I guess you wouldn’t know what that is like… or would you?”
Melinda’s eyes whitened as they locked with Sienna’s, a wicked smile creeping over her flawless face as she released her grip on the young secretary as she watched her screaming body plummet three hundred feet to the ground.
“I guess not!” Sienna quipped as she turned back to face Morris, floating gracefully over to his exposed office and landing inside as he cowered against the far wall.
“M-m-miss Towers… please…”
“Oh? So you DO remember me? And remember how you wouldn’t settle my claim?”
“Please! You must understand, there was nothing I could do,” the terrified man begged. “Your illness was unprecedented. There was nothing like it!”
Sienna could only grin at the irony of his statement.It was true. There was nothing like it. And thanks to it, there was now nothing like her! And it excited her to no end at what she could do now thanks to her ‘unprecedented illness’.
Sauntering sexily towards Morris from the window, Sienna grabbed the edge of his four hundred pound mahogany desk and swept it aside. Her casual gesture combined with her unfathomable strength sent the desk careening across the room like a scud missile where it smashed into – and through – the neighboring wall.
His eyes white with terror, Morris emptied his bladder as the sexy juggernaut continued to advance slowly.
“Dick, I just came here to you that I had decided not to pursue the legal avenue with my claim. I thought we could settle out of court,” Sienna stated with remarkable calm, giving Morris hope that she could be reasoned with.
“Y-y-yes! I have money! The safe right behind here,” he said, pointing at the picture hanging on the wall next to him.“There’s about sixty thousand dollars in here. And I can get you more!”
“Really?” Sienna replied, trying hard to feign interest as she walked up to the picture and carefully took it off the wall, gently placing it aside to reveal the door to a two foot by one foot wall safe.
“The combination is four—”
The superwoman ignored him as she plunged both hands into the wall on opposite sides of the safe, sinking her toned arms into the reinforced concrete like it was made of cotton, before ripping it out of the wall as easily as plucking the petals off a flower.
Holding it against her chest, her demeanor began to sour as she dug her fingers into the hardened steel sinking her superstrong digits into the metal like a hot knife through butter.
“I need the combination as much as I need your money, Dick!” Sienna snarled as she easily rent and torn the safe open like a pinata in front of Morris, the safe tearing open like paper in her incredible hands.
“I don’t need money. Not anymore! I can get anything I want, anytime I want it. And even if I did need money, I could rip open a bank vault now as easily as opening a box of cereal. So, no, I don’t want your pathetic sixty thousand dollars!”
“B-b-but you said you wanted to settle out of court!” Morris stammered.
“Yes, I did, didn’t I? I thought I’d just deliver justice my own way,”Sienna said as she suddenly turned around and walked back towards the edge of the exposed window, musing about the damage she had caused.
“Sorry about the window… I bet you guys have a huge policy out on this office though, huh?”
“Umm… we only do medical insurance, not commercial property,” Morris said, suddenly confused by the sudden turn in the conversation.
Sienna spun on her heels and smiled. “Well, that’s good news then I guess,” she stated as she closed her eyes and began to concentrate as if in a deep trance.
Unbeknownst to everyone except Sienna, her superpowerful telekinetic mind was reaching out with otherworldly power and range all throughout the building. Searching. Probing.
PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING!
PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING!
There was screaming and chaos through the Atlantis Medical Building as random holes would suddenly burst open all throughout the thirty-two floors amidst a series of whizzing sounds.
“Oh my God! Oh my God!” Sienna mused to herself as she knew she was doing it. Fueled by an increase in her already superhuman confidence, Sienna clenched her fists with her eyes still closed, pouring more power into her superhuman telekinetic command.“I can DO ANYTHING!” she screamed to herself as he fell herself getting aroused once again at the thought of her unapproachable power.
Without warning, the wall behind Dick Morris exploded in a shower of drywall as a two long metal objects flew past his head at nearly one hundred miles per hour before Sienna caught them deftly in her two hands as her eyes snapped open. Her face was awash with a mischievous grin as she tilted her head and looked at the bewildered expression on Dick’s face.
“Like I said. Justice my own way.” Sienna said as she tossed the two metal objects softly towards Morris where they hit the floor with a heavy thud.
Morris stared quizzically at the two metal objects which appeared to be huge metal bolts. A sudden sense of terror washed over him. There was no way. It wasn’t possible.
“If you and your buddies collect the three thousand nine hundred seventy four others, you should really put them back in! The building isn’t really stable without them you know.” Sienna chided as she hovered a foot into the air from where she was standing and slowly extended a single hand against the wall and slowly began applying superhuman pressure to the support beam she was pressing on.
“You cannot imagine for how long I’ve wanted to do this!”
Thousands, maybe tens of thousands of pounds of force were transferred from Sienna’s small feminine hand to the superstructure of the Atlantis Medical Building. There are a sudden low rumble as the twenty-third floor began to slowly shift, the steel beams, now without the support of their anchoring bolts, screeching loudly as they slowly began to move under the fantastical strength of Sienna.
Hearing the sound of the nearly 100,000-ton building bowing to her seemingly unlimited strength only made Sienna redouble her efforts, as she now began pushing with both hands. As the thirty-second-floor substructure began to lurch as she passed the tipping point, Sienna released her hands, knowing the damage had been done.
“Goodbye, Dick!” she stated innocently, as she hovered motionlessly, her superhearing detecting the first series of beams slipping from their brackets as tons of concrete and steel began to collapse in a domino-like fashion.
Like a wisp of smoke, the thirty-two story skyscraper simply disappeared from Sienna as it slowly collapsed and fell away from the young supergirl.
If she had bothered to tune in with her super hearing, Sienna would have been able to here thousands of screams of panic and help, hundreds of gasps from onlookers, a cacophony of smashed rubble, blaring car horns in the maze of traffic below. A myriad of chaotic sounds. But she didn’t bother to listen.
She just simply flew off, oblivious to the thousands of people she had so casually killed. With an unwavering belief in her power now, Sienna had more pressing concerns and thoughts of revenge
When they were stopped for the first control ten miles away from the base Smith understood that Stahl had set condition one. He should have realized about the implications of that decision right then, but he was too concerned by Agent Black’s health to be at his sharpest.
So, instead, he rushed the guards to do their job as quickly as they could, an action that he had to repeat three more times before getting to the final security checkpoint, already in the grounds of Bixley Base.
He kept a constant eye on Fiona’s vitals, checking with the paramedics way more often than needed. She needed immediate medical attention!
The senior medical team was ready for her when they finally reached Building 9. He followed the stretcher as they moved her to the infirmary. Fiona Black woke up just then, letting out a distressed scream as she did.
“Don’t worry, Fiona. We know what happened to you. You are safe, now!” Smith said.
She needed a few seconds to react, looking around her in frenzy, visibly startled at her surroundings.
“Where am I?” she asked. There was a lot of concern in her voice.
“Bixley Base,” Smith said.
Fiona panted. It was clear that she was still weak. When she finally gathered the strength to reply, Smith was surprised by the power of her yell.
“You fools! You led her here!”