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The Phoenix Initiative - Chapter 11

Written by papayoya1 :: [Wednesday, 28 August 2019 22:44] Last updated by :: [Thursday, 29 August 2019 16:06]

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Chapter 11

Jennifer limped down the aisle as she rested part of her unnatural weight on the improvised titanium walking stick. The swelling and blackening in her face and the rest of her body were gone.

“Your recovery is… amazing!” Elena Campos said as both advanced somewhat slower than usual down the long corridor.

“You always said that we would recover faster from injury,” Jennifer offered as she kept moving towards her room.

“Yes, yes I did. But still… we had to sedate you yesterday. You could barely bear the pain. Your leg was broken in three spots. And you are walking!” Dr. Campos said.

“It hurts,” Jennifer said.

“It has not been even twenty-four hours! And your leg is practically healed!”

“Did you find Nicole and Susan?” Jennifer then asked, changing topics.

The change in the conversation’s pace made Dr. Campos obviously uncomfortable.

“We’ll have time to talk about them,” she said.

“We need to stop them. I… I can’t believe that Susan…”

“No one can,” Elena Campos said.

Jennifer then asked another obvious question:

“Where is Lindbergh?”

She had woken up from the sedation very early in the morning, and aside from some lower-level medical and military personnel, the only high-profile figure in Fort Exeter she had seen was Dr. Campos. She hesitated before answering to her.

“Er… things are changing quite fast around here, Jennifer. General Lindbergh is still in the base, but we have someone new in charge, General Morris. He got here yesterday.”

“I will fill her in,” a powerful voice came from behind. They both turned to see Nathalie, who had suddenly appeared from behind a corner. Dr. Campos was not expecting her, but Nathalie did not seem to care and just caught up with them grabbing Jennifer by the shoulder as she said: “Let me help you.”

Dr. Campos did not know how to react. Nathalie took advantage of the doubts to take over: “We will drop by your office later, but I’d like to have a chat with Jennifer first, if you don’t mind.”

“Er… sure,” Dr. Campos said. It took her a few seconds to finally react and move away from them in the opposite direction the girls took.

Jennifer was surprised, but eager to talk to the former nurse.

“What the hell is going on here?”

Nathalie just brought a hand to her lips, letting her know that it was not time to talk yet.

“There is someone here that wants to see you,” she simply said.

They walked to Nathalie’s room, mostly in silence, aside from some small talk that did not match at all with the gravity of the situation. When the door opened, Jennifer’s heart filled with a mix of glee and fear when she saw the two men sitting in the couch there: Mike Sigursson, Nat’s redhead friend, and Kyle!

Jennifer’s first impulse was to let out a cheerful yell and run towards him. The look in his face made her stop in her tracks. The mix of hate and fear she had seen the last time her paths had crossed was not there anymore. But there was hesitation.

“Kyle,” she said.

It was clear that he had no clue about how to react.

“How… how are you, Jennifer?” he finally asked.

She shrugged as she said:

“Well, good enough, considering I was beaten by two super-strong bitches, I guess!”

She chuckled as she finished the sentence, trying to bring some levity into the conversation. It worked, making Kyle’s expression soften.

“I… I was worried about you,” Mike finally said.

The words, still hesitant, felt like heaven to Jennifer.

“Mike, let’s leave them alone,” Nathalie said. Then, turning towards Jennifer, she added: “Why don’t you meet us in the garden when you are done? We have a lot to discuss.”

She left, promptly followed by Mike Sigursson. The door closed behind them and Jennifer hesitated between running towards Kyle or staying in place. He made the decision for her when he started moving in her direction, even if not effusively. There was another moment of doubt when he finally reached her, but after a second, he moved his arms around her, holding her as well as he could despite the size difference. The several seconds the embrace lasted made wonders for Jennifer to recover part of her self-esteem.

Kyle finally let go and took a step back to look up and make eye contact.

“Are you not afraid of me anymore, then?” Jennifer asked in her sweetest voice.

“I… I am scared as hell,” Kyle said. Jennifer’s heart was starting to freeze, but he quickly added: “But not of you.”

“I… I am sorry. There were some things… some things I could not tell you.”

Kyle nodded, but he looked hurt.

“You risked your life to protect others. This is what counts. I… I am sorry that I doubted you.”

“I understand,” Jennifer said.

“Your… the other girls. They are at large.”

This brought Jennifer back to the main issue they were facing. It hurt.

“I cannot understand why Susan did what she did. She is a good girl,” she said, still not believing what she had seen.

“She… she has killed more than twenty people already,” Kyle said cautiously.

“It’s not like her. Why couldn’t we see it? Nathalie and I should have been able to talk her out of that. It’s…it’s a disaster.”

“Nathalie wanted to talk to you about it,” Kyle said hesitantly.

Jennifer looked down at him.

“We can catch up later,” Kyle said. “There are more important things than me now.”

 

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

 

Nicole was not wearing anything, so Susan decided to follow her example as their host entered the room. Her traditional rebelliousness, combined with her newfound self-assurance prevented her from blushing or feeling the slightest modesty as Andrey Petrenko, the drug lord Nicole had told her about, got in.

He did not look so impressive or scary but, truth be told, no one did to her anymore. He was on his own, his bodyguards staying at the door, which was to be expected after what Nicole had told her about their latest encounter with her.

Susan knew why the man was here, even if Petrenko himself was still unaware of it. After their raid in campus and another dose of enhanced sex once they had come back, Nicole had finally shared her plans with her. Susan would never know if her new partner would have been so open without her little act of retribution. It did not matter, in any case. She had done what she had done. And she now knew what lay ahead.

Susan had already known that Nicole was smart. It had also been obvious that she did not have a problem with collateral damage. The plans she had shared with her confirmed both. Way more far reaching than Susan could have expected, her partner’s plot was incredibly ambitious. And still, it felt far from impossible. Of course, very few things did anymore.

Susan was still trying to make her mind out about how to feel. She felt free for the first time in a year and, being honest to herself, she also felt freer than at any other time in her life. The problem with being free was, of course, that she was now fully responsible for her actions. She had already decided not to feel guilty about Josh and the rest of her rapists. They had not deserved to be alive and she had deserved justice. If she followed Nicole, though, she knew they would be far from her last victims.

The thought of killing innocent people would have horrified her only twenty-four hours ago. A lot had happened since then, including two dozen deaths that still failed to shake her. It was hard to feel bad for the boys that had abused her and for the agents that had tried to kill her. And even if rationally she knew it shouldn’t, this changed her view about using her power.

Susan knew she could not claim ignorance. She had already known which sort of person Nicole had become when she had bet her future on her. And she was still convinced it had been the right decision. For starters, she knew Lindbergh and Sully were not better people than her new partner. And she had been sure that staying at Fort Exeter was signing her own death sentence.

Nicole might be vicious, but she was also cunning. And Susan had understood that she was right when she had told her that they were in a game with only two possible outcomes: win or die. Their encounter with the FRU agents the day before had already been painfully clear on this. Once she had accepted it, every action on her path to victory had to be weighed against her own life.

Combining this knowledge with the taste she had had at how easy it really was to take a life had dramatically changed her perspective on the matter. The fact that, for the first time since she could remember, she had a feeling of belonging with Nicole had certainly helped.

Susan had to prevent a chuckle when Nicole moved towards Petrenko and set a hand on his shoulder, making him unwillingly shiver as she pushed her chest out so that it became evident that his head could not make it higher than her breasts. She had no doubt that her partner was making herself as threatening as possible, and that she was having a great time doing it. It was far from the first time Susan saw one of her “sisters” next to a normal man but knowing that this was supposed to be a dangerous criminal made the situation more comical.

Susan realized that Nicole’s attitude had a purpose beyond just having fun. She was conveying a message to Petrenko, a man that had recently thought that was able to command her.

“Good morning, Andrey,” she said in a falsely sweet voice. “I don’t think you’ve met Susan.”

Andrey looked at her and nodded.

“I’ve seen her on TV,” he said between clenched teeth.

“Amazing, isn’t her?” Nicole asked.

“Of course,” he replied, quite reluctantly.

“I just wanted to tell you that the day has finally come,” Nicole said.

Petrenko’s expression changed abruptly. One instant he looked tired and overwhelmed and the next he looked as excited as any men Susan had seen. She was surprised at the reverential respect Petrenko seemed to have for his father. The joy she saw in his face was close to worshipping. For an instant, she almost felt sorry for the poor fucker.

“Will you free him?” he asked.

Nicole smiled and said:

“Susan and I will. This always was a two-woman job.”

“How?” the man asked, suddenly sounding uncertain.

It made Nicole chuckle.

“Easy. We’ll storm the prison, smash our way to wherever your father is. We’ll probably kill a bunch of people in the process.”

“You must make sure that he does not get hurt!” Andrey screamed, suddenly becoming aware of how crude the situation was going to be.

He caused Nicole to giggle again.

“This is where being two will come in handy. This way one of us can handle the pesky guards while the other can treat your dad with all the care he deserves. Don’t worry Andrey, we guarantee the delivery in one piece!”

“You’d better!”

Nicole’s face changed; without further notice, she closed her fingers around Petrenko’s shoulder, getting a yell in response. She ignored it and just pulled up, lifting the man as if he were some sort of rubber float. His eyes now showed fear as Nicole’s locked on them.

“Andrey, dear… I really hope that old Taras is the brains of the organization!”

 She shoved him gently as she finished, sending him on his ass just a few feet away, more an embarrassment than something painful.

“Why don’t you make yourself useful and get the lads to get ready? We will require transportation for this one!”

 

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

 

“We don’t have too long,” Nathalie said as Kyle and Jennifer joined Mike and her by her favorite oak, one of the only spots in Fort Exeter where they could not be overheard. “If we don’t go back soon they will start suspecting.”

“The hell with Lindbergh!” Jennifer, who had just arrived, said.

“Lindbergh is not in charge anymore. There is someone new. General Morris. He has not even come say ‘Hi’, but rumor has it he is Lindbergh’s worst enemy. The old general is still around, though.”

“Ok,” Jennifer said, trying to process the information.

“What did Susan say to you? During the fight? She pushed me out of it soon enough, so I only know about this second base they apparently have and the fact that they are still experimenting on us and on other women.”

Jennifer understood that there was no time to lose.

“She repeated the same. Gave some more details. She… she easily overpowered me. She was so much stronger! She claimed it is because of the messing with us from Sully and the eggheads.”

It caught Nathalie by surprise.

“Are… are you sure?”

Jennifer was ashamed to admit it, but after the beating she had taken, there was no reason to hide it. At least, not from Nathalie.

“She handled me like a kid. I tell you she got really much stronger. I… I have no option but to believe what she said.”

It was Kyle who interrupted them this time.

“What is going on?”

Jennifer felt the need to explain.

“During the fight… Susan claimed that we were still being tested on, even if we did not know. Her strength kind of proved that. She also claims to have seen Sully and Lindbergh testing with dozens of women, apparently to try to replicate what happened to us. They are killing them in the process. Her theory was that once they were successful with the tests, they would not need us anymore and they would get rid of us.”

Kyle was shocked. The cop in him was looking for more details, but the friend prevailed, so he just asked:

“Do you… believe her?”

Jennifer realized that she had not thought about it. She also realized that she knew the truth.

“I think I do,” she admitted.

The silence lasted for several very awkward seconds.

“What will you do?”

Mike, who had not been too active in the conversation so far had finally jumped in.

There was some more silence. It was Nathalie who answered:

“We need to stop Nicole and Susan. They won’t do anything against us before that happens. Once we do, we will need to take care of Lindbergh and Sully.”

“What if it’s not only them?” Kyle asked.

“We will cross that bridge when we get there,” Nathalie said.

Jennifer nodded, if only because she did not have any better idea of her own.

They would not have needed their enhanced hearing to listen to the incredibly loud alarm that started blaring a second later. In less than a minute, people started rushing around the base in frenzy as Jennifer and Nathalie headed back inside as fast as they could, followed in the distance by their slower partners.

“What’s going on?” Jennifer asked as they got into the main aisle.

No one replied, so she raised her voice to a tone that would not be ignored.

“What is going on?”

They did not recognize the petty officer that turned to say:

“It’s Nicole and Susan. They showed up at Lamarr!”

The news of the other two superwomen getting public so soon was almost as confusing as the fact that they had chosen a maximum-security prison to do so.

 

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

 

Susan breathed in hard in anticipation as she felt the motion stop. They had to use two vehicles to drive them to Lamarr’s Federal Correctional Institution, their combined weight too high for what one of the vans could handle.

Andrey Petrenko had chosen to ride with her. Susan reflected that this was probably driven by the fact that he had grown too scared of Nicole already. She did not give him any reasons to get jumpier, but also none to relax. Silent during most of the trip, Susan had mostly communicated with the gangster through hard and uncomfortable looks that tested his ability to hold eye contact.

“We arrived,” the drug lord said.

“Where?” Susan asked.

“Well, the parking lot, of course.”

Susan had had a forty-five minutes ride to think about what was going to happen, but this was when the rubber hit the road. Well, it was not as if she could go back anymore. Not after what she had done already. And, truth be told, she did not want to. The problem was that staying idle was not an option either. The only option was to move forward, and she knew what this implied. Sighing, she adjusted the tight-fitting Kevlar top around her massive breasts, a gesture she would have never had to do before her transformation and headed to the back door.

“Don’t let him get hurt,” Petrenko said before she could turn the handle.

“If you are so worried about us, why don’t you get him out yourself?” Susan asked with some scorn before opening the door and letting the bright sunlight flood the dimly lit cargo compartment.

Nicole was already waiting her in the warm tarmac, the van that had brought her to Lamarr already starting the three-point maneuver to get back the way it had come.

The parking lot was not too crowded, but it was far from empty. Of course, their presence did not go unnoticed and Susan’s sensitive ears caught the murmurs first and the distant screams later as more and more people became aware of them. Fifteen seconds later, the high-pitched alarm started blaring across all the perimeter.

“How welcoming!” Nicole joked.

“So, what now?” Susan asked as the alarm started to become bothering.

They heard the first gunshot a second later. The deformed slug bounced off Susan’s nose bridge and hit the tarmac a few feet away. They both turned to see the very terrified guard standing by the visits door of the maximum-security prison. He was still holding the gun in aiming position and was clearly shocked at seeing that his initial shot had been as ineffective as it had. Susan rolled her eyes, wondering where in the world he had been this last couple of days.

She turned to face him, and this did the rest. His finger started to nervously pull the trigger as his body shook more visibly. Only one in three shots ended up hitting the rather large target Susan represented. Each of the five bullets were as unsuccessful as the initial one, harmlessly ricocheting from her Amazonian anatomy without even reddening her pale skin.

“All yours,” Nicole said lusciously.

So, the moment of truth had arrived. Well, it was hard to feel bad about someone that had just emptied his clip on her. The man was about to have a heart attack when she started walking towards him. Seeing his reaction was almost comical. He tried to rush into the facilities first, only to find the security door closed, as dictated by protocol. He slammed his fists against the glass at first and turned to open his eyes widely in panic when he found her much closer than he had been expecting. His next reaction was to shoot back at her, but all he managed to get were clicks from the empty gun. He was in the process of reaching for a new magazine by the time Susan reached him.

The physical development had been one of the areas of her transformation that had made Susan the wariest in the beginning, her characteristic skinny figure having evolved into a powerful and voluptuous eight-foot frame. Her perception about all this had changed over the last twenty-four hours and now, as she cornered her attacker against the prison’s fence, she enjoyed the intimidation power her new body held for the second time, the first having been her bar encounter with her rapists.

Susan reached for the gun and easily plucked it from the guard’s fingers, breaking three of them in the process. He had not too long to complain about his shattered digits as she reached for his throat and effortlessly lifted him from the ground with a single hand, bringing him level with her fiery green eyes.

Susan would have lied if she said that this was the moment that made her mind up. She would not have joined the prison raid if she had not been decided before. But holding the man with such ease, seeing his terror as she unsuccessfully tried to babble something, certainly reinforced her decision. There she was, in charge, probably for the first time in her life.

Suddenly, Susan understood the sheer magnitude of the change to her life. Even if the metamorphosis had taken place a year ago, the real transformation was happening now. The scrawny, scaredy girl was not there anymore. The weirdo, shy lesbian that felt intimidated by anyone and anything was gone. She had been ignored for most of her life. It had been worse when she had not, since people had felt entitled to abuse her, sometimes even physically.

This was over. She had been granted the power to take control of her life. And she was doing so now. She now realized that she had already been a freak before. She was one now, but of a different nature. And, as she held the guard in her grasp with the ease of someone holding a piece of cloth, she understood once more that she had every option open in front of her, except for not doing anything.

“You couldn’t just ignore me, could you?” she asked to the man. Her fingers were constraining his windpipe enough that there was no way that he could have replied. As a matter of fact, his face was starting to get purple, a condition that could not have concerned Susan less. “I had not yet done anything. I had not said anything. Yet, you had to shoot at me. It will always be like this, won’t it?” she asked coldly. “It will always be me or you, right?”

She remained silent for a couple of seconds, letting the man’s face get darker as he unsuccessfully tried to bring air into his lungs.

“Well, then,” she finally added.

She was tempted to just push her fingers a bit harder, to feel the man’s throat crush between them. She changed her mind in the last minute, shooting her arm back and releasing her grip, tossing the man backwards with a relevant portion of her strength. He tried to scream. He finally managed to do it, the sound quickly fading away as his body flew thousands of feet away.

“You took your time,” Nicole said with a chuckle as she stepped behind her.

“Are you in a hurry?” Susan asked.

It made Nicole let a laugh out.

“Look how fast our little girl is growing up!” the Hawaiian said cheerfully.

“What now?” Susan asked, eager to change topics.

“I think they are waiting for us,” Nicole replied with a smirk as she pointed to the freaked-out guards behind the reinforced glass door.

Susan was eager to finish the conversation, so she took the lead and headed to the visitor’s entrance. On a regular day, people coming to visit inmates would check in at that door. Nicole and she were not the typical guests they normally received, though.

Susan realized that there was something wrong the moment she set foot in front of the tall armored door. There were four guards inside, all of them now entrenched behind the counter as they nervously looked at them through the glass. One of them was close to the door at their back. She realized that it had automatically locked, trapping them there.

Susan observed the door blocking her path and pondered her next move. She resolved to throw a standard punch, her fist easily breaking through the two-inch thick glass. The men’s screams became even more audible as she removed her hand from the glass and let them come through the hole she had newly created.

“Is everything always so weak?” Suan asked with some surprise, being much less used to the standard world outside Fort Exeter than her new partner was.

“Mostly,” Nicole replied, shrugging.

“Ok,” Susan said, throwing another punch, this time aimed at the frame. Its reinforced steel easily bent under the unfathomable strength of her muscles, twisting the door casing enough to partially disengage the door. It was then a matter of grabbing the thick structure from the opening and pulling. The bolstered hinges were no match for Susan’s apparently boundless strength as she easily ripped them one by one before tossing the door over her shoulder, nodding at Nicole to follow her lead into the reception area.

Bullets started raining on her an instant later, mangled pellets starting to bounce off her impregnable skin as usual. It was a weird sensation, a combination of feelings. On one hand, feeling untouchable to conventional weapons was certainly a rush. Being attacked pissed her off, though. She decided there was no point in holding off.

Not in the mood of wasting too much time, Susan crouched and hit the concrete floor with an open palm, making the hardened surface crack in several parts. She then curled her fingers inward and felt them easily dig. She repeated the operation with her left hand and soon stood up holding two large chunks of the floor with her.

Slugs kept ricocheting off her body as she looked at her attackers with disdain. Her aim was perfect as two consecutive tosses took care of the two right-most guards, their bodies exploding at contact.

Needless to say, this was all the other two officers needed to drop their guns and dash behind the counter. Susan could not see them but could hear the characteristic sound of at least one of them emptying his bladder. Rolling her eyes, she took her hands off her hips and started moving across the vast reception area and towards the point where the two men were holed.

“You know what?” she said in a tone that was deliberately loud to make her voice reverberate in the large room. “I can’t speak for my friend Nicole here, but if you had not shot at me I would have probably left you alone. You can think whatever you want, but I’m not a mindless killer, no matter how easy killing has become to me. But I’m done being a naïve, stupid do-gooder. From now on, if I want something, I’ll take it. And if you stand in my way, I’ll crush you!”

She stomped lightly rather than stepping, making the ground shake for added effect as she crossed the room and reached the counter. Susan was tall enough to peek over the otherwise high surface, the sight of the two sobbing men cowering as far from her as they could making her feel strangely good. She winked at them and then just brought her palms to the heavy stone. She felt the ground crack almost at once as she started applying pressure. She could not help but savor the change in the men’s expression, getting even more scared, which she had thought would not be possible.

Breaking the counter from the concrete floor would have also felt impossible. But feats of strength were no longer unimaginable to Susan. Not after the Flare. And even less after the second dose she had unwillingly got from Sully.

The heavy marble was soon moving towards the two little men, their screams becoming more anguished as the room they had to live shrunk with the flexing of Susan’s biceps. One more second, and she was taking a step forward, accompanying the massive stone block as it sealed the officers’ fate. She barely heard the squish as the marble hit the back wall.

The sound of clapping made Susan turn to see an exhilarated Nicole standing by the door that gave access to the interior of the penitentiary. Somehow, it bothered her enough that she felt the need to justify her actions.

“Don’t get too excited. I’m not planning to kill everyone I meet. I’m not you,” she said coldly.

It only made Nicole laugh out loud.

“Oh, I’m certainly hoping that you will leave a few of the midgets to me!”

Susan kicked the second door off its hinges as she finished, opening the passage to Lamarr’s courtyard and inviting her to follow with an open palm. She did, and both of them were soon in the vast space of the exterior courtyard of the prison, a fenced area between the outer perimeter and the interior wall. Aside from a yellow bus with barred windows and the logo of the Department of Correction and a few hurriedly abandoned jeeps, the area was mostly empty.

Nicole led the way, Susan easily following her lead before they got about half the way to the last door they would need to cross to get to their destination. It was when the attack started. It was not hard to find the shooters distributed among the towers, looking at them through the powerful telescopic sights of their sniper rifles. Their higher caliber made the bullets slightly more noticeable than regular gunshots, but of course, they were still orders of magnitude away from being able to cause them even discomfort.

“They never learn, do they?” Nicole said, quite cheerfully, as shots hit her with no consequence.

“And you love that, don’t you?” Susan asked.

“Oh, it tickles. At least for a while. But unlike you, I don’t need an excuse to kill.”

“So, all yours, then?” Susan asked.

“Why don’t you take the two towers to your right and I’ll take the two to my left?” Nicole asked.

“I’ll be quick,” Susan said.

“Don’t worry? We are not in a hurry!”

“We are on a mission,” Susan reasoned.

“Trust me, give them some time.”

“As you want,” Susan said, turning.

The easy thing, of course, would have been to jump to the top of the tower and to finish the men there. Seeing the towers’ disposition gave her an alternative idea, though. Lamarr was built inside a concrete wall that was both thick and tall, which was in turn surrounded by an outer fence, where the admissions and visitors’ buildings were. This area between wall and fence was some sort of no man’s land, designed so that anyone trying to get in or out without permission would be trapped between the cross-fire of at least four different guard towers in a space that was flooded by light at night.

The towers were not built into the main site, though, which seemed to be rather old. They looked like prefabricated steel constructs, and as such, they had been placed outside the walls, likely to prevent any inmates from having any ideas when it came to climbing. Unfortunately for the guards, this also placed the towers on Susan’s current side of the wall.

A smirk formed in her lips as she walked towards it, shots still bouncing off her inconsequentially. She looked up, getting a bullet in her eyebrow as she sneered at her attackers. Soon enough she was standing at the base of the tower, the shots coming now almost straight from above.

The tower was between forty and fifty feet tall, and its steel girders were thick enough to support its structure. Of course, this was not something that worried a girl like her. After all, all she had to do was extend her hand and chop at the girder as if it were an axe. Only no axe in history had been wielded with so much power. The steel deformed as if it had been clay and, just like that, in a simple and swift movement, the first pillar was gone. Three to go!

Susan could not prevent a chuckle at the thought of just how much easier everything had become. It was not logical. If, a year ago, someone would have offered her three wishes, super strength would not have been in her list. But a year of training and a day of letting go were proving to her that it really came down to that. The world was not ready for someone like her, and this literally meant that she could get anything she wanted from it.

By now, the guards had already realized what she was trying to do. It suited her well, since there was no way in the world they would be able to prevent it. Besides, their panicked screams added to the exhilaration of being able to do what she was doing. Another chop took care of the second girder, and the tower could not take it anymore.

Her right had quickly caught the tilting tower and now was the only thing that prevented the column to topple over.

And, there she had it! One instant the tower had been resting on its foundations and the next Susan was the only thing keeping it in the air. She was not interested in holding the structure forever, though, even if it would have been easy to do so. Instead, she just pushed, making sure that it toppled in the way she wanted. The guards in the second tower barely had time to react before they saw the first one suddenly moving towards them. The impact was deafening, bringing down the entirety of her attackers in an instant.

Nicole landed next to her an instant later, her bloodied hands not leaving doubts regarding what she had been doing.

“Enjoying yourself?” she asked.

Susan shrugged and said:

“I have to admit things are more interesting than I expected.”

                     

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

 

“We need to get there right away!” Jennifer protested, catching the attention of all the people in the room, many dressed in military uniforms that indicated a high rank. She was surprised to see that she did not recognize most of them.

General Lindbergh was strangely silent, sitting on a corner, observing the situation with what she thought was curiosity. He looked nothing like the man she had got to know over the last year, even if she had been expecting a more beaten man, after having learned about the change in command.

General Morris would have looked like Lindbergh’s twin had it not been for the fact that he was almost six inches taller, making him the tallest person in the room if one did not count Nathalie and her. He was not the one who replied, though. Instead, someone she knew from past interactions took the word. It was Colonel Beck.

“We won’t,” he said coldly.

Jennifer could not understand what she was hearing.

“What the hell do you mean? They are killing people as we speak! And who knows where they’ll hide once they’re done? We have a chance and we need to take it!”

“It’s too obvious,” Beck said. “And you are not recovered, yet. We would be at a disadvantage.”

Jennifer could not believe it.

“What do you mean? We will let them do as they please?”

“Of course not!” Colonel Beck replied, raising his voice just a bit. “But we will choose the location and manner of the next engagement.”

“This is bullshit!” Jennifer said. “Nat, let’s go!”

“You will stay here!”

Morris’ command voice was as assertive, if not more, than Lindbergh’s. Jennifer found herself without words as she turned towards him and met his icy blue eyes.

“This is a military operation, not a girl scouts mission. You will follow orders. People die when you do not. Your hot head has already cost too many lives.”

His voice carried the message across the room even if when he did not raise it one notch. Everyone seemed to fall silent when the general talked, and his words did not need to be loud to have an impact.

Jennifer and Nathalie looked at each other. And then, the general addressed them again:

“That will be all, ladies. You can go back to your rooms. I will call for you when you are required.”

 

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

 

The ground cracked and shook as Nicole and Susan landed in the center of the prison’s main courtyard. It had only taken them an easy jump to clear the walls that had been designed to keep the most dangerous criminals in.

“It’s empty,” Susan observed right away.

There were only a few very spooked guards to be seen, but none of the yellow-suited inmates Susan had been expecting.

“The standard protocol when the alarm goes off is to account for every prisoner and bring them back to their cells. We only needed to give them some time,” Nicole winked.

“How did you know this?”

“You would be surprised the amount of stuff one can google,” Nicole simply shrugged.

“So?”

“So, the prisoners will be safe and sound in their cells while we finish the guards,” Nicole said.

“Do we need to kill them all?” Susan asked, even if she was afraid of the answer.

The first shots came right after, bullets bouncing inconsequentially off their skins as they used to.

“Does this answer your question?” Nicole asked with a smirk.

 

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

 

No one had been expecting Nicole at the administration building when she broke through the window and landed with a heavy shake in the center of a room filled by clerks and a few armed men. This, of course, was one of the many advantages available to her in her superior condition. For all the trouble people had to understand her bare strength, her ability to jump vast distances with great precision was still harder to grasp.

The screams of the woman to her left were especially annoying, so she resolved them with a casual backhand that beheaded the assistant with ease. Her following smile let the rest of the people know which type of fate they could expect.

The guards needed some time to react. She had enough experience now to realize that they were not elite. It made sense, she guessed. After all, you normally don’t expect trouble by the warden’s office. The badass officers were probably closer to the inmates.

To Nicole, the effect of bullets ricocheting off her body was already getting old, but she acknowledged the shocking and intimidating effect it had on new crowds that had not been exposed to her before, so she let them keep at it for a while, giggling when one of the deflected slugs ending up hurting another clerk in the process.

It was unavoidable to get tired, though, so she soon advanced towards the two armed guards, their less than flat bellies confirming her suspicions about their prowess. They dropped their guns and turned a step before Nicole reached them. As if this was going to save them!

She did not even have to change her pace to grab both by the back of their skull. Nicole enjoyed their screams as she raised them a couple of feet off the floor and mocked.

“First lesson of shooting: make sure whoever you are shooting at is not bulletproof!”

And then, she just smashed both men’s heads together, splattering gore around and soling herself already.

Turning towards the screaming office workers, Nicole shrugged and said:

“Killing you lot is a messy business!”

They started running around while they screamed. They did not make too much sense, though, since Nicole had taken care to place herself between the bulk of the crowd and the exit door.

She did not need to kill everyone in the office to achieve what she needed. But she wanted to. Feeling curious, she crouched to grab the guns the guards had dropped, one in each hand. The standard nine-millimeter felt tiny in comparison with her humongous hands; her fingers barely fit in the space reserved for the trigger. Then, she turned to face the terrified clerks and asked:

“Tell me, you are not bullet proof, are you?”

Her greatly enhanced eyesight and reflexes and the incredibly delicate control she had over her overpowered muscles granted Nicole the best possible aim. This ensured that every pull of the trigger was promptly followed by a crimson splash in someone’s head. By the time she was out of bullets, everyone in the office was down but a single man, who looked around and then back at Nicole just before losing control of his bladder.

She just arched an eyebrow and tossed the gun in her right hand to him, easily beheading him with the projectile, heavier and travelling at considerably higher speed than any of the bullets had.

She was at the warden’s door in no time, but rather than just breaking in, Nicole stopped and listened. It did not take her long to hear his heartbeat and breathing. God, the man was nervous! He was also waiting behind the door, in what Nicole interpreted as an attempt to surprise her. She had to fight hard to prevent a chuckle. The Amazon wondered whether to get through the door as she was planning and prove the warden that any surprises he might have thought of were useless against her or to turn the tables. She finally opted for the second option.

So, rather than opening the door, Nicole just pushed both her hands through the wall, easily breaking the brick and plaster and grabbing the unsuspecting man that was waiting behind. With the wall as weakened as she had left it, all she had to do was pull lightly to bring the man to her side of it, breaking what was left.

The warden coughed hard as Nicole let him roll on the floor, waiting until he was on his back to set her massive right foot on his chest. When his eyes finally met hers, eight feet above, Nicole greeted him with a smirk.

“Surprise!” she mocked.

He could only scream.

“Oh, don’t look so gloomy, Warden. There is a reason why you are not a stain in the carpet yet.”

Nicole then removed her foot from the man’s chest and straddled him, lowering her magnificent body over him an instant later. Before he could react, Nicole was sitting on her haunches, holding the Warden’s small frame between her powerful thighs. She then reached down and set a finger in the man’s chin, lifting his torso towards her with a simple gesture.

“Why… are you here?” the Warden finally asked.

“Visiting an old friend,” Nicole replied. “Actually, I was hoping you could point me in his direction.”

The Warden looked at her with a mix of terror and question.

“Petrenko,” Nicole clarified.

“You cannot get him out!” the man said, clearly shocked at learning who she was coming from.

Nicole chuckled,

“It still beats me, you know?” Nicole said. When the warden looked back questioningly, she clarified it: “It is still very hard to understand how someone like you would presume to tell someone like me what she can or cannot do.”

“That man… he is a monster…responsible for dozens of deaths!”

“Yeah, so I had heard. You know, somehow I cannot find it in me to judge him for that,” Nicole mocked. “Now, will you tell me where he is? It’s not as if I will not find him anyway.”

When the man refused to answer, Nicole reached out with her free hand and grabbed the warden’s much smaller one.

“Have you seen those movies where they start breaking someone’s fingers to make him talk?” she asked in a cold voice.

The warden did not reply, but started shivering as Nicole easily separated his index finger as she lowered her face. She then opened her mouth enough for his finger to go in. She did not wait for theatrics. She just bit. And with a simple movement of her jaw, the warden’s finger was cut off his hand, making him shriek in anguish.

Nicole just spat finger and blood and looked back at the man.

When the man’s screams died, the muffled screams coming from the courtyard reached them.

“Ah, that must be my partner,” she said as the warden fought hard to suppress his tears.

It took two more fingers for the man to tell Nicole what she was after, which was nothing more than the master key to the prison’s computer. Petrenko’s location had only been the warm up question.

“Now what?” the warden then asked, now crying without restraint.

“Now it will be quick,” Nicole replied an instant before smashing her first through his skull.

 

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

 

Susan has holding a guard in each hand, after having cornered two of her shooters in the courtyard.

“I want to know. Tell me, why were you shooting at me?” she asked.

“It’s our job!” one of the man replied between sobs.

“Don’t you realize it’s pointless?”

Susan was truly interested in the answer. The fate of the men she was lifting by the throat was sealed but she knew this was far from the last time she would face resistance. And where Nicole would see an excuse to kill at her pleasure, Susan was trying to find the key to keeping her body count under control.

“You are attacking us!” the same guard answered.

Of course, the man was right. It was also true that they had been shot at even before setting a foot inside the prison’s building, so his answer did not provide the whole truth. What the man was saying, in any case, kind of confirmed Susan’s working theory: Nicole and she were now seen as a threat and the default response would be to attack them. Her objective was to get to the point where rather than a threat they would be seen as such an unstoppable force that the only logical reaction would be either to flee or to submit. The problem, of course, was that the only way it occurred to her to reach that status involved increasing her body count considerably before that happened.

Rolling her eyes, she then fixed an icy green stare on the men and asked:

“What should I do with you?”

“Please, let us leave,” the same guard that had been replying to her pleaded.

Susan arched an eyebrow and then said:

“As you wish.”

Immediately after, she shot each arm in a separate direction, tossing the two guards hundreds of yards in opposite ways. No one who attacked her was going to live. At least, not for a while. She had just made that decision. Sooner or later, someone would notice the pattern. And then, maybe, they would stop attacking her and she would be able to stop killing so many people.

Looking over her shoulder, she saw the half a dozen or so guards remaining in the courtyard trying to make their way to one of the exits. They had dozens of yards of head start. Nothing, when they faced the fastest woman in the world. Turning, Susan felt the ball of her foot sink in the concrete surface as she broke into a sprint.

Susan almost took the form of a crimson wave as she sped through the vast yard, shoving guards aside as she ran past them as if they were nothing more than snails. Most ended up splattering against the tall structures of Lamarr, with only a couple making it over the wall and landing over two miles beyond the prison’s limits.

She felt more satisfied than sorry at the last half dozen victims as she stopped her sprint and changed her pace to a comfortable stroll towards the main cell block. Nicole was covered in gore when she landed next to her.

“Busy?” Susan asked.

“They squish too easily,” Nicole replied with a shrug.

 

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

 

Taras Petrenko waited patiently in his cell while chaos erupted around him. It was not the first time since he was in Lamarr that he had been brought to his cell after a general alarm, but it was obvious that this time was different than the rest. There was no point in getting overexcited about it, though, especially when no one had a clue about what was going on. Experience had told Taras to focus on what he could control and, right now, locked in his cell, this was not much.

So, rather than joining the mindless yelling or the clattering of metal against metal his fellow inmates seemed to have devoted to, he just sat at the edge of his bed and observed the cell block from his vantage point of view in the third floor’s corner.

The shooting became obvious soon enough. Explosions started intertwining with it. And judging from the increasingly terrified expressions the guards inside the cell block had, things must not be going well for them. It was hard to imagine what was happening, but something seemed obvious: someone was attacking the prison, and the attack was full scale. If anyone had asked him, Taras would have gladly admitted that he was surprised. Escape attempts were fairly common in jails. External interventions to break an inmate or two out of the prison were much less frequent. And if this was what he thought it was, Taras would live the first all-out attack on a prison in the US he was aware of.

The uncertainty lasted quite some more than he would have liked. Some of his comrades were even starting to feel tired. If anything fueled the turmoil was the sight of the guards, looking more appalled with every minute that passed. At some point, Taras saw them barring the doors and trying to barricade themselves in, and he realized that things were about to start getting even crazier soon enough.

He was not ready for the heavy door being ripped off its hinges and crushing four of the guards as it flew across the hall. He was even less prepared to see the two Amazons that stepped through it, amidst a cloud of dust, a second later.

Of course, he recognized them. Taras doubted any men in the cell block did not know who they were. Especially the Hawaiian, since she had been catching almost every headline these last couple of days. Most people would also know that the redhead had defected from that Phoenix thing the day before, attacking her two friends in the process.

It was the Hawaiian who spoke. Taras could not believe how powerful her voice was, reaching his corner of the cell block with a power that made his bones rattle. He did not dislike the words, though.

“We are going to get all of you out!”

The shooting started shortly after. Taras had seen plenty of men discharging their weapons before. He had never seen anyone so unconvinced about the effect their shots would have as the guards did now. It was soon obvious why. Seeing it on TV was shocking enough, but it could not compare with the effect of realizing that the dozens of bullets being fired at the two oversized women were not having any effect other than hitting their skin and bouncing back off it with no effect whatsoever.

The redhead looked annoyed. The Polynesian, though, she was the pure image of exhilaration. She let everyone know by letting out an impossibly loud, roaring laugh.

“What do you say about we finish all these pesky guards first, though?” she called out for everyone to hear.

There was a massive uproar around Taras, and he smirked as he found himself approving of the woman’s taste for the show.

Taras Petrenko had not reached the position he had held when he was arrested by chance. His parents had immigrated to the States when he was but a baby, right after the War, and he had not had a plentiful childhood. He did not have to endure hunger, but he had little else than the bare minimum food. This was no different than most of his friends from the neighborhood. What set him apart was his combination of physical strength, smarts and ruthlessness. Soon, the local neighborhood gangster saw a use in him. His living standards improved considerably as he started running errands for the man. He also learned.

One thing old Kravets had never understood about Taras was his ambition, and hence, he was taken completely by surprise when, after having promoted him through the ranks, he made the move against him.

It was a first step. Because the last thing Taras Petrenko wanted was to stay local. His new rivals were not so trusting as old Kravets had been, so surprise was no longer his most powerful weapon. His ruthlessness was. His theory was simple enough. He did not let someone live that he may need to fight another day. And if he could use a death to send a message, he did it gladly. He did not flinch at any method to achieve his objectives, and this had earned him a nickname among his enemies that no one dared to repeat in his presence: butcher.

And still, he was left speechless when the woman he knew was named Nicole grabbed the first guard in her grip and simply ripped him in half with her bare hands, sending gore spraying in all directions.

Not everyone else had the same reaction, of course. Taras thought he had heard as many people throwing up as the ones that had cheered wildly. One thing every inmate in Lamarr had in common was a deep hatred for the guards. Taras knew one could not expect candy from the custodians of a high security facility like this one, but he was also convinced that their viciousness was way above average.

He was undecided about his reaction. This did not prevent him from being genuinely amazed for the first time in years at the combination of cruelty and sheer physical strength the Amazon had displayed.

The old mobster quickly understood that the Hawaiian was doing it all for their benefit. Her redhead friend was as deadly but much less of a showoff as she advanced on her side of the cell block, finishing guards with ease. She simply shoved them or backhanded them, the shapes of their bodies as they landed or the force of the impact with the walls not leaving any doubt about the officers’ demise. Nicole, on the other hand, was mindful about the show she was putting together. She grabbed her victims, single handed, raised them over her head and waited for the roaring to peak before she crushed their skulls simply by closing her fingers. Or punched them so hard that they seemed to dissolve in a crimson cloud. A few she also crushed against herself, hugging them or smashing their heads on her chest. She was also mindful to complement it with comments her very special audience loved or moans that stirred their lowest passions. And just when Taras was beginning to think that he was trapped inside a gore film, the last guard died, and everything came to a stop.

Nicole did not wait for every scream to die down. Why should she, when her voice could overshadow all the remaining ones so easily.

“I hope you enjoyed the show!” she said, getting a wild roar in response. It made her smile, but despite the obvious pleasure she felt at the situation, she went on. “We will open your cells. Then, you’ll follow my friend Susan to the courtyard. She will take care of the gates. Have a good one outside!”

The two women then headed to the guard’s control room and disappeared from view.

Well, this had certainly been interesting, Taras reflected. Of all the unexpected things in life, the last one he would have bet would happen was that two super-strong chicks would break into the prison where he was and would kill all the guards. He had clearly understood the part about freeing them all, but rather than getting excited by it too soon, he could not prevent thinking why. After all, what motivation would they have to do this? There was no doubt that the Hawaiian had a certain psychopathic streak in her character, but even that did not justify breaking dangerous criminals from a maximum-security prison, unless he had been trapped in a Batman movie and had not realized yet.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of electric locks getting released and, soon enough, Taras could hear boots hitting the metallic gangways. Yellow uniforms started passing through his cell’s door, blocking him the general view of the area, as more locks kept opening.

So, whatever the reason, the freaking women seemed to be being honest, so far. No matter how scary they were, he felt relieved by that. This meant that it was time to stop thinking about their motivations and start thinking on what to do. He could imagine what the lot he had been locked with would do: stampede outside of Lamarr and try to get as far as possible. No matter what the women had done in the prison, this was not a plan with a high likelihood of success. Sooner or later the cops would get their shit together, and when they did, they would be mad enough to shoot first and ask questions later. The problem, of course, was finding an alternative.

It turned out that he never had to. For Taras’ cell never opened. He started feeling impatient first, frustrated later. And when the entire cell block was cleared and it was obvious that the only one still inside was him, he got plainly mad. Mad enough to think about calling Nicole, who was still standing in the middle of the area, watching the last of the inmates leave. He managed to control himself just in time, the rational part of his mind warning him about the potential consequences of catching the attention of a woman that had probably killed three-dozen men with her bare hands.

It made no difference. Not a single moment after the redhead had left the cell block, herding the laggards out, the Polynesian turned and jumped, momentarily disappearing from view only to reappear a second later when she landed with a big shake and a loud thud right in front of his cell door. Standing almost all the way to the short ceiling and covered with blood and gore, the woman had almost a devilish look to her. She seemed to notice his thoughts, since she just shrugged and said:

“Dealing with you guys always turns out to be messier than I expect.”

Her finishing grin indicated that she had meant it like a pun, which even for someone like him it revealed much about the true nature of the person standing on the other side of a door he guessed would not do much to stop her if she needed to come in.

“Don’t worry about the delay, Taras. You are getting the VIP package.”

Had she referred to him by name? How did she?

“Oh, yes,” the woman said, chuckling. “Andrey sends his regards. You’ll see him soon. I need to fill you in a couple of details before we leave, though. Would you mind stepping away from the door?”

His son? How had his son managed to…? When the woman started tapping her foot visibly he decided it was best to do as she said first and think about the situation later, so he took two steps back only to see how she grabbed the thick metal bars and pulled, breaking the door off its hinges with the ease of a little kid breaking some crackers. She crouched and walked inside, getting uncomfortably close to him, her towering stature and the very obvious proof that she had been engaged in a carnage making his hair stand on end. What bothered him more was that it looked like she was seeking the effect.

She did not say anything before she sat on the wall-carved bed, the structure groaning but seemingly able to hold her weight. When she patted the area next to her to indicate that he should sit too, Taras had to force himself to overcome his survival instincts.

“How did my son manage to hire someone like you to break me out of here?” he asked. And then, he realized: “Wait! There’s no way you are for hire! So, how in the hell are you here for me?”

The woman chuckled.

“Wow! I’m impressed. And relieved. It’s good to see that there is someone calling the shots in your organization with half a brain.”

He was about to protest at the implied insult on Andrey, but his better judgment decided to remain silent. Besides, it was not as if the woman was not right about his son. Hi silence invited her to go on.

“Look, you know as well as I do that your son will not be a criminal mastermind, but he proved to be useful enough and he runs a tight enough organization. He provided me with assistance when I needed it, so I decided to use my talents to get a couple of things that he needed,” the woman said.

“Apart from getting me out,” Taras asked, now feeling genuinely curious.

“Remember those pesky Chinese guys that used to disrupt your business?” Nicole asked.

He nodded. The Triads had been a nuisance before he had got caught, but he knew they had been getting increasingly bolder since he was locked.

“Did you kill them?” he asked.

Nicole chuckled.

“I did certainly kill a lot of them. I ended up doing much more than that. Their organization, their entire structure, is gone.”

He was surprised.

“How?”

The towering young woman let out a brief laugh this time. She then flexed her right arm, making her biceps bulge larger than his head.

“You see, Taras, there’s much more in the package than a bombshell body and some freakishly powerful muscles. Unlike your son, I have a brain. A pretty sharp one, I dare say,” she said, half boasting and half mocking.

Taras felt somewhat offended by the next reference to Andrey’s lack of ability, but like the previous time, he did not make any comment about it. The woman was looking for a conversation. He just needed to learn what she wanted.

“I am sure that this brain of yours has already thought ahead, then?” he finally said.

She laughed once more.

“Oh, you just cannot imagine how much.”

“Anything I can help you with?” he asked.

She extended a finger and reached out for him. It freaked him out, but he managed to contain his first reaction, which had been to stand up and flee. The finger was massive. It turned out it was also made of the softest skin he had ever felt. She brushed her fingertip lovingly along his cheek.

“Oh, you certainly can,” she said.

“How?”

“Let’s discuss this when we get home, shall we? Susan will have already broken the rest of prisoners free. They will keep the cops and the satellites busy enough so that we can have some privacy.

 

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

 

There were about a hundred yellow-suited inmates following Susan to the courtyard. At least Nicole had agreed with breaking free only the prisoners at the same block where Petrenko was held. She was disgusted enough knowing that she was helping murderers and rapists escape, even if she understood that the plan required it. She had to admit that Nicole was good at strategic and tactical planning. She was also not bound by any morals, which helped her to broaden her options.

The group had barely been slowed down by a couple of closed doors that she had taken care of. They were now heading for the last obstacle between the convicts and freedom. She would have never heard the comment if her hearing had not been so much better than that of a normal woman. Unfortunately for the two men that shared it, it was.

“That must be the best ass I’ve ever seen. Reminds me of the hooker I shot!” the man muttered, getting a laughter in response.

Susan stopped on her tracks. It made her sick. She turned, the green fire of her eyes locking in the two men an instant later. Somewhat naturally, the rest of prisoners moved away, isolating the two offenders. They quickly realized about their mistake.

Susan knew she should probably just ignore it all. She had scared them enough already. It was just a comment, in the end. But it was so disgusting!

And then, it occurred to her. She hated them. In just one sentence and its reaction, the two men had defined themselves. And she despised what they were. She started moving in their direction. The imaginary corridor defined by the rest of men widened as they all realized where she was going. The two felons noticed too and tried to react. One of them stumbled as he tried to turn too quickly. The other rushed back in the way they had come.

The first man tried to stand up in a hurry, stopped in his tracks when Susan’s oversized foot pushed him back to the concrete floor, covering most of his torso. Could she do it? She realized that she had killed for much less.

Susan felt the eyes of a hundred inmates fixed in her, waiting for her next move. They were evaluating her. And they were scared. She smirked. She was happy to make the scum around her scared. If it depended on her, she would rather finish them all than break them free.

“I am breaking you free. The last thing I will stand is your disrespect,” she said, loud enough for all of them to hear.

And then, she pushed her foot down, crushing the man’s body in half with a sickening crunch. There was an audible gasp around her, but she just ignored it. Susan looked for the man that had fled, but he had got back into the building, getting out of sight. The last thing she was going to do was chase him in the corridors inside of Lamarr, so she simply turned and announced:

“Now, if no one else has anything funny to say about me, we are about to get out.”

 

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

 

Nicole set the large crate in the ground once she had cleared the open area between Lamarr and the woods and she felt she was deep enough under the canopy of the forest, away from inquisitive eyes, even those from above. To her, carrying the heavy steel structure over her head had been piece of cake.

“You can get out now,” she said after knocking gently.

A surprised Taras Petrenko did as commanded and looked at his savior once more.

“So, is anyone picking us up?” he asked.

Nicole let out a short laugh.

“What is this supposed to mean?”

She crouched as she said:

“Climb on my back, dear. And don’t worry, I won’t rush much. After all, I promised Andrey that I would deliver you in perfect condition.”

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