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Going Super Chapter 7

Written by happiest_in_shadows :: [Monday, 01 August 2005 10:56] Last updated by ::

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Going Super Chapter 7

 

By: Happiest in Shadows

 

The story of a woman and her ever growing abilities.

 

 


Author's Disclaimer: This story contains scenes of violence, sex and general naughtiness. If you are a minor either beat it or lie about your age. Either way don’t get me sued. Okay? I make no claim to any of the DC characters or trademarks used in this story as I don’t want sued by them either. This story was done with input from Animike and Anterion.


 

 

Here it was, the hottest she could get her bath and still keep soap and other items in the shower with her. Kate glanced down at her shampoo container, it wasn’t plastic rather they had begun using metal in order to endure the heat she liked to shower at. Plastic would melt. Yet, it just didn’t feel warm to her anymore. It felt nice there was no doubt about that but ice cold water felt just as nice to her. The boiler that was used to vaporize the water was nearly functioning at its limit.

 

Kate resigned herself that her power had finally cost her something. She could no longer enjoy what she would consider a truly hot shower. “I wonder if the others would let me use something other then water.” Kate mused to herself but felt that it was unlikely and rather pointless. With the way her body was developing it wouldn’t be long. Until molting rock wouldn’t be considered warm to her. If it still did.

 

She had been having to deal with this for several weeks now. Just today she was truly facing up to the fact of the matter. Kate felt it was past time when she looked down at what she had been using to scrub her body. The titanium mesh didn’t hurt her in the least and in truth she had to be careful not to pull it apart. It had amused her at first. Just how squeaky clean she must be. Still, it was excessive she didn’t really need such treatment. While she would regret the loss of her ability to feel as if the bath was hot it was a small price to pay for what she had been given. Though she was going to keep the titanium scrubber. It had proved to beneficial since it allowed her to make use of her super speed, without tearing it apart. At least some, of her super speed.

 

Jack could hear when Kate got out of the shower, thanks to the sudden defusing of the water vapor into her bathroom. He could even hear the sound of the climate control as it worked quickly to lower the temperature in the room. Kate had gotten to the point now that it took at least five minutes before she could come out. It wasn’t because she was hot, the specific heat of her skin was way too high. It took so long to heat up that even after walking into an inferno it was safe to touch Kate when she came out. The reason she had to wait to come out was thanks to the heat of the steam. It could have damaged the furniture and would have badly burned Jack. Even when Kate did open the door a few minutes later Jack could feel a fairly significant raise in the temperature and especially the humidity. “Jack, I think I need to quit taking such hot baths.”

 

“Huh. Why? It isn’t like anyone minds.”

 

“Well the water doesn’t feel warm anymore. In fact it feels just as comfortable to me as any other temperature does.”

 

“Oh. I see. That is a problem. Would you like for me to try and find a way to increase the temperature some more? I bet we could bring in a better boiler. It isn’t like you need to worry about soap at those temperatures. I imagine any germs of bacteria on your body don’t last long at all.” Kate walked into the kitchen as Jack spoke. Opening the fridge she poured herself a glass of juice more of a force of habit then anything else. She only felt thirsty after her exercise routines.

 

“No thanks. I just have to face the fact that is one thing I will have to give up sooner or later. Anyway, I doubt a extra machine would help. I haven’t felt hot in a few weeks and you know how quickly my strength builds. I think I will just start bathing with you to make up for the loss of my steam bath’s ability to affect me.” Jack quite liked that news.

 

“It is a good thing you never told me you would do that before hand. Other wise your shower might have had a series of mechanical failures.” Kate giggled and came into the living room. As she looked at Jack, she noted that he had a newspaper folded in front of him. Kate had been avoiding reading anything about current politics especially about the new legislation she was helping to get put through. While she wanted the laws to be passed, she found reading about it and how public opinion was to be far too stressful.

 

“So what is so interesting that it has got you reading the newspaper?” Kate thought a moment. “And why aren’t you reading it online?”

 

“This bit of news was dropped of earlier today and while I do normally simply check the internet. I don’t mind reading a newspaper.” Jack held up the paper for Kate to see. Kate didn’t take but a millisecond to find out what news had Jack interested.

 

Jack found himself pulled from the couch a moment later as Kate gave him a hug. “Oh that is wonderful. It went through. I can finally really begin to make use of my abilities no more holding back.” Jack let the paper fall from his hands and returned Kate’s hug.

 

“Yeah, I know. Do you think you are ready though? “Kate set Jack back down in his chair. Bending down she took hold of the frame and lifted the entire sofa from the ground. Easily holding it above her head.

 

“Of course I am ready. I spent all that time conditioning for now.” Jack took hold of the arm rest to keep himself from tumbling off the sofa. Pulling himself up he looked over the back of the seat and down at Kate. Kate smiled up at him. “Has Mathews been by any time recently? Maybe to give some more news.”

 

“Not yet. I imagine things will be very busy before long though. “Kate gave a nod of agreement and set the couch back down. Placing her glass back in the kitchen. She quickly dashed back into the room as Jack started to set up. He never got to, as Kate quickly hopped over the back of the couch and landed on top of him. Easily pinning him down.

 

“Come on. You don’t sound all that happy. Don’t you look forward to getting a hold of some new technologies?” It took a moment for the shock to wear off but Jack responded by giving Kate a kiss.

 

“Well it is some what difficult to get excited over such things. When I am already with the most amazing being there is.” Kate blushed and gave Jack a kiss in thanks for the complement. “I know it is a good thing, but well now I won’t get to see you as often. Since you are finally going to be actively working again. I am going to miss having you in the lab.” Kate leaned forward and proceeded to nuzzle Jack’s neck.

 

“I never thought of that. I am going to miss you to. I will have to try and make sure I am away while you are sleeping or working. That way we can still spend time together. At least it won’t take me very long to travel though. Now that I can use my real speed. At least while traveling over most terrain.”

 

“That is true, but I am still going to miss you. Just how little are you sleeping now?” Kate set up looking quite proud of herself.

 

“I now only need to sleep for 92 minutes to get the same effect you get for sleeping 8 hours. You and your inefficient sleeping habits.” Kate’s tone was teasing and playful.

 

“What? Over an hour and a half. I swear young-lady you are such a slacker when it comes to developing your self. Why you shouldn’t even need to sleep. Come to think of it you have been slacking on a lot of things. I mean with you only being able to curl 162 thousand tons.” Jack would have continued his picking on Kate but she shut him up by locking her lips onto his.

 

“Well then if you are that upset with my progress. I will just have to work harder to show you what I am capable of. I won’t get to spend as much quality time with you though.” Jack wrapped his arms around Kate.

 

“I guess I can let your slow progress slide. At least you are making progress.”

 

“I thought you would see it my way.” Kate and Jack where both taken out of their moment by the sudden sound of knocking on the door. “I swear no matter how many times I hear it. I find that door bell to be strange.”

 

“Yeah, still I suppose we should get it. It isn’t like we have to worry about it being a salesman.” Kate nodded and got off Jack and walked into her room. Jack set up and made his way over to the door while she got dressed. Once again the door bell range, the audio being that of a wooden door being knocked on. He imagined it was an attempt to make the room feel more home like since the true door was a rather thick slab of metal. Upon opening the door Jack was a bit surprised to find Mathews standing there. Not because of his presence but rather what he was holding in his hands. Mathews held a rather large container of wine.

 

“Hello. What brings you here?”

 

“Can’t you guess? We like to have a bit of a celebration when major battles are won. I just came by to give this to Kate and invite you two. We plan on having it at twenty one-hundred hours.” Jack took a moment to remember military time.

 

“Why can’t you just say 9? Kate is in her room right now. She should be out in a second.

Do you want to come in?” Jack stepped aside at which time Mathews stepped into the room.

 

“Mostly since I like making people figure out the time.” Mathews looked down at the bottle of alcohol in his hands and suddenly felt some what silly. “Well crap I forgot, Kate can’t get drunk can she?”

 

“Well we haven’t seriously tried but as of now. No. To my knowledge Kate can’t get intoxicated especially of a single bottle.”

 

“Well blast it. This stuff is expensive to but it isn’t any good unless you can truly enjoy it.”

 

“I don’t particularly care for the taste of most liquor either but thanks for the thought.” Mathews looked at the bottle then glanced at Jack.

 

“Do you even drink?”

 

“Not really. I only do on special occasions.” Tapping the bottle a few times Mathews walked into the kitchen and put it in the fridge.

 

“In that case. You can just wait for a special event to come around. Anyway come on down to the mess hall at nine for the celebration.” Kate came out of her room wearing a pair of blue jean shorts and a t-shirt.

 

“Okay, is it a formal event?”

 

“No. Just come dressed reasonably. I really don’t care for formal events this is just a little party for some of us that contributed to the effort. It also marks the beginning of bigger things. Though you may want to wear something that would still let you move around. We hope you will demonstrate some of that strength of yours.”

 

“I would love to. When are we going to talk about my regular schedule?”

 

“We can take care of that after the party. Of course your schedule will change over time. As we acquire more people and get a better idea of just when you are needed.”

 

“That is fine.” Mathews glanced towards the fridge for a moment. “General where you hoping to share a drink?” Kate had to remember that for a General Mathews was still quite young.

 

“Well. Yeah.” Kate let out a slight laugh and took both men by the arm. Pulling them into the kitchen.

 

“Then lets go and have one. Jack said he did drink on special occasions and this is one.” Kate didn’t allow either Jack or Mathews to argue as she pushed them into some seats. Retrieving the bottle from the refrigerator, she laid out three glasses. As Kate poured the alcohol. A fun idea struck her. “You said you wanted me to show off what I am capable of. Do you think you could have some flammable liquids handy?”

 

“Sure. That wouldn’t be a problem. What do you plan on doing?”

 

“You are just going to have to wait and see.” Kate shut the bottle up once again and picked up her glass. Mathews felt like protesting the way Kate quickly downed the glass. Feeling that such a expensive drink should be savored but as he watched Jack he reminded himself that neither of them had really developed a taste for such activities.

 



 

Kate scanned the room for a moment wondering if she had come dressed properly. As she looked around, she resolved that she was about the appropriate level. Her tight black jacket and skirt seemed to fit fairly well with the business theme of the celebration. No one was wearing a tuxedo or dress. It was more along the lines of dressed for a bored meeting. Those who had a high enough rank to boast of it where the only ones that could be considered over dressed. As even Mathews insisted on wearing a uniform with at least a few of his medals or was that all of them? Kate decided she would have to make fun of him later. Kate found Helen who was dressed in an outfit very similar to what she had worn to court except it was bright red.

 

The room was clearly meant to hold more people then what was there so everyone was fairly spread out. Then again perhaps that was so she could have room to show off. Kate made her way over to Mathews with Jack following close behind. “So what did you have in mind for me showing off? I imagine these people have seen enough.”

 

“They saw the videos but a few of them wanted to see you up close.”

 

“What did you bring me to make use of?” Kate turned her attention from Mathews to Jack as she felt his hand rest on her shoulder. As she glanced back at him, she noted he was pointing towards the far end of the room.

 

“Oh I see. That won’t do much as far as showing off what I can do.”

 

“I know, but well in such a inclosed environment we didn’t want to risk anyone getting hurt.”

 

“When should I start?”

 

“Not now. Just go around and talk to some people.” Kate gave a nod. Then she and Jack made their way over to the side of the room.

 

“Well what do you want to do?”

 

“Don’t ask me. You’re the main attraction. I don’t exactly know much about parties. Even if they are formal.” Kate looked around for a while longer. So far the only options she could see where eat or talk to people. Not exactly the type of event she cared to go to. At last she found someone that looked as bored as she did.

 

“Want to go and talk to Debra?” Jack gave a nod and the two of them made their way over to the rather bored looking woman. Debra smiled at bit as she noticed Kate and Jack heading her way figuring that her boredom would be coming to an end soon. Currently she was holding onto her fourth glass of wine and having to remind herself that this wasn’t the time of occasion she should get drunk at.

 

“How are you two doing?”

 

“Pretty good. Kate took Debra’s hand that wasn’t currently holding a glass and gave it a shake.

 

“That is nice. So I was told you plan on putting on a bit of a show. Any idea of when it is going to be? This isn’t exactly the environment I am use to.”

 

“Yeah, I have to agree with that. As for the show. I don’t really know. Mathews just said right now.” Debra let out a long sigh. She was use to standing back and looking at things through a scope, not socializing. Kate was more uncomfortable since there wasn’t anything for her to do at the time. While she didn’t mind showing off her strength, it was another story when she wasn’t allowed to use it. Jack gave a slight jump when Kate took hold of his arm suddenly and pulled him forward. Kate just smiled when Jack glanced over at her. Thinking for a moment, Jack finally hit upon a subject.

 

“So Debra. Have any other pieces of equipment had the new alloy used on it?” Debra and Kate seemed to lighten up.

 

“I don’t know how far along they are but there is talking of using it on the mech.’s weapon. Well not the current weapon it eats a little to much ammo. What Merry and Elaine are thinking of doing is using the alloy to make the barrel and a few other parts on a new rifle. That way we could use a more powerful propellent in the actual weapon without blowing the barrel to bits. It would have a slower rate of fire and fewer shots but it would do a lot more damage.” Debra and Jack could tell Kate liked the sound of that news. While it would mean she would have to dodge less it also meant, she could show off more by allowing the over powered rounds to bounce off her body.

 

“Think they could tip the bullets with the metal developed from my skin?” Debra shrugged her shoulders and the two women looked to Jack.

 

“That is kind of unlikely. I mean it is rather hard to develop the stuff since well it has to be grown and carefully monitored. The equipment is pretty delicate stuff at least if they are using the same equipment I did for Kate’s uniform. So I am doubtful that it could be mass produced and considering how trigger happy Debra is, they couldn’t keep up with the demand.”

 

“Trigger happy? You know I would be offended if it wasn’t true. I hope that if they are successful the new rounds will be capable of over whelming that blasted holding or whatever you call that trick of yours.”

 

“I tend to refer to it as grounding myself but holding is appropriate to. As for those bullets I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I where you. I have come a long way since our last training session and I am just getting stronger.” Debra smiled in response.

 

“Not much I can do about that. Anyway, it all depends on what Merry and Elaine are able to cook up. Still, if they do manage to create something that can nock you around. I bet it will be exceptionally effective. Especially when dealing with someone that isn’t quite as strong as you.”

 

“Does that me you are going to be joining me inside of that armor?”

 

“Mathews plans on it, once we have some more testing done. Well I don’t know if I will be joining up with you as a partnership. After all you seem to be capable of taking care of yourself.” Kate flexed her arm bringing up one of her biceps.

 

“Yeah I suppose I can.”

 

“Also I couldn’t keep up with you either. That armor is fast and the suit lets me take some pretty high g forces. That said I am still human and there is only so much that suit can do for that.”

 

“Just what sample are you using anyway? As in how fresh is it?”

 

“They are still using the secondary sample. The alloy is so hard to grow that we can’t really afford to upgrade every few weeks. Maybe once a year if Kate is willing to give up a skin sample that often. That is what Elaine told me at least.”

 

“I imagine Kate’s changing DNA structure doesn’t help with the effort either. All well, that is good. I don’t like the idea of someone growing another Kate.”

 

“So you think cloning me would be more difficult then normal?” Jack gave a quick nod to his head.

 

“Kate growing a skin sample from you is a pain. I have no idea how complex growing a clone would be. Especially with the way your DNA is constantly changing. It is actually a good thing that your cells stop evolving once they have been removed from your body or it would be near impossible. Since they could evolve in different directions and try to destroy each other.”

 

“It sounds like you tested this.” Kate gave Jack a stern look but her tone was joking.

 

“I never tried to clone you but I have combined new DNA samples with older. The new DNA samples destroyed the older. It seems your body doesn’t take well to keeping a weakness.”

“Yeah. I don’t exactly see an openly weak spot on my body. Wait I take that back.” Kate proceeded to press up on the underside of her breast making her already large bust even more obvious. “What about these?” Jack blushed a bit as he hadn’t been prepared for Kate to act out so openly in such a setting.

 

“Well I am sure they serve a purpose. I mean I assume your body can still reproduce and there is sex appeal as well. You know. in case you still want to be a mother. Perhaps, your body is insuring that it is still physically attractive or it could be physiological issue. After all I don’t really know the mechanism that controls how your body adapts itself. Maybe it instinctively keeps sex appeal in mind …” Jack stopped as he noticed Debra and Kate giggling.

 

“Jack, you get way too jumpy.” Kate locked her arms around Jack and gave him a kiss. A sigh escaped his lips when Kate finally let up and Jack couldn’t help but feel silly. “So Debra. Are there any other bits of equipment worth mentioning?” Debra took a drink of her glass before responding.

 

“Nothing that really comes to mind. Mathews doesn’t actually plan on letting the armor go public until you have been working for a while. Also, they still need to make sure that it is combat safe. I mean while testing it against Kate is a good method. Kate wasn’t trying to actually destroy it.” Jack, Kate and Debra continued to talk for some time until Kate felt a hand on her shoulder. Glancing backwards she found Mathews standing behind her.

 

“So Kate. Ready to show us what you are capable of doing?” Kate smiled and spun around.

 

“You bet.” Mathews fell back with Debra and Jack as Kate made her way over the various weapons that had been prepared.

 

“Debra how many glasses have you had?” Debra looked at Mathews for a moment then down to her glass.

 

“I am not drunk yet” was Debra’s only response. Mathews just rolled his eyes. Figuring that this was the consequence of letting her be bored.

 

Kate made her way over to the corner and glanced over the cart. Pushing it to the center of the room she felt quite confident as every eye fixed on her. Looking at the various weapons, she opted to start off with something simple. Picking up a rather wicked looking field knife, she pressed the point too just over her heart. The crowd watched as the blade easily went through Kate’s blouse and pressed into her skin. Then as she pushed the blade continued to sink downward however it wasn’t going through her flesh. Rather the blade began to bend and warp as it was pressed into the seemingly invulnerable armor of Kate’s flesh. While it wasn’t nearly as spectacular as being shot by a tank shell the fact that Kate was standing right there seemed to make up for it and then some. At last Kate pulled the blade away once it was far wider then it was long.

 

Kate looked around the crowd for a moment. Catching sight of the amazed stares, she grinned and walked over to one of the people that was standing close by. After handing him the former knife Kate made her way back over to the equipment. Rummaging through it she picked up a sledge hammer a moment later. “All right who wants to help me?” When no one came forward right away Debra gave Jack a good shove sending him stumbling forward. Kate handed Jack the hammer once he was finally close enough. Touching the temple of her head. “Right there.”

 

Jack got the message and took a few steps back. Even as he did this though he felt quite strange not just thanks to the looks. He still hadn’t gotten use to hitting Kate with something that would be lethal for anyone else. Giving the hammer a good swing the weight proved more then he could handle throwing his aim off. Kate noticed this and quickly moved to intercept the hammer.

 

Kate easily caught the hammer with her hand. A loud scream was heard throughout the room as Kate tightened her grip on the hammer’s head easily deforming it as she caught it. Kate of course did this intentionally to put on more of a show. Jack felt rather sheepish but Kate just smiled at him. Suddenly Kate snapped the top of the hammer away from the handle and began molding the metal in her hands.

 

When she had finished Kate sat a red-hot lump of steel upon the ground. She had managed to work it into a rough circle though it was far from perfect. Glancing down Kate noticed a grey material, looking on the side of the package she was delighted that Mathews had provided her with just a bit of c4. Picking the plastic explosive up Kate proceeded to tear of a rather large lump. The detonators where easy to find. Kate worked the C4 into a lump about the size of a large piece of chewing gum. Slipping the detonator and arming it she quickly popped the explosive into her mouth. A few minutes later Kate began to work her jaw as if chewing on something. At last she found a cup and proceeded to spit into it though only lightly. Kate spit out the remains of the explosive and the detonator.

 

Kate’s mouth had proven so effective at containing the explosion that they couldn’t even hear the detonation. The shock was so great Jack forgot himself for a moment. “My lord Kate. Just how loud must you be really humming for me to hear you?”

 

Kate held up a finger for a moment as she quickly searched around the room. The moment Kate’s glance fell on Debra she quickly tipped her wine glass up and drained it. Kate gave her an annoyed scowl but quickly found another glass. Kate proceeded to use the wine to wash her mouth out, while she didn’t care for the flavor it was far better then explosive. Upon spitting the wine into the container with the metal and remains of the C4.

 

“Okay that tasted awful. I imagine you would be deaf if I didn’t keep my mouth closed while humming or keep my voice down when talking.” They where a few laughs around the room at Kate’s declaration of the flavoring of an explosive going off in her mouth. Kate returned to the cart and began to search through the various other instruments of death she had yet to play with. At last she came upon a liquid. “Is this the flammable I requested?”

 

“Yeah.” Mathews called out. Kate opened the container and didn’t waste a moment before pouring herself a mouth full. A moment later she slammed her teeth together. Tapping her feet against the ground for a few moments Kate opened her mouth. The flames that came out engulfed the majority of her head. She closed it again and the flames where gone. Kate had considered using a match or something to ignite the chemicals instead she had slammed her teeth together with such force that it had ignited the substance. From time to time Kate would open her mouth to let everyone know that the fire was still burning. While her mouth was closed, she simply breathed some air into her mouth similar to if she was giving CPR. Kate had waited a few moments to open her mouth to keep the rapidly burning material from exploding outward and possibly injuring someone.

 

While Kate was keeping her mouth closed, Jack proceeded over to the bar and retrieved some punch for Kate. He didn’t imagine the chemicals she had just put her mouth tasted any better then the exploded C4 had. Jack went back up to Kate and waited until at last she took the drink from him and proceeded to wash out her mouth. “So which is worse C4 or whatever that was?”

 

“I would have to say the C4 has been the worse tasting not that either of them was pleasant. I think I am going to stop that … hmm.” Kate looked at the little bit of punch still in the cup.

 

Looking down at the trey that held the diminishing number of weapons. Kate proceeded to tear off a piece of the metal and then pour the rest of the punch into her mouth. Turning away from the crowd so she wasn’t facing anyone, Kate proceeded to squirt the punch through her lips. The punch cut strait through the steel and made its way to the far side of the room. Turning around Kate held up the bit of metal for everyone to see. Placing the metal down. “All right. Unless anyone has any request, I think that will do.” Kate didn’t want to risk making the show stale. She wasn’t expecting someone to actually speak up.

 

“How about you put your hand in the acid?” Kate didn’t catch where the voice had come from the crowd but she didn’t mind either.

 

“All right.” Looking around for just what, the person was talking about. Kate found a 50ml beaker. Kate didn’t bother to read the label before popping the top of the beaker off and dipper her fingers into the liquid. There was a few moments when the acid made some bubbles and Kate could feel some heat released. However, upon pulling her fingers out she revealed that they where fine.

 

“I suppose I had something of my fingers.” Kate said absently as she rubbed them together. Kate glanced at her fingernails for a moment.

 

“Hey that is a great way to get under my nails clean.” A few moments later Kate’s other hand was dipped into the acid. Held there for a short while and then removed. Kate made sure to clean off her fingers before closing the lid.

 

“So any other request?” Kate waited a few moments and when no one answers she finally returned the damaged cart to the corner. It seemed that those gathered in the room had enough. As Kate was walking back to where Jack, Debra and she had been standing a short while ago she ran her hand down her side and was quite surprised with what she found.

 

“What? Where did that hole come from?” Kate was currently sporting a rather large hole in the side of her skirt.

 

“You accidentally got some acid on it I think.” Kate looked down at her skirt for a few moments.

 

“That would take a human’s skin right off wouldn’t it?” Jack gave a nod in the affirmative.

 

“I think I enjoy shooting you more.” Debra gave her two cents a wide grin on her face. As she moved to pat Kate on the shoulder she suddenly stumbled. “Whoops, I think that last drink might have been one to many.”

 

“Need help getting back to your room?” Debra didn’t respond right away but seemed to take in her surroundings as if gaging just how bad she was.

 

“Well I am glad I didn’t have to drive to get here. A little help would be appreciated though.” Kate proceeded to help Debra out of the hall and to her room. Jack tagging along having finally seen his chance to leave the party.

 



 

“So does your head hurt?” Kate approached Debra who was currently in the mess hall drinking some coffee.

 

“Nope. If just getting a little tipsy like last night was enough to effect me in the morning. I would have to rethink my drinking habits. Where is Jack?”

 

“Still asleep. We didn’t go to bed right after dropping you off.” Debra gave a nod of her head.

 

“I imagine you haven’t slept much at all.” Kate shook her head.

 

“No. I can’t say that I have.” Debra took another sip of her coffee.

 

“Did you get anything in your message box?” Kate answered by producing a small note from her pocket.

 

“So Mathews is finally ready to announce a new group has been prepared to handle super human or other wise exceptionally dangerous threats.”

 

“With you acting as the first member. It is different from the way things have been done in the past. Normally they would already be trying to set you up with someone.”

 

“Well I already have you to back me up. Not officially and I won’t be helping you for the time being unless the situation requires it. Then again if there is a situation that you can’t handle I don’t know if I want to be there.”

 

“Now you wouldn’t run out of me would you?” Debra stopped drinking her coffee long enough to give Kate a toothy smile.

 

“No. I wouldn’t just run out on you. I didn’t when I was with SWAT and back then I was backing up normal officers. What do you plan on wearing to the press conference?

 

“Mathews mentioned that I should wear one of my new uniforms. Jack finally got the coloring down and I have a few suits prepared. Well he has red black and green down, I don’t know if he is working on any other colors. Apparently the developing of the ally for the mech. Provided some data to help with his own research. Just what are you people going to call that thing anyway?”

 

“I have no idea. Apparently they where going to use its original name but those plans have changed. So many parts have been replaced with new materials, it isn’t really the same machine anymore. Aren’t you going to get yourself something to snack on?”

 

“No. I think I am going to head back to my room in a little while and prepare something for me and Jack. I haven’t gotten so use to it that I just don’t feel like my day has truly started if I don’t. I think Jack feels the same way.” Debra just gave a shrug of her shoulders.

 

Jack was glad to see that Kate was keeping to her habit of eating regular amounts of food instead of gorging herself. While he didn’t know if it had any negative effects either way at least he had confirmed that she didn’t need to eat so much. It hadn’t hindered her rate of strength development either though he was beginning to wonder when it would level off if ever. Kate had already gone so far beyond what the treatment was meant to offer. “So am I going to get to watch you on tv today?”

 

“Yeah. Would you like to come? I mean they are going to be a few of the facility’s workers there.” Jack considered the question for only a second.

 

“I don’t think it would be a good idea. I really don’t like a lot of attention and would prefer to avoid as much as possible.” Jack grew silent for a moment. “Do you think they are going to use any of the material developed from you to protect your parents?”

 

“I don’t know. I haven’t actually thought of it but that does sound like a good idea. I think I will ask Mathews about it later on. You’re probably right about keeping you out of the spot light though. The fewer people that know about you the better. I wouldn’t want to risk anything happening to you.”

 

“No argument from me. Anyway, as a scientist it is my job to remain behind the scenes.” Kate stood up and walked over to Jack. Leaning over her seat she planted a kiss on his cheek.

 

“Well don’t you ever think that your efforts aren’t appreciated. Since the public won’t ever know of all your hard work. I guess I will just have to work extra hard to thank you for it.” Jack shuddered as he felt Kate plant several kisses along his neck. Her hand running down his chest.

Kate stopped kissing for a moment to gently blow into his ear. “What do you say that tonight you and I have a celebration of our own?” Jack’s first instinct was to say yes however there was one problem.

 

“Not that I wouldn’t love to and believe me the spirit is willing it is just.” Kate giggled and stood up.

 

“The body isn’t quite so ready just yet. Don’t worry I understand.” Kate wrapped her arms around Jack giving him a rather firm hug before returning to her seat. Jack took a mouthful of eggs, chewed then swallowed before speaking.

 

“I am sorr …”

 

“Hush. If you are about to apologize for not being able to keep up. There is no need for that, believe me you are doing just fine.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

“You’re welcome. Anyway, I kind of like how easily I can tire you out. It makes me feel powerful. Just don’t get any ideas and start tiring out early.”

 

“You don’t have to worry about that one. Believe me, I enjoy it just as much as you do.”

 

“Now I wouldn’t go that far.” Jack was a bit surprised by Kate’s comment, a few seconds later he had to put down his fork and try not to get choked as he began to shake with laughter. When Jack settled down and was able to look up to see Kate had been smiling the entire time. Jack took a quick drink of water to wash anything down and make sure he didn’t choke. in case Kate had another comment to make. Kate knew how hard Jack tried to satisfy her and he succeeded on most levels. After all he didn’t have to tire her out in order to sate her sexual desires. Also, she could hold his being human against him. After all she was the one that had changed.

 

“So just who is going to be joining you in this group?”

 

“I am going to have to work alone for a while and then Debra will join in. Though I don’t know how much information they will give away about her. I doubt it will be very much. Mathews does plan to add extra members but there is no concrete line up. It seems instead of trying to convince people to join the group or creating their own. This time the military is just going to try and have the group evolve naturally.”

 

“It makes since. They seem to have tried every other method of recruiting only to end up regretting it later.”

 

“Yeah. The military, police and everyone else often end up regretting their recruiting methods. That is one reason I want to make this project a success to help show what works. Hmm.

I imagine I should keep such thoughts off my mind during the press conference though. I don’t believe it would be a good idea to point out my employer’s past mistakes.”

 

“Yeah, that may end with your funding being pulled or at least decreased. Then I wouldn’t be able to make those nice new outfits for you.” Kate didn’t bother asking just how much it costed to produce her outfits or the armor made for the mech. From the way everyone was talking she had a feeling it was more expensive then she cared to know.

 

Jack watched the tv silently as the reporter addressed the audience. They where just about to begin the interview with General Mathews and Kate. Finally the man ceased talking when the lighting changed for just a moment and Mathews walked out on stage, a few people followed behind most of them staff members and then at the very end Kate came in. Each one of them took a seat in the back row leaving one open which Jack assumed was for Mathews. “Ladies, gentlemen and members of the press …” Jack stood up from his seat and made his way into the kitchen. Retrieving a drink from the fridge, he made his way back into the living room. Jack didn’t really care what Mathews had to say. He was more interested in seeing how Kate did.

 

“The Special Crisis Response Unit has been formed in order to deal with threats that exceed regular law enforcement’s and even the military’s ability to handle. The unit may operate anywhere within the United States of America and we hope shall be allowed to extend its operational zone.”

 

“Just how many members are in this unit?”

 

“At the moment Ms. Stonecutter is our only operational member. While we have others, they are still under going evaluation.”

 

“How many others?”

 

“I am sorry but I can’t give away that information. We hope to keep as much about our employees and their families a secret as possible for their own protection. Of course you already know about Kate.”

 

The camera switched to Kate who was trying to look professional at the moment, clearly this was hindered by her uniform. Kate wished she had chosen something more professional looking. Then again, she realized that eventually people would take her uniform the same as they did anyone else’s. She just had to get use to it.

 

“Doesn’t it seem unlikely that one person will be able to make much of a difference? How much good can the unit be if there is just one operational member?”

 

“As you all should know Ms. Stonecutter has proven herself quite capable already and while at the time our effectiveness may be limited. We plan on bolstering those numbers. For now she will have to focus on those threats that are the most extreme.”

 

“Just what restrictions have been put on the unit?”

 

“The S.C.R.U may only respond to threats that involve enhanced humans, an alien species or some form of technology that currently exceeds current military levels.”

 

“So if someone makes off with an AK-47 or a tank?”

 

“I am sorry but that is SWAT’s area of expertise. As for the tank, should something that unfortunate happen, local law enforcement may request the S.C.R.U’s assistance in handling the situation.”

 

“How do you plan on actually traveling to the crime scene? Can you respond quickly enough?”

 

“Transportation varies from member to member. Since Kate can run at Mack 30 effectively making her faster then any aircraft, we may currently provide. She will go on foot.” There was murmuring amongst the reporters for a moment as Mathews gave away one of Kate’s statistics.

 

“Is that her max running speed?”

 

“No.”

 

“What is Ms. Stonecutter’s current limits?”

 

“That information is classified. You all know that she was the one that dealt with Metallo and the condition she was in after words.” Of course Mathews knew that was a long time ago and Kate’s strength had more then doubled since then.

 

“May we have a few words with Ms. Stonecutter?”

 

“Yes you may.” Mathews proceeded to step aside at which time Kate made her way back to the microphone.

 

“Ms …”

 

“Kate. I don’t like being called by my last name.”

 

“Kate. Is there any reason for your current attire?”

 

“Yes, this outfit is made of a specially created substance that can endure the stresses I put on it. If you're going to ask about the lack of material. Well it is hard to produce so this is the best we can do for the moment.” Kate didn’t bother including that she most likely wouldn’t wear any more material as she rather enjoyed flaunting her body.

 

“Do you feel like you are up to the task of policing this nation’s more exceptional threats?”

 

“No. I don’t think I can police the media.” Kate couldn’t help herself, she just had to take advantage of that question. A few members of the press even laughed or grinned along with her.

 

“Well then. Do you at least feel that you can protect us from” this time the reporter took his time thinking of the best way to word his question. He considered saying no longer human, but that was way too easy to throw back in his face. While he was thinking, another reporter took the pause to step in.

 

“Ms. Stonecutter is this really something to be joking about?” Whether it was just Kate’s nature or her powers where making her over confident. She simply couldn’t hold her tongue.

 

“Yes you are. Now as for the metahuman and other threats. I can’t handle all of them, however I do feel that I can reduce the threat they pose.” Kate didn’t bother mentioning that she planned to reduce that threat permanently.

 

“So just who chose the colors for your outfit?” Kate glanced over at a woman reporter.

 

“A researcher and myself actually picked out the colors. Like them?”

 

Mathews had to keep himself from grinning at Kate’s antics. She wasn’t exactly being respectful but he couldn’t bring himself to call her down. It was too amusing and he hoped that it would have a humanizing effect on the unit.

 

“How do you feel about the lack of additional personnel?”

 

“I approve, this isn’t something that one should just rush into. The public has been made to suffer far to many times when someone acquired such powers before learning how to handle them. Also even once those people have learned to handle their gifts far to many of them have chosen to abuse them.”

 

“Have you met anyone else who may be joining you?”

 

“Yes I have.”

 

“Would you put her in your league?”

 

“I wouldn’t go that far. I am fairly certain that I am currently the most capable person in the Special Crisis Response Unit.”

 

“I take it that you are well compensated for your services. How do we know you’re not just a mercenary going to the highest bidder?”

 

“Well I can’t really do anything to prove that I am not simply in it for the money as I am getting a fairly decent paycheck and the use of the equipment is nice. However, I can assure you that I am not simply out for money. After all if that was the case I wouldn’t even be in this line of work. I take it you have seen the demonstration videos the military produced with me. Though, I hope you will wait to see the fruits of my work before you judge me too harshly.”

 

“Do you mean that you might turn to a life of crime just like those you claim to be opposing if your paycheck was reduced?”

 

“No.” Kate opted to keep her response to that question down to one word. She had no desire to elaborate upon it and risk it being used against her. Kate giggled a bit as she wondered if this was payback for the comments she had made about the press earlier on.

 

“Just how do you intend on handling these threats?”

 

“I will do what the situation calls for.”

 

“The last few times you seem to have gone beyond what the situation required.”

 

“I will meet lethal force with lethal force. Whether it is lethal to me or anyone in the area. If there is a danger to anyone, present I will use whatever amount of force is needed to insure their safety.” Jack wondered if Kate’s power got to her head from time to time. She knew that it was a serious press conference yet she had to smart off a few times. Then again it may be her just being happy that she was no longer on trial. At least she was taking the majority of the questions seriously.

 

“Don’t you worry that some will consider this a declaration of war? That these efforts may only increase the level of violence?” Jack saw a change in Kate’s demeanor to that question, though it wasn’t an emotional change. He realized moments later that Kate had just accelerated her reaction and thinking process in order to give herself more time to decide how best to answer the question without seeming to stall. It was a subtle change but after seeing her use the ability so many times he could recognize when she did it.

 

“A war has been going on for quite some time now. Just, up until now we have depended on the league to fight that war for us. We have seen various factions organize in an attempt to destroy the league. What happens when one of them succeeds? We won’t have a single opponent but an organized group to deal with.”

 

“What happens when one of these groups organized, against the S.C.R.U?” Jack trembled a bit when he saw the look of Kate’s face. He couldn’t be certain if it was from fear or excitement at the idea of her using her strength. To its full extend against a living being.

 

“Then they are going to learn what it means to fight someone who isn’t a passivist.” Jack knew how serious Kate was when she made that threat. At least if she continued with her current track record. Having fought two inhuman threats, she had insured that neither of them would ever threaten her again nor anyone else for that matter. Mathews was quite pleased with Kate’s feeling about the whole event.

 

“Don’t you think that saying a war has been going on might be going a bit far?”

 

“No. I don’t feel that it is going too far. Not only are some of these threats capable of causing mass destruction and taking on an entire military unit or the entire military. Some of them have even went as far as to invade.” Jack continued to watch the tv occasionally taking a sip of his drink. Every now and then the camera would switch to the people setting behind Kate and he could swear Mathews was grinning. He imagined he was in agreement with Kate’s view points or at least pleased with them.

 



 

Jack was fairly surprised by how quickly things had changed around the facility since the press conference. The S.C.R.U’s head quarters had become a far more secured place. This was in expectation of the hammer to fall so to speak. With Kate now on active services proving that they where serious and the threat the Unit posed would grow over time Mathews felt it was only a matter of time before someone tried to prevent this. He was determined to insure that the organization would last through whatever storm may come. This has resulted in a few problems. If they tried to built the unit up to quickly they would go over budget and most likely end up with a few loose cannons but if they didn’t find new recruits quickly they left themselves open. There was even some talk about recruiting amongst the criminal element those that they felt could be controlled. Mathews and Kate both where dead set against this though Jack felt it was for alternating reasons.

 

Other things had changed as well. Jack currently found himself working with Elaine and Merry. This wasn’t an order but something he did to keep himself busy while Kate was away and his testing was at a stand still. Currently that was the problem, he had run all the tests he could think of running on Kate and while he had a few things planned. They would require time. Walking over to the tank of chemicals Merry soon joined him. “I swear it still amazes me you got Kate’s skin to crystallize.”

 

“Well don’t be to amazed. It isn’t really crystallization. Think of it as Kate’s fingernails or her bones at best. At least the bones she would have had a few months ago.” Jack gave a nod, he would have to read through both women’s reports in order to find out how far they had come in their project. At the moment they where trying to find a way to encourage the skin sample to grow more quickly.

 

“Anyway, this wouldn’t have been possible if you hadn’t found a way to trick Kate’s cells into thinking that they where still inside her body so they would continue to reproduce. I just don’t understand why they won’t grow anything more complex then what they have.”

 

“I would have to know quite a bit more about Kate’s body if I was going to try and answer that. May I see your notes on the subject?” Merry responded by handing Jack a CD.

 

Jack pocketed the CD and looked back into the tank. “I swear I keep worrying that it will start decomposing.” A groan as heard from the back of the room as Elaine came in.

 

“Don’t say that. It is nerve wrecking as is.”

 

“I take it that means you had a few set backs.”

 

“More then a few.” Jack didn’t bother asking the two of them to elaborate. He had a fairly good idea of all the things that could go wrong when working with Kate’s skin samples.

 

“At least you aren’t trying to work with her blood samples. That stuff is just plain dangerous. I have been to worried to ask for a sample. I guess that is to be expected.” Merry gave her opinion on the matter.

 

“Well it would seem to reason. Since Kate’s skin is effectively the insulator that keeps all the goings on inside her body sealed away from the rest of the world. You might imagine that her blood still acts as a nutrient carrier and perhaps energy now. I imagine there is quite a bit of power in every drop of her blood.”

 

“I just wish we could do more then form theories.” Jack made his way over to one of the computers and inserted the CD. Since Kate was officially working now, he had time to read through the files or at least get a decent start before she returned.

 

Kate was a little disappointed in the way things had been going. She had taken down a few crooks with rather nice gadgets which the unit had acquired and was currently researching. Still, it wasn’t like anything she had expected to be dealing with. In truth she felt the regular police or SWAT could have handled such threats easily. Things just seemed far more quiet when one was expecting something to happen. That or perhaps it was the calm before the storm. Kate couldn’t decide which one.

 

She wasn’t even sure which one she hoped it would turn out to be. On one hand she desired to show off her strength and finally get even. On the other while things where quiet it seemed to reason people where safer and she didn’t want to endanger anyone for her ego’s sake. It was just that it had been twelve weeks since the press conference and she was getting quite edgy.

 

Currently Kate was running along the freeway having nothing in particular to do. On her chest she wore a specially made computer and communications unit in case someone needed to get in touch with her. It also sported the time so she could see how long until her shift was. Kate wasn’t actually searching for anything, rather she was killing time. It wasn’t all that surprising when she reminded herself what type of criminal, she had been restricted to deal with. It didn’t help that she was officially the muscle, not the investigator. Unless someone knew where one of her targets where currently hiding or had a good guess she wasn’t to interfere.

 

Kate felt a slight vibration and quickly checked down at the computer. The machine had been set up to shake to get her attention. As ringing most likely wouldn’t have succeeded considering how quickly Kate was running. “How disappointing” escaped Kate’s lips though the sound was quickly loss. No criminal to go after, not even someone with a high tech rifle, it was simply the end of her shift or at least nearing the end of her shift. Time to head back. Kate quickly turned around and headed back towards the facility. Of course her work ours where never a solid thing, once her shift was supposedly over, she could still be called in. Especially while she was the units main and almost its only fighter.

 

“So how fast is she coming in today?” Mathews leaned over the technicians shoulder watching the monitor. Kate’s computer served as a tracking device as well. Of course Mathews had made sure to inform Kate of this detail. It wasn’t that they worried about where she went so much as they worried something might happen to her. It was always nice to know where she was and it did help get her to the scene of the incident more easily.

 

“Kind of slow for her.” The monitor currently read Kate’s speed as only around 9,000 miles per hour.

 

“Huh that was odd.” Mathews remarked as Kate’s blip came to a stop near the entrance of the facility and then suddenly shot to the side. Then he felt the shaking.

 

Kate had slowed down as she came to the main entrance. After all she didn’t want to rip the door out of the wall. As she was slowing to a light trot though she was suddenly impacted by a massive white light. The explosion that followed caught her unaware and destroyed the main entrance at least on the surface level. While Kate wasn’t sure exactly what hit her, it didn’t take her long at all to regain control. “Huh who are you?”

 

“Told you she would be easy to catch off guard with no one around.”

 

“Yeah but you didn’t kill her.”

 

“Well I suppose Mathews had a reason to be worried all well.” Went through Kate’s head as she stood up. Grateful to see that her clothing had survived the attack and she was entirely unharmed.

 

“I assume you’re not going to surrender now.” A moment later the same light that had hit her before emitted from one of the three humanoid figures. Kate was bathed in the light once again though this time she didn’t move in the least. Kate remembered to ground herself this time.

 

“That settles that.” A huge grin was on Kate’s face as she began to make her way towards the three.

 

“Where did they come from?” Mathews mused as he looked at the monitor.

 

“No idea sir but they blocked the main entrance. Should we send some help out?”

 

“Not yet, get Debra prepared and mobilize the men. I want to see how this plays out with Kate though. I don’t think they can harm her.”

 

As Kate walked towards the man with the energy weapon, she had to give him some credit. The level of power the weapon as omitting was fairly impressive though not enough to stop or harm her. As she drew closer though Kate could have sworn the energy out put was growing stronger. If it was because she was getting closer or the weapon was putting out more energy she didn’t know. Kate was so focused on the one using the energy weapon she didn’t even stop to think of his two partners until suddenly the beam shut off and she felt something very solid impact her jaw. The shock wave generated by the fist against her stomach shot throughout the area as the air was rapidly forced out of the way. The force actually tearing up a large chunk of the ground.

 

Kate didn’t realize it but she had just been hit by roughly 18,000 tons of force. Kate felt as if a ten or twelve-year-old had hit her. The impact was no more then 1/9th of her strength. Even if she didn’t use her speed. It did create a problem though as Kate felt her grip on her position quickly fading. Her body might have reached a high enough level of strength to endure such punishment easily however, her ability to keep herself stationary hadn’t needed to develop nearly that far. Kate felt as if she was sliding down a rope despite trying to hold on, except she now found herself moving upward. At least her grounding ability was able to prevent her from going as far as the impact would have normally sent her. At least it would have hadn’t Kate once again found herself swallowed up in the energy weapons light.

 

Kate was sent plowing into the ground several yards away and left an even longer tear in the ground. Kate had at first been curious what was going on but that no longer mattered. Now she was upset and humiliated that these weaklings had managed to knock her around. Also, she didn’t want to risk any damage befalling the facility. The ground exploded outward as Kate shot out of the ravine that had just been dug with her body. As she quickly closed the gap between herself and the strong man, she sent her fist slamming into his stomach. Kate’s fist easily sunk into the man stomach however it didn’t tear through like she had expected. He was however sent air born by the force of the impact. Spinning around Kate prepared to simply rip the other man’s head off when suddenly he was outside of her reach.

 

Kate suddenly found herself moving upward quite against her will. Once again she held herself in place. Looking around she found the problem quite quickly. The third member of the group had finally revealed his ability. “Well blast it, I thought that punch would have killed you or at least caused some internal bleeding.” Kate commented as the man she had managed to hit pulled himself out of the ground.

 

“The bleeding it did.” Kate watched as the man spit up some blood. “Luckily I heal fast. Hey how are we going to kill her?”

 

“If this is all you have got you can’t, but I am going to brake your head off when I get down.” Kate knew better then to relax her hold on her position. At least the strong man didn’t seem to be able to fly which meant he wouldn’t be knocking her from her spot again at least she hoped he couldn’t fly. Kate suddenly found herself, swallowed up in a radiate heat as a beam of red energy covered her entire form. This was quite an annoying situation or Kate as she realized she couldn’t get at them if she couldn’t get back to the ground. Now it seemed they were trying to smother her not that it would do them much good. Kate could feel the change in atmosphere as the heat caused the air around her to disperse. There was little reason to panic as she remembered how long she could go without air.

 

Kate felt relieved when she found that she wouldn’t have to remain in this state for very long. Without any air surrounding her she couldn’t hear the sound of the two powerful engines. However, she did see the stronger of the three suddenly go air born as a familiar mech came into view. A moment later she couldn’t see the body at all as it was engulfed in a wall of fire. Debra couldn’t resist this chance to make use of her new toys weapons. Firing off a volley of weapons, fire from nearly every gun and rocket port the machine had. She imagined it to be over-kill but she couldn’t resist. Kate attempted to call out to her friend to get her down, but the lack of air between them made this an impossible task.

 

“Why won’t that bastard just die?” Went through Kate’s head as the man Debra had just downed came through the wall of smoke. Kate had to give him credit he was resilient then again Debra had only used conventional weapons on him. For all the mech’s armor strength it didn’t have the offense to match by a long shot. More then likely she hadn’t even managed to harm him with the first volley.

 

Debra groaned a bit at the sudden g-forces as the mech was hit. Unlike Kate its weight kept it from going too far or to fast. However, it still left the woman quite grateful that her suit allowed her to handle extra g-forces other wise she would be in very bad shape. Kate was relieved to see the machine’s armor had easily withstood the impact however she still had a problem. While she was held suspended by a force that she couldn’t actually touch and with there being no medium between herself and her attackers she couldn’t do anything. If only there were some air molecules between herself and her attackers, she could at least have tried something. Absently Kate wondered who had sent these three to attack them, she would have questioned why but considering what the unit had been formed to do. She had a fairly good idea.

 

Debra had a new appreciation towards Kate for taking it easy on her. As she found herself constantly trying to aim at her attacker. Every time she was ready to get off a shot he would hit her. What was worse is his attack kept her disoriented so she couldn’t execute an effective retreat. Kate glared down at the two men. They were speaking to each other but she couldn’t hear a word they said. “Will you hurry up and vaporize her?”

 

“I am trying.” Thomas grumbled in annoyance at his team mates inability to handle the situation. Their benefactor had given them these weapons in order to wipe out the S.C.R.U before it could become a significant threat and to send a statement. However, so far they hadn’t been able to kill any of them despite having the offensive advantage. He had been trusted with a form of energy manipulation equipment which at the moment he had set to generate heat in an attempt to vaporize Kate. However, he hadn’t even managed to burn her clothing off.

 

Mathews was watching this all from the bunker. “Sir should we call for help?”

 

“No.” Mathews simply wasn’t willing to let someone save them. At the moment Kate and Debra seemed safe. If it seemed like their lives might be in danger he would call for help.

 

Steve had finally managed to figure out that not all of the mech’s armor was super strong.

 

The weapons-system and indeed the majority of the flight equipment was quite vulnerable. He had since began tearing away every weapon the machine was carrying and its flight equipment. He hoped to find a weakness in the main armor that would allow him to get to the interior of the machine.

 

Thomas found his irritation growing. He knew better then to take his weapon off Kate, considering that she may be able to do if she could just get a medium with which to affect them. However, he didn’t seem able to actually harm her. “Try something else, damn you.”

 

“Why don’t you do something instead of just holding her?” Allen grumbled under his breath. He hadn’t said anything but one reason he was upset was his telekinetic gloves didn’t have the required strength. The entire time he had been trying to crush Kate but the only member of their team that actually seemed capable of harming her was Steve and he was currently occupied trying to get through that machine’s shell. Then again Steve hadn’t actually harmed her, he had just managed to knock her into the air. Did any of them have enough power to actually get through Kate’s thick skin? Perhaps, if they could focus all three of their abilities just on Kate.

 

They where all three getting nervous, considering Kate record for dealing with super powered beings. They had felt confident they would be able to defeat her now things where not looking so certain. Allen felt as if his telekinetic hands had been used to grab a tiger by its tail. If he let go she would tear him and his colleagues to shreds. This was actually how every member of the team was beginning to feel. None of them could be sure if they where grateful no one was coming to the two’s aid or concerned. If they where some normal soldiers around they could at least take hostages. However, if one member left to find someone the others would most likely be slaughtered.

 

Kate was becoming very concerned about Debra. While it didn’t seem like Steve was going to make it through the machines armor. She knew the sudden changes in direction and g-forces must be putting a strain on her friend’s body. Kate glanced down at her leg when she suddenly noticed something running down it. A grin formed on her face as she began to try and gather up the molting metal that had once been her computer. Thomas grew quite concerned when he noticed what Kate was doing. Up until now they had stayed out of her reach but neither he nor Allen had the ability to block an attack from Kate even if it was just her throwing some melting liquid.

 

Kate brought the molting titanium to her lips and sucked the liquid into her mouth. Looking to the two men she couldn’t be sure if they where frightened or not. Puckering her lips as if she was about to blow a kiss. The super heated metal struck out from Kate’s lips as if it was lightning.

 

Thomas didn’t even feel the pain at first as the super heated metal cut and burned its way through his flesh. The impact coming and moving far more quickly then his mind could react. He did hear the thunder clap though as the heat surrounding Kate faded and the suddenly cooling air came back together or was it from the rate at which the metal had cut through the air that caused the thunder clap? The metal cut deeply within the ground leaving a chaotic path cut deeply into the sand.

 

Within the facility below there was a horrific scream as the metal reached down to it and impacted with the outer shell. The indent was actually visible within the wall. A tiny line no thicker then a pencil.

 

Thomas so the burned stump where his arm and once been. The metal had cut through his arm so quickly that it hadn’t built up enough friction to knock him off his feat. He fell to his knees though, as the pain hit him.

 

Steve was having an easy time with the mech. At least it wasn’t able to hurt him as the few times the machine did manage to deliver a punch. It simply wasn’t enough. Furthermore he could tell he was getting to whatever was controlling the device even if he couldn’t pound through the armor.

The constant acceleration and sudden stops had finally began to get to Debra especially as the frequency of these events had gone up. She could feel her body being shaken to its very core. She could taste blood and iron in her mouth. At first Steve had thought he wouldn’t actually be able to damage the machine but he had finally realized that whatever was inside the armor shell must be quite a bit more fragile. While he was unable to injure Debra directly he was doing quite a large amount of damage indirectly and to make matters worse. They where internal injuries.

 

Then Steve heard the thunder clap and scream. Thomas fell to the ground, his hand going to where his arm once was. The cut was far from perfect leaving some flesh sticking out further then the rest. The burns further making the already ugly injury more horrific. All Thomas could feel was the pain, the strength having been drained from his legs. Allen and Steve looked on in shock realizing that very soon Kate would most likely be free. Kate didn’t waste any time inhaling as much air as her lunges could hold. Steve forgot about the mech and began to quickly run towards Allen realizing that if he was downed Kate would be free. He wasn’t nearly quick enough as Kate gentle blew on Steve. Having directed nearly all his strength into holding Kate he didn’t have a chance before he was sent flying.

 

Upon returning to the ground Kate moved quickly, delivering a solid punch to Steve stomach. She made sure not to kill any of the men though at least not yet. Dashing over to the downed mech Kate sunk her fingers into the hatch area. As Steve lay crumbled on the ground, he could feel his internal organs minding. Kate had delivered such a powerful punch that had it not been for his healing ability he would have already been dead. As he saw Kate tear away the mech’s armor though he wondered if he truly wanted to be alive for when she got back. “Hey” hit Kate’s ears though the voice was very weak. Looking down she saw Debra. Kate heard a door opening near by and turned around just for a second. One of the emergency entrances/exits was opening.

 

Tearing the belts that held Debra in place Kate scooped her friend up and quickly dashed through the opening. Steve had by then managed to pull himself to his feet and looked on curiously.

 

“Give her to us” Was heard coming from the opening.

 

Mathews had been preparing to call for help and send aid. Realizing the condition Debra was in. He had actually meant the medic crew to bring her in but having Kate do it was fine.

 

Kate quickly handed her friend over to the medics that stood waiting. Then she was gone, she felt she had put enough power into her attacks that the men most likely wouldn’t have gotten away. Especially in Thomas’s case. When she got to the surface, she found Steve trying to get Thomas’s attention.

 

Thomas’s equipment was the one that allowed the men to teleport in. However, the mind numbing pain of his injury and his blood loss he couldn’t focus enough to use it. Steve was attempting to figure out how to work his equipment when Kate came striding back out.

 

Kate had been upset about being sucker-blasted before. Now she was down right furious at her friends condition. She planned on making these three pay for what they had done. However, as Steve felt Kate’s eyes rest on him he knew that he would be getting the worst of it. Kate figured the men where trying to retreat and judging by the way they where focusing on Thomas she realized that it must have something to do with his ability. Steve, lost site of Kate for a moment as she quickly accelerated to close the gap between the two of them. Unlike Kate he was not super fast.

 

Steve and Thomas’s eyes found Kate at the same moment as she was suddenly standing right in front of the two men. Steve instinctively jumped back, however Thomas had yet to regain the mental focus to move. Kate hand came to rest upon his shoulder a moment later. Steven realized what was about to happen and rushed to help his partner. He was met with a quick strike to the face that sent his body grinding into the ground. Kate’s fingers began to sink into Thomas’s shoulder more easily then a human’s hand went through water. Her fingers crushing their way through flesh and bone. If the first injury he had received from Kate was ugly this, one was truly grotesque.

 

Thomas’s blood and flesh ran through Kate’s fingers equally as well as she closed her hand. Even if he hadn’t been the one to injure Debra it was thanks to him and Allen that she hadn’t been able to get to Debra. As the blood and crushed flesh pooled on the ground, at last Kate’s fingers met and Thomas’s arm fell from his body. Only now did his screams of pain truly seem to reach Kate’s ears. Looking at him for just a second, Kate quickly struck him atop the head. It was as if someone had struck a watermelon with a hydraulic ram. The body feel limp to the ground. Steve didn’t know how to respond, it was common knowledge that Kate was inhumanly fast on top of strong. “It seems your partner is trying to abandon you. I can’t allow that.”

 

Allen had no intention of staying around to be killed. Once he had recovered from his trip he had set out trying to make his escape. Hoping, that Kate would focus on Steve and Thomas long enough for him to get away. Allen was brought to a sudden stop when looking back to see what was happening he suddenly ran into something very solid. Allen bounced off whatever he had hit, landing on the ground he was horrified to see Kate standing directly in front of him. “Going somewhere?” Allen didn’t try to talk, rather he quickly focused his ability on Kate. Hoping that he could at least through her though he didn’t think it would take her long to catch back up.

 

He didn’t get the chance as Kate quickly moved behind him. Leaning over him so that her breast pushed into the back of his head, she clamped her hands down upon his rest. “I noticed something when you and your friend had me in the air. Your abilities are directed by your hands.” Kate was a bit surprised when she heard laughter coming from the man a few moments later.

 

“So they are.” Allen suddenly gestured with his fingers, the one part of his hands he could move. Kate felt the impact of the rock on herself though it was no where near what it would take to move her. That hadn’t been the intention though. Kate released the wrist of the corpse. Picking up the body, she wondered if Steve would respond the same way when he realized there was no escape Allen had used his telekinetic abilities while he was still able. In order to avoid the type of painful death Kate wanted to give him.

 

Steve had made little progress when Kate caught back up with him. Kate then allowed Allen’s remains to fall to the ground. “Who sent you?” Steve grew quiet for a moment, despite seeing what Kate had done to Thomas and what Allen had done to himself to avoid being killed by Kate’s hands. He knew that if he told her his employer’s identity, that even if he lived he would wish that he hadn’t. Unlike the other two, Kate had no intention of killing Steve. She wanted to know who sent them and she felt that Mathews could come up with something far worse then the death she could hand out.

 

“Tell Merry and Elaine that I think they will have a test subject before long. Also, they need to get the bonds ready.” Mathews spoke to one of the communication officers but did not remove his eyes from the screen.

 

When Steve didn’t respond he received rather forceful though reserved punch to the chest.

 

Kate felt his ribs bind and crack under the force of the impact but they didn’t brake. Instantly Steve went to the ground, his arms moving to wrap around his chest until Kate took hold of them. Kate proceeded to bend Steve’s right arm, it didn’t take long for her to hear a significant snap as the bone broke. A cry of pain coming from the man. “You know that was my friend in the mech you trashed.” Kate turned her head when once again one of the facilities emergency exits opened up and a humvee drove out towards Thomas’s body. She realized what was going on.

 

A second humvee came her way. “I am not quite ready to give this one up.” Kate called to the soldiers that climbed out.

 

“Yes M'am. We are just here to retrieve the corpses. However, General Mathews says you are not to kill this one.” Kate gave a nod.

 

“I don’t intend to.” The soldiers didn’t say anything else but moved quickly to load up the other body. As the men retreated, Kate leaned down so that her mouth was against Steve’s ear. “It looks like you are mine for a while, I bet this attack won’t even be reported.” Steve heard another snap as Kate broke his other arm. Instantly as she did this, he could feel the nanobots instead of his body moving to repair the damage. The realization of just how long this could go on thanks to his regenerative abilities began to set in.

 

Kate had to admit that whoever had given this man his strength knew what they where doing. Considering that he was nearly 1/9th her own strength she imagined him to be somewhere around a million times stronger then someone that participated in casual exercise. If he and his friends had attempted to kill her a few months previously then she most likely would have been dead. “Do you even know if your boss gave you the top of the line or did you develop this yourself? I bet they will go easier on you if you did develop it and tell them how. Of course that means I have to make sure you suffer a lot now. Since, I don’t care about how you got your strength. You hurt my friend.”

 

Kate slowly began to tighten her grip on Steve’s lower arm, bending the bones downward.

 

The limbs snapped at nearly the exact same moment, the sound of the snapping bones mixing together. Steve was able to keep himself from calling out in pain, this time. News-broad cast came flooding back into his mind. Of the condition Copperhead’s body had been left in after Kate was finished with him. Of her total lack of remorse and the warnings she had given. The way she had killed Thomas and the indifference she had shown in Allen’s death. Kate gave Steve’s back a hard push sending him down on his broken arms. Setting down atop him she proceeded to wrap her legs around his chest.

 

Kate slowly began to squeeze Steve’s chest with her legs. She had to remember to stop well before her legs met or she may kill him. At the moment she wasn’t sure of just how well he could heal himself. She would be happy though if she was just able to brake his ribs. Slowly she began to increase the pressure feeling his ribs shift as they where squeezed in. During this Steve was doing his best not to scream out in pain. He didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of hearing him cry-out in pain. Kate felt Steve’s ribs deform more and more and even seemed able to feel them beginning to crack. From time to time she would hear a grunt come from him, however she was surprised when he didn’t scream. He didn’t beg or do anything to try to resist.

 

In light of this Kate relaxed her hold on him. Standing up she took hold of his neck and began to pack him towards the facility. She couldn’t see any reason in going further. Kate was still upset over Debra’s condition but it didn’t seem she was going to get any since of payback from torturing this man. He had resolved not to give it to her. As she entered back into the facility, she looked at the soldiers waiting for her. “So where do I take him?”

 

“This way please” Kate began to follow the men through the halls and into the lab. She would have preferred to go and check on Debra but she didn’t want to risk him getting free. The entire time she kept a solid grip on him to prevent him from trying to escape. The soldiers all stayed well out of arms length as well.

 

“So he just clammed up?” Steve listened to the people talking as they prepared the room.

 

“Yeah, I couldn’t even get a scream out of him.”

 

“Well don’t worry that is other peoples’ job.” Kate was currently talking to Mathews as he looked at the one person she had recovered alive.

 

“Why did you want him alive? Do you think you can find any information on whom he was working for?”

 

“Not likely and especially not anything we could make use of. After all anything he says is suspect. I wanted him alive to try and find out how he works. All the others look like they where using external devices, except him.”

 

“Are you sure those restraints will be able to hold him?”

 

“Fairly certain, you see they are made from the same material the mech was and he couldn’t brake through it. Well most of it, I hope you won’t be mad but we borrowed some of the material that was going to be made to make your next high strength uniform. Anyway after what you did to him I don’t know if he is going to be moving for a while.”

 

“I guess I am a bit of a sadist.”

 

“Perhaps, but there is nothing wrong with being passionate about and finding fulfillment in your work. Anyway, I doubt Debra would mind what you did to them.”

 

“How is Debra? May I go and check in on her yet?”

 

“Not yet. I am waiting for the medics to give me a call.” Kate let out a sigh. She wanted to check in on her friend, but she wasn’t about to do that while she was getting medical attention.

 

“I think I am going to go and spend some time with Jack then. He was pretty worried about me when I first came in.” Mathews nodded his head in agreement. Remembering how many times Jack, had asked Kate if she was okay before they had managed to get him away. Mathews watched Kate until she was out of the room and the door had sealed. Now it was time for the true examination to begin. Kate had a sadistic streak to her that was true, but she wasn’t truly trained in causing pain. Granted, they would probably have some trouble with their current test specimen do to his strength but he felt confident the scientific and interrogation teams would find a way.

 

“Hey what are you doing?” Jack quickly looked up from his paper towards Kate. Standing up he made his way across the room wordlessly and wrapped his arms around her.

 

“You know you don’t need to worry about me so much.”

 

“I know, but it was just I heard that someone had been taken to the medical wing of the facility. I thought that it was you.” Kate smiled and wrapped her arms around Jack.

 

“You should know that I have a much better chance of sending someone to the infirmary then I have of going there. I can’t have you worrying about me all the time.”

 

“I don’t normally. It was just that this time I was caught off guard.” Kate laughed slightly and made her way over to the papers Jack was working on.

 

“At least I don’t worry about you physically. One of your friends was hurt pretty bad.” Kate gave a nod of her head.

 

“I know, but it used to happen so much on the police force. You don’t need to worry about me.”

 

“Well just keep in mind that I am always here for you.”

 

“Thanks. Hopefully, later on we can go and check in on Debra. Now, just what where you working on.” Kate looked over the papers, she could tell they were blue prints but the notes and design didn’t many anything to her eyes.

 

“Those are the designs for the facility’s reactor and your exercise room. There is something of a problem. Did you remember how a while back when you start exercising the lights began to flicker?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Well, the reactor was having trouble keeping up with your energy needs back then.”

 

“Oh, I see. You don’t think the facility is going to be able to provide the amount of energy needed to allow me to exercise any longer.”

 

“Correct.” Kate took a moment to consider this.

 

“Just how long do you believe, the facility will be able to provide enough energy?” Jack glanced down at his notes.

 

“At your current rate of increases. I think you will have gone beyond its ability to provide you with the resistance you need in two weeks.” Kate proceeded to stretch for a moment, flexing her muscles she looked at her biceps then down to her abs.

 

“I guess I will just have to start doing some aerobic exercises then.” Kate was a bit surprised when Jack let out a sigh. “What is the matter?”

 

“I just worried that you would settle for your current strength levels. One reason I tend not to worry about you is I know that you’re always getting stronger. At least you have been for the last three years.”

 

“Yeah, a lot of good that did me today. I couldn’t even get to Debra until I noticed my computer had melted. I am going to have to start packing something that would let me deal with someone that I can’t get within arms reach.” Jack proceeded to wrap his arm around Kate in an attempt to comfort her.

 

“You got to her though. I will try and prepare something for you to carry around in case you have to deal with a similar situation though. Perhaps, we can use some of the mech’s armor.”

 

“Won’t they want to repair it?”

 

“Most likely but the outer armor can’t really be repaired. We call it an alloy but in truth it is basically a bone which doesn’t mind itself.”

 

“Jack, thanks for being here for me but I still have some aggression I need to work out. I am going to go for a run is that okay with you?” Jack’s look suddenly grew concerned. “Don’t worry, I will be careful. I know that whoever sent those three is still out there. I am just going to run around the firing range for a little while. Would you like to come and watch? I bet if you stay near the entrance you will be able to see a dust storm.” Jack’s concern seemed to melt away slightly.

 

“I would love to.”

 



 

“I feel like crap.” The doctor walked over to Debra who was just beginning to wake up.

 

“Well you where in pretty bad shape when you were brought in. You won’t be up and moving about for a while longer now.” A long sigh came from the woman who didn’t quite feel like opening her eyes to see where she was. She didn’t particularly care for seeing what kind of condition she was in either.

 

“You basically went through several car crashes in a row. It shook you up pretty bad. Debra opened her eyes slightly when she recognized the voice. Kate sat beside the bed along with Jack.

 

The doctor was checking over a few notes but seemed to be getting ready to leave.

 

“Well I suppose since I am alive it means you won.”

 

“Yeah, two of them. Mathews has a team examining the other guy.” Debra groaned for a moment.

 

“Hey Doctor, this is a pretty well funded military facility. How about getting me some better pain killers then whatever crap you gave me?” Kate looked to see the expression on the doctor’s face and had to keep herself from laughing. Apparently he wasn’t use to patient being so blunt.

 

“I will see what I can do” was the doctor’s only response before leaving the room. Debra once again turned her attention to Jack and Kate.

 

“So which one did you bring in alive?”

 

“The one that did this to you.” Debra smirked for a moment.

 

“I don’t imagine Mathews is worried very much about his condition.” Kate shook her head.

 

“You may be surprised just what the new legislation allows. The military to do, to those that are no longer human. In some ways it worries me. Then again they did just attack a military facility with weapons that exceed current military standards. I suppose it isn’t exactly a civilian matter.”

 

“Of course it isn’t. The press probably know nothing of what happened. For it to be a public matter the public has to know what happened and I doubt the military is just going to tell them. As I imagine, they are interested in those weapons. So Kate, you look kind of tired did they manage to get to you some?” Kate chuckled.

 

“No, they couldn’t actually harm me. I was just feeling rather frustrated after the fight so I went for a run.” Kate grew silent for a moment. “I am sorry that I didn’t get to you sooner.”

 

“Don’t worry about it, I knew the dangers of the job when I took it. You know Kate you can’t go beating yourself up over everyone that gets hurt even if you have come into some nice powers, you’re not omnipresent. At least I don’t think you developed that ability yet.”

 

“No I think that is still something only God, can claim to be.” Debra didn’t respond right away but took a moment to try and get a feel for just what condition her body was in. Moving her arms about a bit, they were rather sore but nothing she couldn’t stand. Especially if the doctor followed through with her request. Lifting her blanket she lowered it a few moments later letting out a slight whistle.

 

“I guess they had to stop some internal bleeding. Kate how long have I been out of it?”

 

“A few hours at least. I didn’t exactly go for a short run.”

 

“You should see the path she was beginning to create around the facility.” Jack had to chime in with a bit of information. Debra began to laugh but quickly suppressed the urge as her chest began hurting her.

 

“Blast it. I hope Mathews makes a recording of that dastard’s interrogation.”

 

“What do you think Jack? Could you get a cop of the interrogation?”

 

“Well I don’t know how likely it is that I can get a copy of the interrogation however, what you would really want to see is the examination.” Jack laughed softly.

 

“What is so funny?” Both women asked at nearly the same moment.

 

“I just never though I would be looking at a human being the way I am now. Knowing what Elaine and Merry may do to him in order to find out just how he ticks.”

 

“When it is your friend that is put in the hospital that will happen.” Kate gave Jack a quick kiss. Jack considered mentioning that despite what he had done the man was still human, but the kiss convinced him to hold his tongue. Anyway, it wasn’t truly his department. His primary function was to keep track of Kate’s progress and try to understand what was happening inside of her. Other people where in charge of analyzing materials and people that Kate brought in.

 

“So do you really want a copy of the actually study of the specimen?” Jack chose to refer to Steve as what he amounted to now.

 

“Not really, even I may not have the stomach to actually watch it from what you have told me. I am quite content knowing what is going to happen.” Everyone was a little surprised when a nurse came into the room a few moments later. Pushing a little trey along Jack quickly recognized the assortment of containers in the cart.

 

“I think you are about to get your pain killers, Debra.” The nurse just grinned as she took up a vial and filled a syringe.

 

“This should take care of whatever pain you are feeling. Just give me a call if you want more.” The nurse indicated a button behind Debra’s head.

 

“Huh. Hey, I didn’t notice that before.” While Debra was looking at the button, the nurse slipped her the injection. Debra noted this but didn’t say anything as the nurse left. When the nurse left the three of them simply resumed their conversation.

 

“So do you think they will be able to find anything out about those three?”

 

“I think they will. Mathews actually had some blood samples taken which I don’t think are purely to study and I know the finger prints aren’t. I suppose he will try to find out just who they are.” Debra considered this for a moment.

 

“I doubt that he has any humanitarian ideas. Most likely he is going to try and find out who they have been in contact with recently. Kate, it may be a good idea if you stay around the facility for a while. At least until Mathews has an idea where those people came from.” Kate gave Debra a nod.

 

“I suppose that whoever sent those three may very well try and reclaim their weapons and make sure we don’t learn anything from them.” Jack chose to chime in.

 

“I just hope that was the best they have at the moment.”

 

“I can agree. Even if those three couldn’t harm me if they have even more advanced weapons. It is possible that I could be killed.” Kate stood up and gave a playful pose“Which means, I am just going to have to become even stronger.”

 

“Oh, that is your answer to everything.” Debra leaned back into her pillow more heavily then she had been. “Well you two, I know that nurse said the pain killer wouldn’t make me groggy but I am still weak. I think I am going to rest for a while.” Jack and Kate both stood up getting the message. As Kate was leaving, she leaned back into the room.

 

“I will check up on you later on.” Debra just nodded and yawned in response.

 



 

Kate set on Jack’s desk as he leaned over the computer screen. Mathews had agreed with them that it was probably a good security measure to keep Kate around for now. Unless, a call came in for her she was to remain at the facility or near by. The security around her parents had also been stepped up for the time being. Currently he was playing around with some of Kate’s skin samples seeing what reactions he could cause. The computer controlled a series of machines and cameras that where kept in the room while he watched the happenings on a series of three monitors leaving very little room for Kate.

 

Kate hopped off the desk and moved to stand behind Jack. Leaning forward she wrapped her arms around him and began to watch the screen. “So do you know how the investigation of those three is going?”

 

Jack found this to be something of a distraction but he could keep working and didn’t have the willpower to try to shrug her off.

 

“Mathews says they haven’t been able to find anything as far as who they where. While he believes that releasing the information to the media would yield some results. He isn’t quite willing to do that yet. Merry and Elaine told me that their studies of the weapons are going well all except for the M-man.” Kate pulled Jack a bit when he meant to lean forward. Hugging his head lightly against her chest.

 

“M-man? Who came up with that?”

 

“It stands for muscle man, he won’t give them his name. The reason they are having trouble is while they have discovered what gives him his strength getting at it is rather difficult. You see they found some nanobots in his body. The problem is actually getting them outside of him so that they can be studied. They have a habit of closing up injuries and won’t actually bleed out. The only reason they found any is by studying the areas as they healed up.”

 

“Healed up? You mean they are actually harming him? How did they manage that?”

 

“Well since you have started doing aerobics they have been redirecting energy from your gym to injure him. They are also making use of some of the equipment. How are your exercises going?”

 

“They seem to be going fine. I can still feel myself getting stronger. Though I don’t know if I am just going on momentum I have built up over these last two years or if it is the exercise. Of course we don’t know if I would stop getting stronger if I quit exercising either. Stopping isn’t a risk I am willing to take though. I just have to work at it longer to get the same feeling that I use to.”

 

“Does that bother you?”

 

“Not really, I need to sleep so little now that I need things to keep me busy while everyone else sleeps. “

” But you normally let me watch you exercise.”

 

“I know that, I do other things while you are asleep. Of course since we both started working that has become less necessary.” Kate unwrapped her arms from Jack and straitened back up deciding she had enough watching the screen.

 



 

“So you feel confident that this will allow us to recover some of the nanobots?”

 

“Yes sir. We are beginning to run low on options so this one seemed like the best one.” Merry and Mathews looked across the room where Steve lay. He was still bound by the restraints they had began using earlier. Various machines hovered over him including a new one.

 

“Couldn’t this destroy the nanobots though?”

 

“It is quite possible sir that is why we are focusing on a selected area so we don’t destroy them all if it does.” Mathews gave a nod and made his way over to the wall. Picking up the phone that rested there he had the conversation patched through to the rest of the facility.

 

“Attention, attention. There is about to be a major power drain. All personnel are to shut down all systems that are not vital to operations. Anyone, working on a computer is to save and shut down immediately. The lights will most likely be out for a short while, do not be alarmed.” Mathews didn’t bother to mention that if they didn’t they ran the risk of losing the data as the entire facility was about to suffer a major power loss.

 

Jack glanced at Kate for a second after the warning. Making a quick save of all his research data he shut down the computer. “What do you think they are planning on doing?” Kate wondered out loud.

 

“I have no idea.”

 

The lights grew dim and then shut down a few moments later. The emergency lighting system taking on. Kate could hear various machines shutting down throughout the facility. As she found herself and Jack trapped in total darkness a playful smile spread on Kate’s face though Jack couldn’t appreciate it. While he wasn’t able to see she most assuredly could. Jack jumped slightly when he felt Kate’s lips pressing against the side of his neck, her tongue flicking out for a moment to give his throat a quick lick.

 

“Want to try fondling me in the dark?” Jack’s first instinct was to eagerly agree, but there was one problem.”

 

“How about you lead us back to our room? Just in case the power comes on to soon, we can keep the light off.”

 

“Sounds like fun, but you will need a way to see back to our room. Hmm, I have an idea.” Kate considered guiding Jack by the hand back to their room but she had a far more enjoyable idea.

 

“I hope you don’t mind if I use a few scalpels.”

 

“Just what do you plan to do with those?” Jack could hear the drawers being opened as Kate found what she was looking for. Though he didn’t hear an answer. He then heard the scream of metal as it was bent, warped and compacted together.

 

Kate took the metal instruments in her hand, five of them total and began to squeeze them together. Showing no concern for the blade at the tip of the tool. Kate wrapped her fingers around their razor sharp edges and forced them together. Kate took her time forming the metal into a rod, as she did this the material began to grow hot thanks to the friction.

 

Jack found the room was slowly becoming illuminated, as Kate worked the alloy first into a metal rod and then into a solid lump of metal. She began to work it even faster, generating larger and larger amounts of heat as well as light. Jack felt the room growing warm and he could make out a red lump. He realized that the objects which currently held the lump where Kate’s hands. She was molding it more and more quickly. As Kate worked the metal, she had to be careful not to let any of it squirt out from her hands. Considering how quickly she was working she imagined it would carry considerable force and the temperature wouldn’t help matters. Once the room was truly illuminated so that Jack could see her face. Even while Kate was holding it at chest level, came decided it was time to leave. “Follow me.”

 

As Jack followed the illumination of the glowing hot metal, Mathews found the room he was in had entirely too much light. The technicians and himself having slipped on a specially made pair of glasses. “Well it seems the nanobots protect his eyes as well.” Merry remarked as the machine above Steve continued to charge.

 

“Are you certain that you are not going to destroy my facility? This seems a bit like over kill to me which is saying something.”

 

“Don’t worry Sir, I don’t have any suicidal tendencies. We have to get it over with quickly to insure the nanobots don’t retreat to another part of his body. So do we have your permission to proceed.”

 

“Go ahead.” A moment later Mathews used his hand as well as his glasses to cover his eyes. He was grateful that the test subject was kept in a sound proof room as he imagined there had been quite a scream. The only routs into the room were a few panels that would let light and a few other forms of laser energy. The other was system that controlled the environment inside the chamber and made clean up easy.

 

“Shutting down” was heard and slowly the light began to fade. Steve had screamed in pain but no one had heard him as the beam of light had came into the room. He had thought it was the end of him and now he wished it had. As he noted that his right arm was no longer bound, then again he no longer had a right arm. The energy had reduced his seemingly invulnerable arm to a pile of ash. Instantly the room was a buzz of movement as the pile of ash was washed into awaiting containers, by uncaring mechanical hands. The machines worked to recover every last bit of residue that had been left. Mathews tapped his chin for a moment.

 

“Now if your plan works, the nanobots should have survived that temporary flood of energy or at least a few of them should have. So you are going to sift through the ashes and see if you can study those. Correct?”

 

“Yes sir, if we used too much energy, we will try it on a lower setting and go for the other limb. It is a little less refined of a method then I would like to use but it is the only one we could fine. Also it should give us an idea of just how good of regenerative abilities they give their host. At least those nanobots that still remain within his body. Sir, aren’t you even a little concerned that some would find out about this?”

 

“Not particularly. We are simply removing a weapon that is not a true part of his body from him. Granted it is going to probably require we kill him in order to get it all but that is why I am grateful the wording was so vague. I do wish we had energy weapons like the laser you just used in the field though.”

 

“Well the energy needs are a little too high for that and despite the power out put the mechanism is quite delicate and complex.” Mathews gave a nod and simply continued to watch.

 

Jack set on the bed watching Kate play with the red-hot bit of metal. They had turned off all the lights so that even if the power came back on they wouldn’t know right away. Kate lifted the smoldering mass to her face, parting her lovely lips and extending her tongue she began the process of putting the light out. Running her tongue along the alloy’s surface, Jack could hear a hiss as her saliva evaporated. He didn’t know how hot the metal was but considering how brightly it was glowing, he knew that it would burn flesh off. Yet Kate didn’t show any signs of pain and her face had no damage. She simply continued to play with the bit of metal.

 

It would have been fun to simply burn her clothes off with the metal but Kate resisted the urge. She wanted Jack to remove her clothing for her, to have to find his way in utter darkness. Jack watched as the room was completely being swallowed up by the shadows as the metal rapidly cooled, no longer having Kate to keep it hot. As the metal turned from a bright glow to a dull one he could only see the outline of Kate’s body now, but what a wonderful outline it was. His eyes attempted to adjust to the darkness however they felled at this attempt. The light from the metal was fading too quickly and there was no other source of illumination to be found with the lights all off. He heard the sound of a clunk as Kate allowed the alloy to drop from her head. The heat having diminished enough that she could safely set it down, of course this meant there was no light in the room at all.

 

He could hear as Kate took a few steps toward him then stopped. “Well come on, come and find me.” Jack slowly stood up, feeling rather nervous as he began to search blindly in the darkness.

 

His steps were slow and cautious not wanting to stumble over anything. “Don’t be frightened. I won’t let you get hurt.”This had a surprising effect on Jack, he felt his nervousness fade. It wasn’t just that Kate’s voice had given him a hint to where she was but he trusted her. Kate for her part had meant what she said. Jack didn’t realize it but she was actually watching him very carefully. She would simply move anything, if it looked like he may stumble upon it.

 

Jack didn’t even jump when her heard a clank on the opposite side of the room. “Was that the lump of metal?” Jack waited a few moments for an answer but realized Kate wasn’t going to make his task any easier then she already had. Now he began to take true steps in his search to find her. “Fine, no need to answer me, but don’t move.”

 

Kate didn’t allow herself to breath while Jack was still searching for her. A fairly easy task considering how long she could go without oxygen.

 

Jack continued to walk around at a regular pace feeling for Kate. At last his hands happened upon something fairly round however, he quickly realized that it wasn’t Kate’s breast. For one thing it was far too small to actually be one of Kate’s breast and far too solid. When he felt the object pulse under his fingers, he realized that he had taken hold of Kate’s flexed arm. Placing his other hand on Kate’s arm Jack leaned forward and placed a kiss on her biceps. Kate stood still as Jack ran his hands up her arm to her shoulder. Then he began to work his way down the front of her shirt. Her breasts weren’t hard at all to find thanks to their mass. Kate’s wonderful DD’s. Now in the darkness he gave Kate’s breast a good squeeze through her shirt, feeling their firmness and weight.

 

Now Kate let out a moan as she felt Jack’s hand squeezing her breast. His touch felt so gentle to her yet very stimulating. “Jack are you giving it your all.”

 

“Yes.” Jack felt Kate’s hands come up and rest upon his shoulder. A moment later she pulled him forward pressing her lips against his. Even if it didn’t make much of a difference. The fact that Jack was using all of his strength was something Kate had enjoyed and continued to do so.

 

“Use both hands on one breast.” Jack did as he was told, sliding his hand away from Kate’s left breast he encircled as much of her right as he could. Leaving the front of her breast exposed. He then began to squeeze Kate’s breast as hard as he could. Bending down a bit he proceeded to lean forward and press his face into her ample bosom. Even with her shirt in the way Jack could easily make out where Kate’s nipple was.

 

“Someone isn’t wearing a bra.” Jack actually felt his hands shake as Kate laughed in response to this comment. Even with him using all his strength to hold her breast, he couldn’t even stop it from shaking when she laughed.

 

“Wow.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“You are just so remarkable, I can’t even hold your breast steady when you laugh.” Jack removed his hands from Kate’s breast and began to slide them down her body once again. Moving his hands outward along her waste line. He felt how her waste curved into a wonderful hour glass shape. Then he moved his hands inward pressing down hard so that he could feel Kate’s stomach through her shirt. He counted her abdominal muscles. He pressed the side of his face against her stomach for a moment and began to kiss those wonderful muscles when Kate stopped.

 

“Why don’t you take my shirt off first?” Jack didn’t respond verbally but began to run his hands over Kate’s body once again. It would have been quicker to just pull up on her shirt but he wanted to find the base first. As he came to her waste line first, he was instantly grateful that he decided on this course of action. Jack slipped his hands between the denim of Kate’s pants and began to feel around. He soon found that while Kate wasn’t wearing a bra she was wearing some lace panties though he couldn’t tell much more then that. Taking hold of Kate’s shirt, he began to lift it up. Slowly pulling the garment from her shorts. As he lifted the shirt though he ran into a problem when he suddenly found he couldn’t lift it anymore.

 

“Would you mind lifting your arms?”

 

“Hmm.” Jack waited a moment, but realized Kate had yet to move. Jack didn’t really have to think to figure out what Kate wanted him to do. He began to pull the shirt upward in an attempt to actually tear it off. It was yet another reason for him to be grateful for his exercise routine as he heard the garment beginning to tear. Kate thought about helping Jack but felt it was more fun to let him try and remove her clothing. It didn’t take long for Jack to remove the garment leaving Kate’s upper body entirely exposed. However, as Jack removed the last scraps of the shirt he suddenly realized he had lost track of wear Kate was.

 

Kate had stepped away from Jack when he had just finished tearing away her shirt. Now she moved silently across the room. “Hey.” Kate continued to move as she talked.

 

“Sorry, but you took your hands off me. If you want to keep me stationary, you can’t let go. Now count to ten while I get situated.”

 

“How about one of these days I get to make the rules for a change?”

 

“All right. Just let me know when you have something in mind.” Jack grinned and began counting. Even if Kate didn’t realize it, he was very grateful that Kate had agreed to let him decide on the rules some day. Now if he could just think of a game that would be as much fun as one of Kate’s.

 

As Jack began to search again, Kate wasn’t certain if she wanted to give him a hard time or not. Cupping her own breasts, she had to admit that she missed the feeling of his hands massaging her tits already. Kate finally decided that she wasn’t willing to wait and took hold of Jack’s hand when he walked near. “I don’t have the patience to wait for you to find me.” Kate proceeded to pull Jack towards herself. As she did this a fun idea came to mind and she proceeded to slip his hand between her breast, then flex her chest muscles slightly. At first Jack wasn’t sure what was going on when he first felt the warmth of Kate’s breast surrounding his hand and some of his arm. When her hand left his, then she flexed and he had a good idea. “See if you can get away. Don’t worry I won’t move again.”

 

Kate had to be careful not to crush Jack’s hand between her tits or get to firm of a hold. However, she didn’t want to let him to escape either. Currently she was doing a very good job of that as Jack tried to pull his hand out. First by using the strength in his arm alone, but it became very clear very soon that wasn’t going to work. Leaning back, he put his body weight into the effort and began to use his legs by pushing against the ground. He didn’t even worry about Kate relaxing her hold and letting him fall. She had promised him that she wouldn’t let him get harmed and that was good enough. As Jack strained to free his hand Kate had to resist the urge to massage her breast, fearing that it would cause her to relax her hold.

 

Kate didn’t have to worry about that for long though. Jack braced his free hand against once of Kate’s breast and began to push off of it. In order to get some more power into his attempt to escape, though he doubted they would succeed short of him tearing his arm off. As Jack grunted and strained he could hardly believe that he was actually trying to escape from Kate’s breast. However, from the low moans he heard coming from Kate he knew how much she was enjoying this. He had to admit that he was having a good time himself. The fact that Kate’s breast where actually able to hold him was quite exciting.

 

Kate could tell Jack was weakening and she didn’t want to sap all his energy. Gently she took hold of his hand and moved it from her breast. Reaching behind Jack’s head with her free hand, she slowly brought his face to her breast. “You know, they are other ways to persuade them to let you go. Have you considered being nice?” Jack took a few moments to answer, as he had to take in a few gasps of breath.

 

“No, but I am willing to give it a try. I just hope they will forgive me after being so rough.” Kate had to keep in a giggle for fear it would make her loosen her hold on Jack’s hand and let him go, or worse yet. She might accidentally flex her muscles more and crush his hand.

 

“Rough? Don’t worry cuddly to these ladies you where being as gentle as ever.” Jack leaned close to Kate’s nipple and gently blew against it. It was exceptionally easy to find despite the darkness. He heard a sigh come from Kate and felt her hand rest against the back of his head, he quickly got the message. Realizing what was likely to happen if he didn’t provide her with more stimulation soon. Jack gave Kate’s nipple a kiss, letting up for a moment to lick along her areola. He knew Kate liked for him to use all the strength in his body, but he couldn’t help but wonder how she would respond if he kept things gentle. As Kate’s nipple began to grow, Jack began to suckle on the bit of flesh.

 

“Mmm. That is nice, but you don’t need to be that gentle.”

 

Jack, didn’t respond but continued too gently suckle Kate’s nipple. Reaching behind her with the one hand that was not trapped he gave her firm buttock a light squeeze. Kate didn’t know what to think of this, she had always enjoyed Jack not holding back when they made love. At least after she allowed him to get that far, now he was being so gentle. His touch was pleasant and loving as always, yet it was also frustrating and almost maddening. Almost instinctively Kate began to massage her one breast that wasn’t getting any attention at the moment. The contrast between her own caresses and Jack’s was quite great. Still, even though Jack’s touch was feather light Kate enjoyed, his more. Would she have liked to have a lover that had strength on par with her own? She moved her hand from the back of Jack’s head and touched the side of his cheek.

 

“I hope this doesn’t offend you, but I like it this way. You are so much weaker then me I just want to hold you, protect you and keep you safe always. I love you.” Jack let off Kate’s nipple and felt her breast relax their grip on his hand. He didn’t pull it free though. Rather he began to massage between Kate’s breast as he stood up.

 

“I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love you more though.” Jack pressed his lips against Kate’s, removing his hand from her buttocks he slowly brought his hand up Kate’s back, as if he was frightened to remove a single hand from her. In the darkness Kate’s presence seemed to be even more dominate then her 6-foot tall frame normally was. His hand seemed to take even longer then it should have to make the journey up to her neck. Kate felt Jack’s fingers rubbing the back of her neck and could feel goosebumps raising up on her skin.

 

Jack wondered how long he could keep this up. He knew that Kate would take back control before too long. That made it much more enjoyable of a contest though, to see how long he could keep control of the situation. When he felt Kate’s arms begin to rap around him, he knew that it was time to switch positions. From her lips he gave her chin a kiss, then lower. As he kissed her throat, he couldn’t help but think how strong Kate’s pulse truly was. He could feel it threw her skin despite its strength. That Kate’s heart was at least 9 million times stronger then that of a normal human’s was quite a thought. Just how much could that muscle truly pump? He would have to figure it out later.

 

Kate’s arms hung to either side of Jack, as she was uncertain if she wanted to grab him or not. She felt him linger on her throat then move further down her body. As Jack came to Kate’s breast, he pressed his head in between them at least as much as he could. Placing kisses along the interior of Kate’s cleavage. Jack moved from working on the interior of Kate’s cleavage to the front of her breast. As he did this Jack and Kate began to play a little game. Thanks to the total darkness Jack was having trouble locating Kate’s nipple. Especially since every time he would get close and some times when he wasn’t Kate would turn her upper body ever so slightly. Thus, every time he would attempt to give her nipple a kiss he would get a quite pleasant consolation prize. Placing a kiss on her wonderful breast flesh, but not the goal.

 

Jack didn’t even contemplate trying to get Kate to remain still. He was quite content to simply keep trying to get the bull’s-eye. Of course he knew that it was a dangers moment, if Kate got bored with his attempts she may take back control of the situation. At the moment he realized that neither of them could truly be sure which one was in control. That was until Jack ran one of his hands between Kate’s thigh. He felt her body shudder for a moment. Slipping his hand from her cleavage, Jack began to feel along the magnificent column of muscles that where Kate’s legs. The momentary detraction allowed Jack to achieve his goal as he left a gentle kiss on Kate’s right nipple and then the other.

 

Jack grew uncertain of his next course of action, should one of his hands return to Kate’s breast or should he continue worshiping her legs. Kate helped him decide as her hands drifted away from him and she began to massage her own breasts. Jack was grateful as his crouched down position made the act of reaching up just a little uncomfortable. Now he was free to continue. Jack placed a kiss just below each of Kate’s breasts and began to cover her stomach in kisses now. As he kissed her stomach he noted how easy it was to kind her abdominal muscles even in total darkness. All he had to do was press his lips against her skin and move it across. The cuts her muscles created where so well defined that he knew when he had left one and when to kiss the next.

 

Kate found herself being very gentle with her breast, it was odd but Jack’s tactics seemed to have infected even her. At the moment she found herself only using enough strength crush bronze to stimulate her breast. As Jack finished kissing each one of Kate’s wonderful stomach muscles, he finally came to the point he had been building towards. He unbuttoned Kate’s shorts and slowly pulled the zipper down. As he pulled Kate’s shorts down he could tell she was excited even though he couldn’t see. He could have sworn the humidity went up in the room upon removing Kate’s short and while he couldn’t be sure if it was his imagination or not. He thought Kate’s shorts even felt damp.

 

Letting one of his hands travel back up Kate’s leg, Jack pressed his finger to the waste line of Kate’s panties. Then the other joined it, he brought his fingers around feeling of the soft silk, circling Kate’s entire waste with his fingers. He then brought his hands down against the fabric. Feeling the soft lace, one hand traveled down her back side while the other went down the front. The material growing smooth just over Kate’s lips, now it was exceptionally obvious how excited Kate was. Her panties where quite damp, “Nice.” Jack began to rub Kate’s lips through her panties.

 

As he did this he could hear her moan through her lips, as if she was keeping the true volume muffled.

 

Kate wanted to tear her panties off, to force Jack’s face into her crotch or straddle him. She hadn’t even gotten him unclothed. Yet, she couldn’t bring herself to do it. She wanted to leave him in control. It was difficult though, very difficult. Jack noted, as Kate began to lightly move her hips.

 

Reaching into her panty’s waste band he slowly pulled the garment down her legs. Kate raised her feet in order to allow Jack to slip her shorts and panties out from under her. Jack brought himself level with Kate’s lower lips now and gave them a gentle kiss. Kate had to keep her hands on her breast as Jack kissed her pussy. Other wise she would have used them to force his head more firmly against her crotch.

 

Jack took his time, kissing Kate’s pussy lips as deeply as he had kissed her other. At last his tongue came out and he gave the surface a lick. Tasting Kate’s flesh and nectar. “You taste good.” Kate didn’t respond with a word, just a moan. That was all Jack needed as he continued to lick up Kate’s nectar, doing his best to clean her off. When he felt that he had sufficiently accomplished this task, he pressed his tongue more firmly into Kate’s lips. He felt as she relaxed her muscles and allowed it to slip inside. As Jack continued to lick up Kate’s nectar, his hands began to caress her thigh. He chose to focus on one leg at a time. In order too more completely cover the column of perfectly sculpted flesh.

 

Just how long would it truly take to tire Kate out? Jack had no earthly idea as he continued to stimulate her. He could feel as her body locked up and began to shudder. An orgasm rippling throughout her being. All Jack’s efforts to clean came up where wiped out in a moment and then some as she came. Her hands finally came down to press against the backside of his head, making sure he couldn’t back away. Kate had to be exceptionally careful not to harm Jack during this moment. She knew how easily her hands could crush his skull into nothingness. Thankfully her body seemed to understand these emotions as well, as she only used enough strength to insure he couldn’t back away as she coated his face with her excitement.

 

Kate chuckled a little when she finally relaxed her grip on Jack’s head and looked down at his face. “It looks like I made you a little messy. I think I should go and clean you up and show you how grateful I am.” Kate didn’t give Jack a chance to argue before she picked him up. Unlike him she could see perfectly. With that she carried him out of the room and into the bathroom.

 



 

Kate was astounded by the progress Elaine and Merry had made in studying the weapons previously used against her. As she paced around a new artillery piece. “So you made this using the energy weapon?”

 

“Yeah, we couldn’t miniaturize it as much as the one used against you and it doesn’t control the energy as well but we are making progress. That said, the cannon does offer three times the power out put of the original.”

 

“It is just over 20 times as large.” Kate kept her tone light. In truth she found it remarkable that they had been able to come so far in just a little over a month. Merry just smirked.

 

“How about you let us test it out against you? Perhaps, you will better appreciate our progress after a first hand example.

 

“All right. Where do you want me to stand?” Elaine and Merry both looked at each other. They both wore the same grin, Merry quickly came down to where Kate was and pointed to one of the walls.

 

“Just go down through there and stand against the wall. We will bring up the protective shielding and you can show us just how tough you are.”

 

“Be sure you try it at full power.” Kate made her way over to the designated area. Leaning against a massive slab of metal that she imagined was there to keep any weapon from tearing through the facility. There was a slight electric hum before blast panels began to raise up on either side of Kate. The energy weapon was brought to the front of the tunnel. Kate now found a wall of protective armor to her took, blast panels on either side of her and an energy cannon in front of her.

 

“How about you let us play it safe and start with a lower setting? Perhaps, the same level that was used on you during your fight and shouldn’t you change clothes first?”

 

“You should have thought of that before I came in here. Don’t worry I have one of my uniforms on underneath. I doubt that is even going to be able to damage it. If three times is the best, you can do.”

 

Merry and Elaine decided to just give Kate what she wanted. As the two scientists began to activate the weapon. Kate brought herself into her accelerated state. She wanted to see if she could actually see the beam coming towards her. If she could Kate even considered dodging. Kate learned very quickly that she couldn’t as Kate was hit with a beam of energy moving 9,000 times as fast as even she could. The suddenness caught her so off guard that she gave a slight yelp when she suddenly found herself saturated in the energy. Her clothing vaporizing in an incident revealing her uniform underneath.

 

“Is something wrong?” Merry called out to Kate.

 

“You do realize that she can’t hear you right now. The air molecules are to thin to carry our voices to her.” Merry gave her partner a sheepish grin, she hated when she forgot such a basic fact.

Elaine took up some pin and paper and held it up for when Kate turned her head towards them.

 

“Want to go higher? If so give a thumbs up. If you want to quit, thumbs down.” Kate read the sign and quickly gave the thumbs up. She could feel the energy intensifying around her. This was the heat that had melted titanium. Kate’s hand suddenly went to her backside as if she was searching for something.

 

“Well shit.” Kate glanced down her leg and noticed various bits of copper and silver alloy. At least molting copper and silver alloy. Looking down she shook her head at the puddle and streams of metal that was once loose change. At least she didn’t have anything important in there.

 

Merry watched Kate searching herself, at first she thought that Kate was just checking to make sure everything was okay. Then she noticed a slight glint and Kate was holding some molting metal.

 

Kate gathered up some of the liquid in her hand. Rolling it around she was a bit surprised when it went from just being a liquid to boiling. The fact that the heat had melted her change and could indeed melt titanium was impressive, but Kate had no idea how much it took to make copper and silver boil. It became very clear why the tunnel itself was required. The super heated gasses would have probably killed everyone in the room if they weren’t there. At least the gasses would have killed everyone except for Kate. Kate was so transfixed that it took her a while to look up and see the sign being held up again. Once again she gave the thumbs up then turned her attention down to the bubbling metal.

 

The final jump in heat came and the metals began to boil furiously. Dipping her fingernail into the metal. It felt as if she was moving her finger through water though it was heavier. Merry and Elaine looked on for a while. “How long do you think we should leave it running? Perhaps, we can at least cause some discomfort if given enough time. She seems to be enjoying herself.”

 

“Well since she quit using her exercise equipment we don’t have to worry about the energy supply too much. Want to keep it on until she signals to turn it off or the blast panels are about 3/4ths the way to their limit? Whichever come first.” Merry nodded towards her partner and they returned to observing Kate. It was a little disappointing to see that their efforts had yet to produce a weapon that could even give Kate a sun burn.

 

Kate continued to watch the bubbling metal for some time, at last she gave the thumbs down for the machine to turn off. Kate already knew not to leave the chamber for a while, the heat might not bother her, but it would most assuredly bother other people. At least she wouldn’t be super heated though, she could still remember how hard Jack had tried to increase the temperature of her skin. She was a bit surprised though when she suddenly found herself truly covered in a white foam. “HEY. What is this stuff?” Kate had to wait for a response in part because the air had to return to normal and in part thanks to the two women’s laughing.

 

“That is a special foam made to soak up heat energy. It cools the testing chamber down much quicker and is very water soluble.” Kate grumbled for a moment, about them not warning her before hand. At least it allowed her to step out of the chamber more quickly.

 

“So Kate, care to see what else we have been working on?”

 

“I have been wondering about the muscle man, just what was giving him his strength?”

 

“We discovered he had nanobots inside his body, that we have since then recovered. I am kind of surprised you didn’t already know.” Kate looked towards Merry as she spoke.

 

“I didn’t think of it too much to be honest or I didn’t want to think about it. Just what condition does the nanobots removal leave him in? I imagine Debra would like to get a few hits in.” Elaine came forward with the answer.

 

“Well in order to get the nanobots out we had to vaporize his body. That was the reason there has been several power drains over the last few weeks. That and the testing of the equipment.” Kate gave a nod, she didn’t exactly feel sorry for the guy.

 

“What have you learned?” Merry spoke up with a bit more excitement in her voice then what was needed.

 

“Oh a great deal. We found out how to program them to operate with someone, how to patch them into the host nervous system. Furthermore we checked to insure that outside sources couldn’t affect them. That was the hardest part as we had to insure their safety before we used them on one.”

 

“Used them on someone?” Kate was more then a little surprised, she hadn’t expected that they would try to make use of the machinery so soon.

 

“Of course, we haven’t managed to develop our own version yet at least that would operate within a human body. They are still too large but we are making progress. Still, we don’t need the originals any longer so it was decided after testing we would make use of them. “

 

” Don’t you worry that whoever created the bots has some kind of control over them?” Elaine took over answering Kate’s questions to prevent Merry from giving away too much information yet again.

 

“We tested the nanobots as carefully as we could and as far as we can tell they are immune to outside control. That said we have prepared some special equipment to help guarantee the user’s safety. As it should further block any signals or at least scramble those that may be able to affect them.”

 

“What if you want to take the nanobots out later on? I mean you had to vaporize the last guy to get them out.”

 

“That is correct, that is one reason we are working on our own nanobots. Even the ones we have now could be used to slowly remove those we are going to introduce.” Kate grew worried for a moment, she knew that if Elaine and Merry were trying to put her fears to rest, then it must involve someone she knows. At least for them to be trying so hard.

 

“Just who do you plan on using those nanobots on? Is it someone from the police force I use to work with?” Elaine took a business like tone.

 

“I am sorry Kate, but that is information we can’t give to anyone, even you. At least until they are ready to begin working.”

 

“OH, now you’re just making me worry. Are you really forbidden from telling me?”

 

“Actually, we are.” Merry spoke up and an astonished look appeared on Kate’s face. She had thought Elaine was bull shitting her, however with the tone of Merry’s voice and the ease of the answer. She believed her.

 

“I see, well then I won’t heckle you for doing your job. Just when do you think I can meet this new colleague?”

 

“Very soon actually.”

 

“Okay, now how about you show me some of the other weapons you have finished? Have you made any progress with those TK gloves or whatever they where?”

 

“Yes, but not as much progress as with the energy weapon or nanobots. Our version’s range is much more limited. Try that little room over there.” Elaine indicated a little booth, the outer walls where entirely see through and the floor was a rather strange looking metal platform.

The windows while see through, had several wires running throughout them.

 

“Is it any stronger then the gloves?”

 

“Sadly even with the increased size if the equipment, we can only achieve half the power out put of the original weapons. We are going to need to study just how they work for a while longer.”

 

“Well blast it. Is there anything else you might want to try against me at least?”

 

“We do have a few things that could use some more testing. I doubt they will actually be able to test you but you could test them.”

 

“That is fine. Jack is busy right now and I don’t want to bother him.” Elaine felt like commenting about Kate’s statement but didn’t bother to.

 



 

Debra glanced down at the tank in front of her. It was clear like water but obviously much thicker. “Are you sure this is safe?”

 

“Having second thoughts?” Mathews came up behind Debra and glanced down in the fluid.

 

“That is a mixture of water, various protean and the nanobots we recovered. The nanobots need time to synchronize themselves with the host’s nervous system. At least that is how Elaine explained it to me. Still, if you want to back out that is fine with me. To be honest I am kind of nervous about trying out this new technology so early.”

 

“I take it this stuff was tested on living animals first.”

 

“It was tested in human tissue and blood samples, simulating the human body. As the machines where designed for humans. They haven’t been tested in animals as they wouldn’t function properly and worse yet may develop a flaw. I would have tested them on some undesirables if I had the option. However, considering the inherent dangers with that plans I wasn’t able to go through with it.” Debra looked at the liquid for a moment longer.

 

“In I go.” That was the last of Debra’s hesitation. As she slipped a leg into the mixture, and then slid the rest of her body in being careful not to splash any. Moving over to the side she set down on a raise in the tank’s bottom that served as a seat.

 

“When she decides to do something, she does it.” Mathews mused to himself and resolved that he liked the trait. Turning towards Elaine, Merry and a few other researchers. “All right, let us begin.” Elaine came down to where Debra was a few moments later.

 

“The nanobots are going to soak in through your skin and begin aligning themselves with your nervous system. You may experience some pain during the process but as any sedative may affect your nervous system, we couldn’t risk giving you any.”

 

“I guess I will just have to go into my happy place then.” Debra grinned and began to relax her body and mind. Having been trained as a sniper she had an immense amount of patience and had actually developed the ability to handle rather uncomfortable situations. Though she hoped that the level of pain wouldn’t enter torture levels. “Anyway, I read as much in the contract you had me fill-out or don’t you remember putting it in?”

 

“Merry and I didn’t actually have anything to do with the contract. That was the legal department’s job.”

 

“I see. So do you two have a contract of any type? That would help insure my limited safety.”

 

“Yes we do, and in case you are wondering. It does have a clause that prevents us from doing any experiment on personnel that doesn’t at least have an 80% chance of survival.”

 

“I am suspicious that you are just saying that to help me relax.” Debra let out a sigh. “How long until you know if it is finished?”

 

“We aren’t for sure. It shouldn’t take more then a few hours. Of course that is one of the reasons we had you start fasting yesterday.”

 

“Hungry” was Debra’s only reply. Debra started to locate a spot on the wall to focus her attention on. When Elaine offered a better solution.

 

“So is there anything you would like to watch at the moment? We had a monitor set up so you could watch tv while you wait.”

 

Kate rather enjoyed her new jogging area, there weren’t any trees to get in her way, no rocks, no cars, no people. At least in most cases there were no people but there was indeed the occasional boat and some waves could be difficult. In truth it was all a very odd situation. Currently Kate figured she was running around 50,000 miles per hour. This resulted in the water behaving in some very unusual ways as she ran across its surface. The force of her legs striking the water and the speed with she did it was actually able to keep her weight suspended upon the surface. It made her more curious about her grounding ability though. With the way it functioned she couldn’t help but think she should be able to manipulate it so that she could fly. However, all attempts to do more then remain in one place had ended in her only falling back to the ground.

 

Kate had also begun to wonder just how her mind functioned while she was running. She knew that her reaction time accelerated whenever she got to moving, in order to prevent her from slamming head long into some structure or worse yet a person. This altered perception of time made it very annoying to stand around and wait for something. At least if she remained in her accelerated state. Yet, while she was out jogging it didn’t seem to bother her. Kate’s thoughts where taken back to the present. Looking up towards the clouds and the massive waves. “Damn the world seems frozen when I am like this.” Kate’s thought was in reference to a massive storm that she had ran into. Looking up at the black clouds, the rain was just falling so slowly, it didn’t seem to be moving at all.

 

This feeling was only enhanced by the knowledge that she could run even faster if she so desired. Curiously Kate began to run into the waves that to her seemed frozen in time. Even if it only took the wave half a second to rise up and crash back down. To Kate the entire process would have seemed to take days. At least if she remained as she was. This of course posed various restrictions on her. Kate considered one of them as she ran over the water’s surface. “Just what would she do if she found someone drowning?” At her current rate of motion even gravity seemed to take a great deal of time to affect her.

 

This made it feel as if she was standing on a solid surface even on water. She knew this was false which would make saving someone else difficult in certain situations. In particularly if they where drowning. If she was to simply try to grab them up her rate of movement would end up tearing them apart. Her only option would be to stop moving so quickly this would result in her falling into the water. Of course she could still help a few people even moving at regular speeds. After all she could simply hold onto them and swim. However, if they where more then a few people she couldn’t help them all. Kate gave her head a quick shake and changed direction heading out of the storm. Resolving that she had best just be grateful that she had never come upon a sinking ship.

 



 

“Debra how do you feel?” Debra gave her head a slight shake, the last thing she remembered was watching some television. Looking towards the sound of the voices, she found Mathews and Merry looking over her.

 

“Did you nearly kill me?” Mathews nearly laughed. Debra could be quite the smart alack when she wanted to be.

 

“No, you didn’t even come close to dying. You have just been setting stationary for a very long time and we saw no reason to wake you.”

 

“So did the process work?”

 

“Looking down at your body and you tell me.” Debra glanced down at her right arm and was surprised at what she saw. Debra had always been toned but now her muscles where truly cut, even with her arms relaxed she could still see a fairly noticeable biceps under her skin.

 

“Is that all the nanobots?”

 

“Mostly, we figured this would happen. Even if they are tiny they do add mass.” Debra considered this for a moment.

 

“How much do I weigh?”

 

“OH, not much more then usual. Anyway, we would like to conduct some test to see how things worked out. First we want to test if you truly have the strength your body suggest and then we would like to go and see if you can actually control it. If not we will have to do some more testing and training before you can become operational.” Debra gave a sigh, taking that to mean she had put on quite a few more pounds then she would care to hear about. Setting up, Debra stretched her arms but avoided touching anything. Like Mathews said, they didn’t know if the process worked or not or if she could actually control the strength or not. Since they were not able to obtain any information from the nanobots original owner.

 

“Shall we start testing then?”

 

“Yes, I hope we can surprise Kate when she returns.” Debra nodded at Mathews and proceeded to climb out of her bed. Instantly she noted how light her body felt.

 

“I don’t know how much heavier I am, but I feel lighter to me. I wonder if this is how Kate feels.”

 

“It is most likely how she felt. She is still a lot stronger then you we theorize.” Debra didn’t comment on that but hopped lightly. Instantly she felt herself raise a good three feet up into the air.

 

“Debra, please refrain from such behavior until we get you to the testing room.”

 

“Sorry about that, lead the way.” Mathews nodded and began to lead Debra through the halls. He would have liked to conduct the test outside, however he wasn’t willing to risk someone interfering with the test or catching site of it. Debra had been around the facility enough times that she had an extremely good idea of just where they where going. As they came to the heavy doors, she recognized it as a room built in order to test Kate’s limits. It had just never been used as Kate as she had exceeded its testing ability before ever entering it.

 

Elaine and Merry where in the roof as well as a several other coats. As soon as Debra entered Elaine made her way over to her and held out a rather simple looking silver belt. “What is this?”

 

“We said that we where taking steps to insure your safety. This is something we developed earlier while testing. It should protect the nanobots inside your body from outside interference.” Elaine thought for a moment. “Until we test your control though, I hope you don’t mind if I slip it on you.”

 

“Go ahead, but I thought you said the nanobots where designed so that there couldn’t be outside interference.” Debra raised her arms to the side and allowed Elaine to place the belt around her.

 

“They are as far as we can tell. Whoever designed them seems to have meant there to be no strings attached. That said since we can’t be sure. That there isn’t some hidden mechanism so we designed this. It is a scaled down modal of a signal-jammer Yours was easier to make then normal as we only had to block signals from getting to your body. Just don’t try to use certain head phones.”

 

“Huh, why not?”

 

“Because it will most likely interfere with the receiving device. We tried our best to limit the jamming too just your body. However, we also had to keep the power so high. It shouldn’t be much of a problem just some smaller communications equipment such as the smaller radios or cell phones might have trouble functioning on your person. The belt’s battery pack is going to need recharged or replaced every week so don’t forget that.”

 

“Every week? That doesn’t sound like a very good battery to me.”

 

“If you knew how much energy that equipment requires you would think otherwise.” Debra gave a nod as Elaine stepped away. “Now, shall we begin the test?”

 

“I think I am ready.”

 

“Okay, then come over here with me.” Elaine proceeded to lead Debra over to a bed, on top of which set a small object. Debra recognized it as one of the devices Kate had previously used to exercise. “First we would like to test your current strength, speed and endurance levels. Also, if you don’t mind we would like it if you used these to exercise. While, we don’t know if it will help improve your strength any it seems something worth testing.” Debra gave a nod and picked up the sphere.

 

“How do you want to start this?”

 

“Just lay down on the bed, and curl the sphere. Each time you do a complete curl the weight is going to increase by ten percent. Once we get an idea just what your strength range is. We are going to test your ability to interact with everyday objects.”

 

“Okay.” Debra looked down at the tiny sphere as she set down on the table. “Just how much does this thing weigh now?”

 

“20 pounds.” Debra rolled her eyes at this and set to curling the little machine. Mathews watched intently from afar at the rate which Debra was curling the sphere. At the moment she was doing it quite quickly, however he knew the weight would begin catching up to her quite quickly.

They had a rough idea at how strong the nanobots made their host from the fight with Kate.

However, they wanted to test that theory. He realized that Elaine had forgotten to inform Debra about something. He quickly made his way over to her.

 

“That belt you are wearing also serves to monitor your vital functions. So we didn’t have to put any stickers on you for this test. It has a tracking device in it as well however, at the moment it is currently inactive. We just want you to turn it on while you are working.” Debra didn’t really need Mathews to give her the details. She expected them to be keeping tabs on her ever since she had agreed to be enhanced.

 

“That is fine with me.” Debra’s arm began to slow down as she reaches her 120th curl.

 

“Now we are getting something.” Mathews was a bit perplexed until he noticed Debra’s arm moving more slowly. He moved away at that point, not wanting to risk a little accident occurring when he was so close. As when working with people as strong as they had just made Debra he felt it wise to be cautious. “How heavy is the weight now?” Debra called over to Merry who was currently monitoring the weight read outs.

 

“That was your 122nd curl just now. You are currently up to 1,121 tons. So you are currently holding the weight of somewhere around 28 tanks in one hand.”

 

“How long do you think I can maintain my max strength once I find it?”

 

“We are going to have to test that. We have yet to determine if the physical health of the owner has any effect on the nanobots themselves. Are you like a machine now or does your energy still drain like a human’s? Once you feel that you have nearly hit your max or have hit it let us know.

We will them return the weight level to the previous curl.”

 

“I don’t know whether I am happy that she is requiring less energy then Kate or not. On one hand it saves energy but on the other hand it would be nice to have another person on par with Kate’s strength level.” Mathews mused out loud for the entire team and Debra to hear.

 

“I will tell you what, if it is possible I will do my best to catch up with Kate for you. Then you can decide which is better.” Debra’s words where some what drawn out thanks to the fact that she was beginning to have to concentrate in order to lift the weight.

 

“I hope you will. While we don’t have a great number of combatants. We hope to get some very high quality ones.”

 

“Is that why you started with Kate? Looking for a high grade fighter that can increase her grade?”

 

“Partly, but Kate also had the appropriate mental profile that we were looking for. Debra, are you going to want to wear a costume to hide who you are or are you going to openly admit your identity?” Debra gave the weight 4 more curls before she spoke.

 

“I am not really sure. Kate has gotten things off to a good start by showing that we don’t hide behind masks, but I don’t think you would want to have to safe guard all of our families.” Mathews grew silent for a little while as if taking this into consideration. It was fairly costly providing Kate’s family with security even with what her father already paid for after all. Then he didn’t know how effectively they could guard them.

 

“I think I am going to have you wear a costume to hide who you are until we get some more agents. That or get a hold some more advanced technology. Perhaps, when the day comes that we can mass produce, the nanobots currently inside of you.”

 

“You mean, if I get to go into the field. Right?”

 

“Yes, that is quite true. I guess I am getting ahead of myself. Think you have about reached your limit?” Debra groaned a bit as she tried to push the sphere up one more time. Her arm finally falling to her side as she proved unable to lift the sphere with one hand.

 

“Yeah I think so. Just how much is that?” Merry didn’t respond right away but proceeded to lower the current energy output.

 

“It was up to 10,000 tons.”

 

“Not bad.” Debra curled the sphere again as she felt the weight decreasing. “So you want to see how many times I can do this?”

 

“Yes, with the weight being so close to your max, we don’t believe it will take you very long to tire out.” Debra simply began to curl the weight, as she did so she felt their assumption was right. She could already feel her energy draining.

 

Mathews was quite content with the way the testing had went. While Debra wasn’t the power house Kate was, she could most assuredly hold her own in a fight. He couldn’t think of many people that had strength on par with what the nanobots had given her, however this only made him more concerned

 

“I don’t like this.” Debra, Elaine and Merry all gave Mathews a surprised look. “Sorry, thinking out loud. I didn’t mean I don’t like the way the testing is going. At least not as far as the benefit’s Debra has received. I don’t like the idea that someone out there is able to develop technology of this level. While, it would be bad if whoever had given them the weapons had only given them a basic package. Perhaps, this isn’t the best they had to offer. I am even more concerned about the idea that they may be able to mass produce the nanobots.” Mathews grew silent for a moment. “Elaine, Merry. I want you two to try and find a way to neutralize the nanobots if it is possible.”

 

“Yes sir.”

 

“And what about me?” Debra didn’t look at Mathews as she struggled to lift the weight again.

 

“You get to keep what you where given of course. It isn’t like we are going to unlock any weak point by studying the ones we have in you. One of the reasons we went ahead and enhanced you is we couldn’t find a weak point after all.”

“So you are going to step up the development of your own nanobots?”

 

“That is the plan. I hope it is unneeded of course. I have trouble imaging what could easily produce such machines, that said I fear the idea of someone or something being able to.” Debra let out a long sigh and took in a few huffs of air as her arm fell to her side.

 

“3 sets of 12 reps, very good. It seems that the nanobots don’t contribute as much to stamina as we would have hoped and most assuredly don’t offer infinite stamina.” Debra set up and stretched her arms a bit.

 

“So going to do some more scientific testing.”

 

“Not at the moment. We can get into the detailed stuff later. At the moment we just want a general idea of what you can do. So are you ready to move onto the delicate stuff?”

 

“Sure.” Debra let herself be taken over to a table where several house hold items lay waiting. “So I just try to pick something up and see if it brakes?”

 

“Yes, but let me step back a bit. I don’t want to risk the glass spraying on me. If you squeeze harder then expected.” Debra gave a nod and looked around as Elaine made her retreat.

 

They where a few glasses of various delicacies it seemed, an iron, lead, copper and steel ball, knife, etc.

 

“Which one should I start with?”

 

“Well lets just cut to the chase, pick up the pink glass. That is about the most delicate thing on the table. If you can hold that then you are ready to go.” Debra gave a nod and proceeded to close her fingers around the glass. The moment she felt she was ready to actually pick it up, there was a shattering sound and Debra found herself with a hand full of broke glass.

 

“Come to think of it, that guy who was fighting Kate didn’t really handle anything that was delicate.” Debra commented.

 

“It looks like you are going to have to do some adjusting before you can begin regular activities. Lets see what you can pick up without destroying. “Debra nodded at Mathews and went for the steel ball next. Lifting it from the table, she was fairly pleased with the results when she set it back down.

 

“Well I can pick up solid steel it seems without leaving finger prints. How about the copper next?” Debra hefted the copper sphere in her hand, being careful not to squeeze to hard. As she lifted it up though she felt it begin to slip from her fingers, and land back on the table.

 

“It seems that you didn’t get a solid enough hold that time.” Debra tried again, this time putting a bit more pressure on the copper, at which time she heard the metal wail in protest against the rough treatment.

 

“Thick steel forks, spoons, plates, cups and other things it is then.” Mathews remarked.

 

“Well crap, I guess it was expecting a bit much that I would just be able to adapt right away.

Isn’t steel going a little far though, I won’t be able to adapt if I don’t try with more delicate items.”

 

“Don’t worry, I will have a program planned for you in order to allow you to adapt to your new strength. After all, if you can’t even pick up copper without bending it. Then we can’t have you in the filed. For now your job is going to be to adapt to your body. Oh, and for the time being no touching anyone. I don’t want you accidentally killing someone or braking anyone’s bones.”

 



 

“Kate Stonecutter, please report to the testing room.” Kate glanced up towards the intercom as she returned to the facility. She had just arrived back at the facility and had thought she would get to head on down to the lab and get Jack as he finished up his work. It seemed other things would be happening though.

 

“Hey.” Kate was a bit surprised when she found Debra waiting for her in the testing room. An odd belt was around her waste and she wore a rather tight looking black body suit.

 

“Hey, what is going on here?” Kate walked over to Debra unsure of just what to expect.

 

“Well you said that you wanted to know who was being enhanced or at least you seemed to want to know according to Elaine.” Kate blinked for a moment not quite catching on, her face turned to shock though when she realized what Debra meant.

 

“You mean you’re the one that is going to be given the nanobots?”

 

“Have been given and yes they are inside of me already.” Kate’s look of shock went away and was replaced by one of delight.

 

“Oh this is wonderful. It means you can be more active in working with me. Are you going to openly announce who you are or are you going to keep secret? How strong are you? What has been tested?”

 

“Woe, I won’t be joining you for a while now. You see I am having some problems with the nanobots. It seems that I am going to have to learn to control my strength. I think I am around 700,000 thousand to one million times stronger then what I was previously.”

 

“I see, yeah I imagine having such a huge jump in strength would do that. What is with that belt?”

 

“It gives me another layer of protection against someone interfering with the nanobots. That is if anyone can.”

 

“Hmm, how about we have a little contest.” Kate held her hands out in front of her. “The last time I encountered someone with those nanobots they where able to overcome even my grounding ability. Want to see if you can now that I have had a month to bolster my strength?”

 

“Figured you would want to try something like that. It is the main reason Mathews decided to have us meet in here. That and I have been restricted to certain parts of the facility. At least until I learn to control my strength.” Kate simply held her hands out in front of her. Debra walked over to Kate and place her hands against Kate’s. Bracing herself, she began to push off the ground only slowly though. Instantly both women heard the sound of metal wining as Debra’s feet began to dig into the steel floor. Unlike Kate she had no grounding ability thus she had to make use of the leverage the ground offered. Debra’s toes easily sunk into the ground as she applied more force.

 

Kate was having to work to get herself stationary. Unlike Debra she wasn’t making any use of her surroundings but depending entirely on her grounding ability. It was proving to be quite the difficult task especially since Debra had yet to begin to struggle. She was slowly adding more and more force as she didn’t want to risk actually throwing Kate. While it wouldn’t harm Kate there was a fair chance that it would harm the facility. “So how is your stamina anyway?”

 

“Proportional to when I was human. It seems the nanobots don’t offer infinite stamina or the such.”

 

“What about your healing ability?” Kate felt herself slip slightly and focused back on holding her ground.

 

“I haven’t experimented with it just yet.” Kate gave a nod. Now that she wasn’t stuck in a combat situation she was more able to appreciate to appreciate how much the little machines where able to bolsters someone’s strength. As she watched Debra’s arms swell though she took note of something.

 

“Hey you weren’t that cut originally.” Debra laughed but continued to apply more force.

 

“Well I do have a few million or so little machines running around inside my body. It is going to add some additional mass.” Kate couldn’t resist giving Debra a light push, the entire room was filled with the sound of screaming metal as Debra was scooted back all too easily by Kate.

Looking down she noted where Debra had braced her feet was now not only torn up but had actually begun to slow thanks to the friction. Debra just laughed and applied more force, Kate gave a slight groan as she felt her grounding ability reaching its limit.

 

“About how much of your strength are you using now?”

 

“I would guess over 3/4ths.” Kate gave a nod, it made since as the original owner did have to punch her in order to over whelm her grounding ability. When someone’s strength was so much greater then normal, Kate didn’t imagine body weight would count for much at all.

 

“Have they figured out just where the nanobots get their energy from?” Debra gave a nod of her head. “Mind telling me.”

 

 

“I couldn’t explain it, Merry and Elaine tried to explain it to me earlier. I just told them to be quiet.” Kate felt her feet begin to slide as Debra finally overcame her grounding ability, though she was only moving slowly.

 

“I think we should do this every once in a while.” Kate had to resist the urge to dig her own toes into the steel of the floor. “I bet it would help me avoid being knocked around as easily.”

 

“Fine by me.” At last Kate gave, the resistance seemed to lighten up a bit and Debra felt herself making rapid progress forward. With a bit of a groan Debra brought herself to a stop after pushing Kate a few yards back. “Now that is tough.” Debra took in a few deep breaths of air as the two separated their hands.

 

“I’ll say. I don’t take it you could join me and Jack for dinner?”

 

“No, but you two can join me in my room. They had to specially make the plates and well just about everything so I wouldn’t brake them. If I try to pick up anything softer then copper, I end up bending or braking it.” Kate gave a nod but didn’t leave right away, rather she continued to converse with her friend.

 



 

Kate looked at herself in the mirror, leaning forward and speaking to her image. “So girl, just how strong are you now? Debra can’t even budge you even more and she is roughly a million times stronger then human. You have gotten to the point where the facility can’t put out enough energy to give your equipment the needed resistance. Yet, you’re getting stronger every day. At least I feel as if I am getting stronger.” Kate gave her biceps a squeeze, they felt as if they always had at least to her. Nice and firm but not super human, but she knew that they where super human.

 

Jack had calculated that Kate may well be thirty million times stronger then she had once been but that was just a guess. If her strength had continued to increase along the same lines that it had been for several years now. She was beginning to think that her strength would never stop growing. Kate had been doing this for quite some time now, ever since her strength had gone beyond Jack’s or anyone else’s she knew of ability to test. Perhaps she was even stronger then they thought she was or perhaps the rate at which her body increased in strength had slowed down. At last a huge grin appeared on her face, the idea that her strength was beyond the military’s best minds to test was simply too exciting.

The sound of an alarm going off took Kate’s attention away from this musing. A message was soon included with the alarm. “Kate. Get dressed, retrieve your computer and head west. We will give you directions on the screen.” Kate didn’t bother thinking about the message, considering what her orders where she imagined it was a little urgent to think on much.

 

Kate glanced down at the computer screen as she ran. The little device helping to keep her direction accurate while she cut through wilderness and inhabited areas. Apparently Mathews didn’t feel she had the time to take a road. The information she had received was sketchy at best, apparently something had happened at one of the more secretive facilities. Kate would have loved to ask just what it was considering how much she was being rushed but she didn’t have the time and she doubted that Mathews would be willing to send the information over the air waves. Of course she was curious just what could be so important that it would require her to make a trip through a city.

 

Kate had already past through a few states, fortunately this didn’t actually take her a great deal of time considering that she was currently running 132 times the speed of sound. Crossing the nation wasn’t a big deal to her. Then something happened that she never expected to see moving at her current rate of speed. A tank was flying over head, she could literally see the machine moving through the air despite her rate of acceleration. The metal was horribly bent and only getting worse thanks to the speed. “Oh shit.” Escaped Kate as she looked out in front of her, the facility had nearly been entirely destroyed and there stood a massive grey skinned figure, that seemed to have bone growing out of his skin.

 

Mathews would have some explaining to do after this one. She had thought Doomsday was no longer on the planet or bound up somewhere. Now standing in the rubble, the menace was making his way leisurely towards the retreating soldiers. Kate took in a deep breath, she had no idea of just how strong this thing was only that it far surpassed even Superman, perhaps the entire league put together. Kate felt herself regretting that she had wanted something to truly test her abilities against.

 

Kate finally took off in a dead run, if she was going to do this she wouldn’t be holding back any. She was increasingly grateful that for the moment he was focused on the soldiers that seemed intent on stopping him. He had something entirely knew to focus on though the moment Kate’s fist collided with the side of his face. The force of the impact range throughout the area as the air was quickly forced aside. The ground was crack and torn away around them and the shockwave toppled some of the vehicles that where slower on the retreat yet Doomsday kept standing.

 

Shock was the dominant emotion Kate felt for the moment. Nothing since Metallo had been able to just ignore her hits at least since the fight and that had been a long time ago. What was worse is thanks to her seeming invulnerability Kate had gotten to use to winning fights without any harm to herself and became less aggressive. This momentary lapse in judgement costed her as a very powerful spiked knuckle slammed into Kate’s face. The force of the impact sent Kate staggering backwards yet she instinctively held herself. Preventing her from being knocked as far as she would have been. Doomsday did not suffer from Kate’s lag of aggression though and quickly pressed the attack.

 

It seemed even the monster was surprised though when Kate had the state of mind to bring up her arms and effectively block his punch. Kate’s arms stung with the force of the impact but the level of pain was tolerable. It didn’t seemed to brake bones though it might have left a bruise. It was almost as if she was normal again and fighting another human being. Kate didn’t muse on this though as she separated her arms and slammed her fist into Doomsday’s stomach. He let out a slight grunt but wasn’t faced badly enough to prevent him from attempting to strike Kate once again. This time she was able to avoid the attack though by jumping backwards. Kate took a stance that was similar to but less polished then what she had learned while with the police. Her skills having declined since she hadn’t been using them. She was surprised to see that Doomsday had taken on a similar stance, though it seemed to be more a type of street fighting then Kate’s.

 

Kate could hardly believe what was going on. She was actually standing up to Doomsday. However, she still had quite a few concerns. One being just how was he keeping up with her rate of movement. She hadn’t allowed herself to fall out of her accelerated state yet she only seemed to have a little more speed then he did at least when it related to close in combat. At least it was enough to make up their difference in reach. She was further surprised by how intelligent he seemed to be at the moment. While Doomsday’s combative technique seemed lacking in the past, he seemed to have learned a rough fighting style in his time were ever he had been.

 

The two continued to circle each other, each one seeming to be waiting for an opening or the other to make the first move. At least Doomsday hadn’t learned to be to patient as he finally made a lunge for Kate. Striking out with one of those horribly powerful arms. The long time Kate spent without any real combat practice with someone that had strength on par with her own showed though as she failed to avoid the attack. Kate felt the strike connect solidly with her head, another struck home and then another. Kate was grateful that Jack and convinced her to remove some skin samples. The pain she had to deal with would prove beneficial as it had prevented her from forgetting just what the sensation was like and allowing it to over whelm her.

 

As Doomsday didn’t actually alternate his attacks, Kate was able to avoid the fourth punch.

Placing her hand against his stony skin, Kate quickly leapt from a ground pushing off Doomsday’s arm to give herself an added boost. She made use of a body part far more muscle filled then even her arms and slammed her knee strait into Doomsday’s head. The force of the impact was such that Kate could swear she felt some of the stone or bone that covered his face crack maybe even brake. However, she didn’t dare hope that it had been his jaw. The impact was such that Doomsday was uprooted from the ground. As Kate landed on the ground, she moved quickly to attack her downed opponent. She was unable to carry through with this act though as a wave of dizziness struck her.

 

Kate wobbled slightly. Apparently those three punches had done more damage then she realized. Then Kate felt it in her mouth. A liquid, an odd liquid she hadn’t seen outside of her body outside of Jack’s laboratory in a long time. Her own blood. Fortunately Kate wasn’t the only one of the two that was taking some time to recover. Kate had only landed one hit to Doomsday’s three however it had been a very solid hit from one of the strongest parts of her body. Kate wanted to press the attack but felt she would end up simply joining Doomsday on the ground if she didn’t give her head just a little time too clear. Kate continued to try and steady herself as Doomsday began to raise himself from the ground. His arm actually shaking, it seemed her head wasn’t the only one was currently pounding.

 

Once Doomsday had actually managed to pull himself from the ground. The two combatants once again began to circle each other. Kate regretted that she hadn’t at least practiced fighting even if it had just been shadow boxing. She should have known better, that she would always have the upper hand. Her skill had grown so dull over the past year that she couldn’t even mount a decent counter attack. Kate continued to look Doomsday over as they circled hoping to find an opening. She wasn’t about to let him to the first to attack again.

 

As Kate and Doomsday attempted to out maneuver each others. The soldiers that had been previously fleeing the fight area began to gather. Granted they kept far enough away from the fight that only those with a set of binoculars had a decent view of it. However, they eagerly awaited to see what would happen. Several of them began preparing their weapons just in case something went wrong.

 

Others where checking what little artillery they had managed to leave the area with. It was odd but even though they had just escaped with their lives none of them where ready to simply run off and leave Kate. Already there was talk about what they could do in order to help their savior. Of course this was difficult since most of them knew they would only hinder Kate if she tried to aid them. However, it didn’t prevent them from formulating a plan to rescue her should she fall.

 

Kate led off this time, quickly closing the gap between herself and Doomsday. Her attempts to drive her fist into Doomsday’s stomach where met with the remarkably solid wall of his own two arms. Doomsday then responded by attempting to drive Kate into the ground only to have her dodge out of the way. While Doomsday’s speed was nearly on par with Kate’s and his superior reach generally made up for the speed difference. Kate had managed to take advantage of it. His draws backs where just a little longer then her own. This allowed Kate to actually slip under his attack. Now with his exposed stomach right in front of her Kate proceeded to drive her fist as rapidly into his abdomen as she could. The force of the impacts where actually driving the monster back until she received a very powerful kick to her own stomach.

 

Kate dug her hands and feet into the ground as the force of the blow sent her sliding backwards despite the continued use of her grounding ability. She could have sworn the ground shook as the behemoth pressed his attack. Charging Kate Doomsday attempted to trample her.

 

Kate brought her hands up in time to catch the massive foot. How this thing stayed on the ground she had no idea. She didn’t think Doomsday could fly but he most assuredly seemed to have some force which allowed him to keep on the ground far beyond what gravity would. As she pressed up against Doomsday’s leg, Kate could feel the muscles in her arms swelling.

 

Sweat began to roll down Kate’s face as she continued to struggle against the monster’s strength. Her arms slowly inching the leg up and away from her. Only to have Doomsday find extra strength from his inhuman reserves and press down harder. Kate could feel herself actually being pressed into the ground. As she struggled, Kate began to try and get her own legs under her in more of a standing position. The ground didn’t provide any friction to prevent this but she was having to focus so much on simply keeping herself from being trampled that the action was painfully slow.

 

As Kate finally managed to get her foot firmly on the ground she pressed upward. A groan of effort coming from her as her leg pressed firmly into the ground with such sudden and tremendous force that despite her grounding ability the limbs sunk into the ground. The ground surrounding her leg was pushed through with such haste that Kate found herself sunk half way up to her waste when she finally sent Doomsday flying. The men watching from afar could hear the impact as Doomsday’s body came slamming back to the ground. That noise was eclipsed just a second later though by an even louder one.

 

Kate quickly moved to take advantage of her situation. Kate pressed the attack on Doomsday while he was still down and disoriented. While the fall back to the Earth had no real effect on him. Kate’s fist did, as she quickly jumped atop the mass of muscle and proceeded to drive her fist into his head. Kate repeatedly hammered her fist into the back of Doomsday’s skull, making no attempt to pace herself but pouring all her energy into her punches. The force of the impacts not only driving Doomsday’s body into the ground but the noise generated by each horrific impact was as if a battle ship was repeatedly firing its main guns.

 

Yet if the sound generated by Kate’s fist where likened onto a battle ship’s cannons. The one that came next was the one that sunk the ship. As Doomsday’s legs struck Kate in the back the sound barrier was broken in that moment as Kate was sent flying. Kate felt as if she was moving through water as her body plowed through the ground. The roar was unlike any force of nature or man that had been heard before as the human sized rocket was sent flying through the mixture of sand and stone at well over the speed of sound. Kate’s vision as blurred for a while thanks to the impacts to the back of her head. Yet the pain was numbed by what amounted to her adrenaline. The ground seeming too exploded outward as Kate unearthed her self.

 

Doomsday too stood up, digging his fingers into the ground he glared at Kate. A moment later an inhuman roar echoed through the area. As he gave voice to his anger several of the men watching considered backing further away. The sound so horrific that it was as if the heavens themselves where trumpeting the end. The inhuman cry was met with a human one though just as powerful. As the two power houses charged one another. Kate was seeing red by now, having to give skin samples had allowed her to adapt to pain but not this much. In truth she wasn’t sure if someone had hurt her this badly in a fight ever before. The two titans of strength quickly closed on one another.

 

The two swung and their fist met. 558,000 tons of force moving at over 300,000 miles per hour met within the space of the two’s fist. Kate could swear she felt her knuckles crack under the pressure. A nuclear explosion seemed to have occurred between the two’s knuckles. The force of the impact sending both back. Kate’s body more skipping along the ground thanks to the speed at which she was moving. The glass on the humvee’s, binoculars and every other peace of equipment shattered when they sound wave hit. Several feel to the ground fearing that it was the last thing they would ever be hearing even if they lived. What parts of the base that had been above ground was reduced to little chunks. Kate felt herself slam into something stronger then rock as she impacted with one of the destroyed tanks Doomsday had wrecked while leveling the facility.

 

The tank came along for the ride only for a while. The machine being unable to absorb the energy began to splinter and fall apart in red hot globs of metal. Kate’s body burst through the tank and continued plowing through the ground. Yet felt a burning pain and tingle in her fingers, as her body came to a stop. Yet she stood again. Glaring across the expanse of open land the two looked upon one another.

 

Kate wasn’t truly thinking as she and Doomsday closed the gap between each other. Her body having temporary numbed any since of pain in order to allow her to continue fighting. As she came within striking distance Doomsday swung one of his massive fist at her. The impact catching Kate in the side of the head. A crack of thunder seemed to shake the area and Kate was sent sliding through the earth. Doomsday quickly leapt into the air attempting to get Kate while she was down an inhuman cry coming from the beast as he leapt into the air. Kate felt the impact of Doomsday’s fist on her head, the force of the impact driving her even more deeply into the ground . Doomsday quickly drew back again only to have both of Kate’s legs slam into his chest.

 

The kinetic energy from the kick was actually enough to drive Kate more firmly into the earth. Kate had to more dig herself out of the ground then actually stand up. Kate quickly located Doomsday still being lifted into the air by the power of her kick. As Doomsday began his return to the earth only at the speed, which gravity could move him. Kate quickly dashed over to his landing position. Doomsday felt Kate’s fist slammed solidly into his back as he returned to the earth, the area field with the sound of shattering earth as Kate’s feet her driven deeply into the ground by the energy of her own upward punch. Kate watched as Doomsday was sent sprawling through the dirt and stone. She knew that the ground itself though wasn’t enough to truly harm him. The only weapon she knew of that could harm him was her own body.

 

As Kate came to the crater that had been made by Doomsday’s body. She quickly scanned the area realizing that she had lost track of her opponent. An explosion sounded behind her as Doomsday came up from underground. Kate was hardly able to bring her arms up in time to block Doomsday’s fist. As he brought both of them slamming down against her arms. The ground seemed to vanish beneath Kate though she knew that wasn’t the case. She had just been hit so hard that her body had been send through the ground. For a moment she happened upon something more solid then the ground below though not enough to stop her. As she slammed into the reinforced concrete and steel of the facilities underground sections.

 

Kate looked up towards the opening that had just been made with her body. The light was blotted out a moment later though. As Doomsday jumped down after her. For a mindless monster he seemed quite intent on not simply assuming he had beaten her. The sound of him landing upon the floor was perhaps the most quiet moment of the fight. Kate didn’t bother taking any time to appreciate this as Doomsday seemed to take a second to locate her. She delivered a powerful upper cut to his jaw. The force of the impact was such that it lifted him up and slammed him against the roof. The sound of shattering concrete, bending steel and the impact that had caused it echoing throughout the empty halls.

 

Kate slammed her leg into Doomsday as he returned to the ground the monster letting out a cry as he was sent flying backwards. Plowing through several of the facilities walls. Kate followed after the living projectile, quickly moving through each of the openings he left with his body. Kate let out a slight scream when a massive hand suddenly seized her by the back of the head as she leaped through one of the openings. Doomsday having recovered more quickly then she expected him to. Doomsday quickly slammed Kate’s body into the facility wall, the impact actually leaving a massive imprint in the surface. The impact wasn’t nearly enough to harm Kate but it did catch her off guard. Quickly she relaxed her grounding ability as she realized what was most likely coming next.

 

Doomsday slammed his fist into Kate’s back. The force of the impact sending her entirely through the wall. The concrete turned to a fine powder as Kate body slammed through it. The speed at which Kate’s body was moving was far greater then what Doomsday’s had. Thanks to her relaxing her grounding ability. However, it served to take the majority of the power out of the impact. By rolling with the punch Kate was able to avoid the majority of the damage and recover more quickly.

 

Above the ground the men had retreated to an even further distance now that they could no longer see the combatants and having learned a lesson about the dangers of watching two such powers fight. Even though that had yet to regain their ability to hear though, knew the fight was going on as the entire area seemed to tremble.

 

Kate lunged at Doomsday acting more on anger and instinct then anything else. She no longer made any attempt to ground herself. Her body seeming to realize that by allowing itself to be knocked around more easily and rolling with the punches it would take less damage. That said she wanted to insure that Doomsday couldn’t back away from her punches. Kate seized the back of Doomsday’s hair her feet no where near reaching the ground thanks to their height difference. The empty facility was field with a sound liked onto dynamite detonating as Kate repeatedly drove her fist into Doomsday’s head. The hardened structure shook with the shockwaves generated each time Kate drove her fist into Doomsday’s skull.

 

Doomsday responded by driving his own hands into Kate’s back. Attempting to make her let go. So great was Kate’s anger that she didn’t notice her busted nose or bleeding lips, neither did she notice the blood coming from her back. She was aware of the damage done to her opponent though. Blood came from Doomsday’s mouth and the fist that had collided with her own while fighting seemed damaged. His punches were packing less and less power but then again so was her own. Kate suddenly hefted herself up further on Doomsday’s body no longer using her fist she began to drive her elbow into the front of his skull in an attempt to cave his head in.

 

As Kate continued to pound away at Doomsday’s skull, the world grew increasingly blurry.

 

While her rage allowed her to continue fighting it wasn’t enough to keep her aware in fact the more she fought the more narrow her vision seemed to become. Doomsday and Kate came bursting back above ground as the monster jumped upward. Attempting to force Kate to release him. Kate released her hold on Doomsday’s head, locking both her hands together she brought them down in a hammer fashion against the beast skull. This gave the monster the opportunity to knock Kate off thanks to her not making use of her grounding ability and no longer having hold of him.

 

Kate dug her hands and legs into the ground in an attempt to stop herself though she didn’t engage her grounding ability. The dirt flying around her and covering her entire form. As if a plow was tearing through solid stone faster then a jet could tear through the air. Kate was slowly pushing the rubble off of her. Climbing to her feet once again, she could make shapes or object out clearly anymore. Doomsday seeming nothing more then a large grey blur while the entire world was tented in crimson.

 

Kate could hardly even think as she began walking towards Doomsday. Her legs felt like jellow, she couldn’t even walk strait. Yet Doomsday remained standing, or at least he did for a few moments. Doomsday took a step forward as if moving to attack Kate. A groan escaped from him and he fell. Kate simply continued her slow walk towards Doomsday but she didn’t make it.

 

Sinking to her knees Kate tried to pull herself forward but fell to her side. She no longer had it in her to even keep her eyes open.

 



 

Debra wished that she could get there faster. She currently set in the back seat of a jet fighter. The pilot was to bring her to the battle sight and eject her. According to information they had received the ground was to littered for them to actually land. Helicopters would then be following things up. They had left shortly after Kate had but they simply hadn’t been able to keep up with anywhere near her speed. The fight would most likely be over by the time they arrived.

This was fairly unsettling to Debra as she knew what it meant if Kate had lost. Of course even if Kate had one there would be problems.

 

In truth one of the main reasons Debra was being sent ahead as to help with recovery.

 

Everyone knew of how lethal Kate’s blood could be from the Metallo incident and she had grown stronger since then. Kate had grown more powerful since then and no one knew just how dangerous Kate could be while she was injured. Even if she was unconscious that simply didn’t know how her body might affect the environment. “One minute until we reach the drop.” Debra looked towards the pilot.

 

“Bombs away,” was Debra’s only response. A short while later she found herself rocketing upward. Quickly Debra reached up and proceeded to snap away the parachute that would have normally slowed her fall. As she began too accelerated downward, she noticed the lack of any sound at all. The impact with the ground didn’t even face Debra despite not only accelerating downward but forward as well. Quickly she scanned the area for Kate or Doomsday, silently saying a prayer that she would find Kate standing. Debra felt her heart sink slightly when she caught sight of her friend’s downed body. As she rushed over to her, she had to keep a level head. Then she sighted Doomsday, laying just at motionless as Kate.

 

Debra’s prayer to whatever powers that be changed to hoping Kate was alive and that Doomsday would never stand again. As Debra neared Kate, her friend’s condition became obvious. It had clearly been one hell of a battle. Kate’s body was covered in bruises and blood, as she neared her Debra felt strange. Realizing that it would be best to play things safely she glanced down at herself only to notice her shirt sleeves tear away. Rubbing her fingers together, whatever it was at least didn’t seem able to affect her skin at least. Debra continued to Kate, upon nearing her she realized what it was.

 

Kate’s body was releasing tremendous amounts of heat and kinetic energy. The ground around her was actually beginning to melt, the molten dirt being pushed away from her by the pulses. Had Debra not been enhanced, then being so close to Kate’s damaged form would have been fatal. Debra noted Kate’s torn uniform taking hold of one of the shreds of the material she attempted to tear it and found the task beyond her. It was one of her more up to date outfits.

 

Shaking her head Debra touched one of her fingers to what she imagined to be Kate’s blood. The substance felt far thicker then any liquid she had encountered since being enhanced but it didn’t sting at least.

 

She soon decided that it would probably be a good idea to get Kate out of the area just in case Doomsday recovered. Debra scooped Kate up in her arms, as she did so she couldn’t help but think how unusual it was that someone so strong was so light. Kate’s level of power was beyond dispute though as Debra felt all her clothing say for that specially made to survive a fight was burnt away. She quickly began to dash away from the seen of the battle. As she did this though she was a bit surprised when she saw a humvee with busted out windows heading her way.

 

Realizing what may happen, she quickly called out. “Don’t come any closer. It is dangerous.”

 

“What is the matter?” One of the soldiers called out. He and the other men with him had finally gotten to the point where they could hear again. Though they where certain that their ability to hear and been decreased.

 

“It is too dangerous for normal people to be around Kate while she is injured.” The men mumbled amongst themselves for a moment.

 

“Is there anything we can do to help though?” Debra considered this question for a moment.

 

“Yeah, tell me where I can find some damaged humvees or tanks.” The soldiers gave each other quite stunned looks but went ahead and gave Debra the information.

 

The scream of bending metal echoed through the area as Debra tore away a bit of the humvee’s hood. Walking back to Kate, she proceeded to bend the metal around her wounds. She didn’t like doing it, as she had no idea of just how Kate’s body functions but it was the only thing she could think to do. She needed to stop Kate’s bleeding at least she hoped that she did. She hoped that the alloy would hold up to being pressed against Kate’s exposed injuries. Of course even if it didn’t help Kate recover. This was still a necessary task. They would have to move Kate back to the facility. Debra heard the metal began to wine a few moments later, looking down she noted it slowly turning red and starting to bulge outward. Reaching down Debra meant to remove the strip of metal but it burst off Kate before she could even lay a hand on it. “Well blast it. You just have to make this difficult.”

 

Debra ran her fingers through Kate’s hair and debated on her next course of action. Picking up the slab of metal she noted the part that had actually been pressed over Kate’s injury had began to melt. She knew that it wouldn’t be to long before other people began to arrive in order to retrieve Kate and she would need to insure that her friend could be safely airlifted out. Glancing over at one of the tanks, she couldn’t be certain if the helicopters would be able to move Kate if she tried to use anything heavier for a bandage. Then again the crews wouldn’t be able to survive if she didn’t find a way to isolate Kate or get her body to quit putting out so much energy.

 

At last Debra stood up and walked over to the tank. Her fingers easily sunk into the armor. Tearing off a rather thick chunk that had once covered the treads. She once again began the process of bandaging Kate to the best of her ability. Debra easily bent the metal and imagined that to Kate it must seem that she was bandaged by the most delicate of clothes.

 



 

Jack looked at Kate’s sleeping form. Currently she lay in an isolation chamber that had been constructed in anticipation of the day she was injured. They had Debra shred some of Kate’s earlier uniforms in order to make some bandages for her. Debra had actually been immensely helpful in taking care of Kate, especially once they had gotten the armor cast that she had arrived in off her. Various machines kept track of Kate’s vital signs but it was rather hard to tell what they meant. Was Kate doing well or not? It was hard to understand but at least she was breathing.

 

They couldn’t even check to see if she had any broken bones, thanks to their equipments in ability to see beneath her skin. They had tried to use titanium strips in order to prevent Kate’s blood loss, however the metal wasn’t as strong as even her older uniforms that Debra could actually damage. An attempt to make use of the nanobots that Elaine and Merry had developed had proven unfruitful as Kate’s body hadn’t responded well to the tiny machines even trying to cover it. He didn’t know how long it would take to make more of the little devices but he hoped Elaine and Merry weren’t too sore over their loss.

 

Kate felt two things at the moment, two things which she hadn’t felt in a very long time. For one thing she felt sore in fact she was in pain, secondly she felt hungry. Fear over took these emotions though as she remembered what she had been doing. Quickly her eyes opened up and she found herself in a white room. Surrounded by various machines. At first she didn’t know what to think, then she noticed those machines where behind a protective covering, not doubt to protect them from herself. Slowly she looked around and was delighted to see Jack. Though she did notice, he to was behind the protective wall. “Am I that dangerous to be around?”

 

Jack sprang from his seated position and looked towards Kate. He quickly made his way over to a microphone. The room was entirely sealed off, so he had heard Kate’s voice through a speaker. “Kate, are you okay?” Jack’s voice carried a great deal of concern. It made Kate feel a little guilty that she had worried him but most relieved that he cared.

 

“Yeah I am fine. Pretty hungry though. Hey what is this bed made off?” Kate glanced down and noticed the strips that covered her body. She soon recognized them as the material that was used to make her current uniform.

 

“It is made from the same material that your earlier costumes where made from.” Jack wanted to rush into the room and be close to Kate but he didn’t know wether it was safe yet or not.

 

“Jack just how dangerous is it in here with me?”

 

“Debra had to carry you in the room since it would have been too dangerous for anyone else. You have been down for two days though. You said you where hungry. Right? Give me a second and I will see if I can get something brought to you.” Kate let out a sigh as she watched Jack walk over to a telephone built into the wall. She was kind of glad to learn that she had only been out for two days. Looking at herself she noted the bandages but there was little else. She imagined that the materials her bed was made off must have not been sufficient to deal with her bleeding if they had to make use of her uniforms.

 

Mathews and Debra arrived a short while later. Kate smiled at the two though she had some questions for Mathews. When she saw the trey Debra was packing she decided it could wait. “Hey there, I hear you had to pack me in here.”

 

“Yeah, makes me even more glad I received my enhancements.” Debra proceeded over to the rooms entrance. As the door opened, she stepped into a narrow half way point. A second door remained shut in front of her while the one behind her closed. Once the door behind her shut the one in front opened allowing Debra into the room.

 

“About how much longer until he can join me in here?” Kate indicated Jack who was watching through the protective shielding.

 

“I bet he could now, we just want to play it safe for a while longer. I mean your dinner isn’t exactly baking. So it should be fairly safe in here.” Debra looked down at the trey then stuck out her tongue. Kate let out a slight giggle.

 

“Don’t worry I am hungry enough to eat just about anything.” Debra handed Kate the trey then proceeded to set down beside of her. Jack and Mathews could hear everything that was being said in the room thanks to the microphone. Jack started to walk back to the microphone. “No need to do that. I can hear you breathing you know.” Jack grinned and took a seat.

 

“I had forgotten just how good your hearing is.” Kate took a mouthful of a grey substance, she didn’t quite know what it was but thought it didn’t look to revolting.

 

“This stuff is kind of hurting for taste. What is it exactly?” Kate thought about that question for a second. “On second thought don’t tell me what it is. Is it healthy and could a normal human eat it?”

 

“Yes, a normal human could eat it. Think of it as emergency rations.” Mathews took the question before Jack could respond. As Kate took another bite of her food, she set the trey to the side while chewing and shifted slightly. Reaching behind her back she took hold of the strips of material that wrap around her waste. A moment later she tore them away. Debra leaned over looking at Kate’s back and was grateful to see there was no blood and no scars.

 

“It seems you are already healed up.”

 

“I figured as much, I do feel pretty weak though. Sort of how I felt after my fight with Metallo except I wasn’t even out for a day.” Kate took her time removing her other bandages. Then she once again looked to Jack. “Why don’t you get someone down here that can tell us if you can come in or not?”

 

“Just check the read outs and if you think it is safe you can go in.” Mathews went ahead and gave Jack the okay. The man had worked with Kate so long he imagined if anyone knew when it was safe to be around her it was Jack. Kate watched as Jack quickly made his way over to the computers and brought up a few tables. Moments later he made his way over to the entrance and made his way in. Debra started to stand up but Kate caught hold of her before she could.

 

“Come on and set with me.” Jack kept his cool as he walked over to Kate, set down beside her, then leaned over and gave her a hug.

 

“I thought you where going to quit making me worry.” Jack’s tone was a little more serious then Debra cared to hear. She feared that this happy reunion may end in a fight.

 

“I am sorry. I didn’t mean to make you worry.”

 

“I just wish that I could make you better again, but I don’t have another miracle cure for you.” Kate giggled for a moment and pulled Jack’s face to hers. She gave him a quick kiss. Jack set back up and allowed Kate to resume eating her meal.

 

“So by miracle cure, I assume you mean he was the one that gave you your powers.” Kate gave a nod. Debra looked at Jack for a moment and put on a little pout.

 

“Think you could do the same for me?” Kate giggled in response to her friends question and Jack seemed quite nervous.

 

“Well it is dangerous to be honest, the only reason I even tried it on Kate is if I didn’t she would end up dying.” Debra snapped her fingers together.

 

“Well crap, I guess I will just have to settle for where I am now. At least until Elaine and Merry find a way to give me an upgrade. Anyway, you shouldn’t be too hard on Kate. She survived Doomsday after all, I really don’t think you have to worry about her any longer.” Jack gave a nod of his head.

 

“I have to say, it must not have entirely sunk in just yet. Kate, you took on Doomsday by yourself and well you are still with us. You didn’t even run away, but fought him head off.” Kate couldn’t help the smug grin on her face.

 

“So how is the military handling it?” All three of the people in the room looked out towards Mathews. Mathews turned on the speaker so they could hear him.

 

“While it has yet to be revealed just how Doomsday got back to earth. They have already begin sending reports that the SCRU where the ones that dealt with Doomsday. In particularly that a loan agent took him on. Once Kate has fully recovered, we plan on delivering testimony from the soldiers that saw the fight.”

 

“Mathews, just how did Doomsday get loose?” Mathews seemed to lock up for a moment, clearly he didn’t want asked that question.

 

“I am sorry but I can’t give that information away. Even to you Kate.”

 

“Where you in on it?”

 

“I assure you Kate that I had nothing to do with that facility or Doomsday.” Mathews grew worried that this event may drive Kate out of the unit. Not a good thing especially when they where making such progress and could deliver such wonderful news.

 

“Did I kill him?”

 

“I don’t know, we have thought Doomsday was dead before and well he came back.” Kate let out a long sigh.

 

“Leaving the SCRU wouldn’t solve anything. I just hope that I can help prove that such things aren’t necessary and should be left alone.” Debra took hold of Kate’s hand.

 

“Don’t worry. We will show them the right way to do things.” Kate smiled at her friend and Mathews took the chance to leave the room.

 

“How much longer until you become active?”

 

“Yesterday was my first active mission. I still have some problems so no shaking hands and I should probably avoid even touching someone unless it is required. That said I can begin work. I can’t use fine china.” Kate noticed the look on Jack’s face and pulled him down against herself.

 

“Now don’t you start looking glum on me. You have been more help then I can even begin to describe and I love you just the way you are.”

 

“I just wish I could protect you.”

 

“Oh don’t be silly you have protected her far more then she could ever protect you. Not only did you give her powers to her. Using whatever method, but look at what you have done to help her develop it.” Debra would have given Jack a light tap for being silly but as she had said earlier. Her control of her strength was still lacking.

 

“She is right.” Kate smiled and gave Jack another kiss. Jack felt considerably better about himself and the roll that he had played in Kate gaining her powers. He knew all of this already and even thought of it, at times it was simply hard for him to accept.

 



 

Debra made her way towards the meeting room having been summoned by Mathews.

 

Apparently they had something to show her, they would have shown Kate however she was still stuck in bed. It had been decided that she would be kept off active service until her feeling of weakness passed. As Debra stepped into the room she was a bit surprised to see three new faces waiting for her. Mathews quickly rose and walked over to Debra. “Debra, I would like you to meet. Tina Carrington, Joe Canden and Wally Linster. They are going to be Kate and your new team mates.”

 

Debra was a bit surprised by the news but she managed to keep it hidden. “Hi there. So just what devices are you three going to be making use of?” Debra went ahead and assumed that none of them had their own unique ability.

 

“I will be making use of the powered armor you piloted.” Tina was the first to answer.

 

Joe followed. “I have been assigned to the energy weapons recovered from the same battle your nanobots where.” Debra beat Wally to the punch and guessed his.

 

“I assume you are going to be making use of the TK weapons.”

 

“Yeah, also I already have some telekinetic abilities of my own.”

 

“Really? What can you do without the equipment?” Wally looked down at the table for a moment, holding his hand out over a pin. Debra watched as the pin slowly began to lift into the air and then quickly fell back down to the table. He then looked up to see Debra giving him an amused smile but not really impressed.

 

“Well, I did say that they where light telekinetic abilities.” Debra chuckled for a moment.

 

“I want you four to get to know each other. Later on I will introduce you to Kate.” Debra nodded and Mathews and took a seat at the table.

 

“So how did you three get chosen to be trusted with such powerful weapons.”

 

“I worked with the CIA for a while, making use of my limited mental abilities. It helped me in a few situations but was mostly handy for just sneaking around. Fiddling with locks without having to cut through glass etc. The SCRU learned of my existence when searching for someone to make use of the telekinetic gloves and requested that I should be assigned her. I guess the CIA didn’t see the loss of my ability as particularly damaging thanks to my limited strength. It seems that having someone who is already telekinetic use the gloves give them a significant boost even if the person is weak.”

 

“How about you?”

 

Debra gestured towards Tina, whom straitened up in her seat slightly. “I am actually a test pilot for, the more unique aircraft that the military has. I imagine they felt I was the most suited to the job.”

 

Debra chuckled. “I see, so far we have two people that where involved in classified work and probably know how to keep their mouths shut. What about you Joe?” Debra felt she was being a little bold in calling them by their first name so soon. However, they would be working together and Mathews had said they should get to know each other.

 

“Well I feel a little out of place. I am just a Navy Seal.” Joe didn’t bother including that his unit had nearly been wiped out. When they had been called in to try and contain Grundy This had lead him to have a particularly strong hatred for such beings that stray outside the law.

 

“What about you?” Tina indicated Debra.

 

“I have been part of the unit for a while now, as you know I was the original pilot of the powered armor you now get to use. It was decided that I would receive the nanobots Kate acquired during her battle with the original owner. I think I was simply chosen because I have been working with Kate for some time now. I was originally a sniper, so this is all a little new to me. I still have a little way to go as far as controlling my strength, but the training Mathews had me go through is helping and has helped.”

 

“What was that like?” Joe’s voice held a general amount of curiosity. Debra took a few moments to recall several weeks past, before she began to tell them about her training.

 

 

Several weeks in the past. Debra focused her attention on the bit of iron she held in her hand. Squeezing the metal between her fingers she couldn’t help but be amazed at how easy it felt.

 

Currently she set in her room as various soldiers removed her furniture. She would help them bring in her new furniture in a little while thanks to its weight. She simply didn’t help with the current materials as she would most likely brake whatever she touched. “Do you think I can turn this into steel?” Mathews walked over to Debra and looked down at her hand.

 

“I imagine with the way you are working it now. You are already well on your way.” Debra looked down at the little lump of metal, she was working it far more quickly then any blacksmith’s hammer had.

 

“So just how do you plan on teaching me to control my strength? If everything I use has been made to endure it.”

 

“Debra, where you being careful when you picked up that steel ball?”

 

“Well yeah. Oh I see, if I don’t want to bend my new furniture, dishes or other items I am going to have to continue being as careful as I was back then.” Mathews gave a nod.

 

“Once you can do that easily we will replace them with softer metals.”

 

“What if that doesn’t work though?”

 

“Then it is a good thing Elaine and Merry are still working on the nanobots.” Debra just laughed and looked down at her hand.

 

“So how do you feel?”

 

“I am feeling fine.”

 

“Do you feel excited, you sound a little calm for someone that just acquired super strength?”

 

Debra grinned at Mathews. “I am quite happy with the results, that said being confined does put a damper on things. Anyway, would you have selected me if you thought it was likely I would first see what all I could brake.”

 

Mathews laughed a bit. “No. I suppose I wouldn’t have.”

 

“It is like getting a new weapon. While I enjoy having it and look forward to using it. I still have to learn its little quirks. I don’t like to play around with something until I know how dangerous it is and how to control it.” Mathews gave a nod of his head.

 

“It looks like we made a good choice.”

 

Debra easily hefted the heavy chair. Insuring that she grabbed the bottom most part of the frame. This way she could more depend on gravity to keep the heavy object in her arms then anything else. As she stood up, she marveled at how light the piece of furniture felt. It seemed as if she could throw it for a mile. A toothy smile appeared on her face as she realized that it may very well be the truth. She had wondered why she would need such heavy duty furniture but Mathews had insisted on her using it. Debra had accepted realizing that it was probably to insure she didn’t brake the arm rest or something else every time she touched it.

 

As Debra walked, she noticed a slight banging sound. Stopping for a moment, she listened but didn’t hear it again so she continued. The sound returned the moment she took her first step.

 

Looking down towards her feet she quickly guessed what was going on. She was packing a few hundred pounds plus her own weight and all that was coming to rest on her feet with each step she took. A soft chuckle escaped her lips and she began to walk far more softly.

 

Three days later and Debra was quite annoyed as she bent her spoon back into shape. She had been trying to eat a bowl of soup however, every time she would pick up her spoon it would bend. Most of her items where still made of steel, however her forks, spoons and knives had been replaced with copper earlier then the others. She had only gotten to enjoy using the steel ones for three days after all. She regretted commenting that steel was already fairly easy to handle. Bending the spoon back into roughly the correct shape she dipped it into the bowl and finally managed to lift a bit of the stew to her mouth. She didn’t get to enjoy the taste though as she sipped the spoon putting a little to much power into the action. The liquid was sucked down her throat more quickly then she could even taste it.

 

Debra could feel her face turning slightly red, being so strong most assuredly had its draw backs when you couldn’t control it. Reaching down she lifted the bowl to her mouth, tipping it slightly she resorted to simply pouring the soup into her mouth instead of trying to use a spoon. One thing she had learned is the nanobots didn’t help with hunger in the least and she was starving.

 

Not being able to enjoy the taste of something, wasn’t the only problem she had been having with eating as she snacked on an apple. Debra had driven a fork through it in order to keep from crushing the apple in her hand. However, she had to be very careful not to bight through the core and get a mouth full of seeds. She knew Mathews would complain that she wasn’t making use of her hands but she was a little too hungry to worry about such things. Cooking was quite the pain for her as she tended to accidentally crush the ingredients in her own hands. Making anything along the lines of an egg sandwich was entirely out of the question at the moment. The reason she could make soup is it came canned.

 

Debra most assuredly didn’t want to eat the pulped remains of what she had tried to pick up off the floor. Hunger was quickly becoming one of the key motivators for her to learn to control her strength, if it hadn’t already become the key motivator.

 

Four days later and Debra was scared to death Mathews would learn she could actually eat with the copper utensils. For this reason she was taking advantage of the situation and had actually managed to prepare herself a rather thick steak. She knew that the moment Mathews learned that she could eat with the copper items easily now, that he would have them either replaced with an even softer metal or a more pure form of copper. The items she had now was actually a copper alloy similar to what was used to make pennies. Making the steak had been quite the problem and it wasn’t exactly prepared as well as she would have liked but at least she could eat it. Debra couldn’t really pick up the meat, rather she had to scoop it up.

 

Of course there was also the little problem with texture. As she chewed the steak, she found the consistency to be something along the lines of soggy cereal or baby food. Actually, she realized it went far further then that. It almost felt like she was chewing on air. How Kate ate when her jaws where even stronger Debra had no idea. At least if she was extremely careful and didn’t swallow to quickly she could enjoy the flavor.

 

“I suppose the steak was the major braking point for me. Though, I do still have some problems controlling my strength even now. When I pick up a pencil or even a fork, it seems like I am holding onto the thinnest tooth pick I have ever encountered. If I accidentally twitch, I am liable to brake something. It at least let me begin active service, I just have to keep a level head and don’t rush myself.”

 

Tina was the first to respond. “And you say Kate is even stronger then you?”

 

“Many times stronger.” Debra watched as Tina, Joe and Wally just looked at each other for a moment. She couldn’t believe them, even she had trouble believing how strong Kate was, even though she worked with her.

 

 

End chapter 7

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