Covetous, or, The Girl Who Loved Power
Written by Furlough :: [Friday, 30 March 2018 23:53] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 31 March 2018 11:04]
The Girl Who Loved Power
Part 1: Discovery
Before the incident, no one had heard of Lizzie Starkey.
She had just been a boring, ordinary high school student; the sort you’d find no matter what sort of schools you looked in. An otherwise unremarkable girl whose only outstanding traits were her reliability in obtaining straight-A grades, and her cuteness, which was decidedly more accidental than deliberate. Outside of her rather reduced circle of friends, no one knew much about her, nor did they care to. If anything, those who had not bothered to get to know her better were occasionally put off by her excessively prim and proper do-gooder attitude, which she touted with a sense of slightly misguided pride whenever the opportunity came up. With that kind of performance and attitude, there was little doubt that she would do decently well in life, but nobody ever suspected that she would amount to anything more than an unassuming professionist who would never break out of her little bubble.
The incident, however, changed everything, not just for her, but for all of the world around her as well.
Of course, even after it happened, the amount of people who knew her as Lizzie was still a comparatively meagre one. Rather, the one everyone was interested in was Omnigal.
The one everyone was clamouring for was quite unlike anything anyone who had known Lizzie would ever say when describing her: A veritable bombshell of unearthly beauty, with powers and abilities so amazing they would put every olympic athlete and circus freak in history to shame. She was strong enough to lift a whole fleet of trucks, she could fly through the air as easily as one could wag a finger, her skin had the resistance to take on a rain of bullets for hours on end without yielding so much as a millimetre— in short, a truly mythical superwoman, a complete fantasy, the stuff of trashy pulp fiction and comic books.
Except, this one was real, and it was not long after her ascension that there was not one person left in the world who had not heard the name of Omnigal, the super-powered heroine who had risen to save the world from crime and wickedness.
That was precisely an entire world’s worth of people more than had ever heard the name of Vivian. Or Cindy, for that matter.
Every single time she heard of Omnigal, Vivian could not explain to herself how in the devil’s name it had happened. She had known the old Lizzie. She had been there too, on the day of that bizarre lightning storm, when one of the bolts struck the school and everything went dark. Like many of her classmates, she had woken up several minutes later with a bizarre tingling feeling all over her that took several more minutes to subside. The same could be said of Cindy, and of basically every other person on campus grounds; and yet, of all who had been there, Lizzie was the only one who had been blessed with all the powers of a comic book superhero. Not a single other person who had been there that day had had received powers as incredible as those, or, if they had, they were certainly not showing it.
That made no sense to Vivian. The way she saw it, Lizzie had basically had the entire world handed to her on a silver platter the moment she got her powers. If she so desired, she could take the entire planet over and turn it into a unified empire under her, to worship her as queen and empress until the day she died— which, considering the extraordinary nature of her powers, might not be a day anybody should be planning for in a hurry. Granted, it would have been more than a little weird to see the prissy, well-to-do little girl turn from a model student into a power-mad conqueror in the blink of an eye, but perhaps Vivian was projecting. After all, Vivian’s own attitude lay in a stark contrast to Lizzie’s prior to her ascension— where Lizzie’s personality displayed a few saving graces, Vivian was not nearly as approachable, being a bit of a tomboy, sporting a quick temper which made her quick to turn aggressive towards anyone who disagreed with her.
In fact, Vivian’s only true friend at school for as long as she could remember had been Cindy. The smaller, nerdier girl was not nearly as strong nor eager to stand up for herself, but she sympathised with Vivian’s difficulty in being comprehended, and legitimately understood her friend’s philosophy. It was for this reason that, after the bizarre incident that had made Omnigal, the two had confided in each other that they, too, had not come out entirely unaffected.
Vivian’s combative nature meant that she had been in her share of fights, few of which she had lost. However, she had made a point of avoiding those after the incident, as they might have led her to give away the fact that she had somehow gained a tremendous strength that far belied her short and slender frame. She had discovered it after accidentally partially demolishing a few walls in frustrating, fortunately while no one had been around. Still, it bothered her deeply to know that even her amazing strength was nothing compared to that of Omnigal, whose amazing feats of strength far outstripped the limits of what Vivian herself had been able to accomplish.
Cindy’s deal was a different one. She had been a veritable bookworm before the incident, her well of personal knowledge outclassing even Lizzie’s, though she had never achieved even the modest amount of popularity Lizzie had enjoyed. After the lightning struck, however, she had begun to see the world through different eyes, her powers of perception and analysis having been amplified to a degree that even she could not begin to measure. However, her new abilities had never led her to accomplish anything that had any effect on the physical world, leading Vivian to silently believe that she had gotten the short end of the stick.
When the two girls learned of each other’s new powers, they grew excited, for though they could not deny that they could not even compare to Omnigal in terms of raw power, it raised the possibility that the lightning strike had had far greater and much less obvious effects than the creation of a single super-powered girl. That idea did not remain a possibility for long, as Cindy began to run a secret survey of the school grounds, and quickly observed that there were several other girls —strangely enough, the boys all seemed to have remained unaffected— that displayed extraordinary abilities unbecoming of any normal human. Vivian, who had never quite gotten over her frustration at how undeservingly lucky Lizzie had been to be the only one blessed with the powers of a god, quickly agreed to become a sort of assistant to Cindy’s efforts, eager to learn as much about this bizarre, super-empowering phenomenon as she possibly could.
Before long, Cindy had succeeded in compiling a dossier of numerous girls from around campus, and the extraordinary abilities they seemed to possess. A common trait among all of them, she observed, was that they had gone through some efforts to keep their new abilities secret, although they were no match for her newly enhanced powers of perception, or her tendency to go by unnoticed, which she had been exceptionally good at throughout her entire life. Even at the end of that particular day, as she and Vivian sat beside each other at the back of Miss Harper’s class, Cindy quietly observed the peculiar drop in temperature that surrounded Madeline, the goth girl who was not bothered by her loneliness in the slightest, or the way in which Josie, the star track runner, flicked her pen between her fingers unconsciously, and yet with such deftness that it momentarily became a visible blur for several seconds at a time. Though it was all very subtle, Cindy was determined to let none of it escape her notice.
“Don’t forget about your assignment for next week!” Miss Harper’s voice weakly rang through the classroom just after the bell rang, betraying a certain lack of confidence on the teacher’s part. The middle-aged woman was thin as a rake, with mousy, greying hair and no figure to speak of. As both girls went out of the classroom, Cindy thought their teacher’s face bore an expression of melancholy, and yet there was some mysterious purpose behind it she could not quite read, while Vivian thought she was just a weakling to be dismissed. As they made their way from the classroom and towards a quieter spot outside, Cindy turned to Vivian, telling her of the next step in her research towards the strange phenomenon that had spread such an odd pool of powers among the school’s girls.
“The roof?” Vivian asked her friend.
“That’s right,” Cindy replied. “It’s where the lightning struck, after all, where this whole mess started. I don’t believe anyone has so much as examined it after the incident, even the building inspectors were content just to confirm the whole school wasn’t in danger of collapsing on itself. Who knows what we could find there?”
“Well, aight then,” Vivian conceded. “But how d’ya propose we get up there? Not like they let students like us just waltz up there whenever we please.”
“Well, that shouldn’t be a problem, should it?” Cindy offered, eyeing her friend slyly. “After all… you’re REALLY strong… aren’t you?”
Vivian stared in slight confusion for a couple of moments before letting a knowing “Ooooh” escape her lips, changing her expression to a smirk.
“So that’s it, then?”
“If it’s not too much trouble.”
“You’ve not seen anything yet. C’mon, let’s find a better spot for this.”
Going together, the two girls paced around the school building’s perimeter until they found a quieter place, one where they had no fear of anyone suddenly turning up. In a few more moments, Vivian gingerly surrounded Cindy with her arm, holding her firmly while being careful not to hurt her, then crouched down slightly before extending her legs and jumping upwards. Vivian’s prodigious new strength let her jump much higher than any human could under normal circumstances, and a few moments later the two girls landed up on the school building’s roof, above its two storeys. As that feat was not really something Vivian did very often, the landing was not perfect, but it only took the girls a few moments to pick themselves up off the roof’s surface, with Vivian hoping nobody noticed the series of hairline cracks that had just appeared on the concrete.
“Just a little tumble,” Cindy said, dusting herself off from their little adventure. “But more importantly, let’s have a look around, shall we?”
Vivian quietly assented, and the two girls started pacing around the roof. Cindy went off and started fussing around, but Vivian took a minute to walk up to the edge and look down on the world around her. She imagined that’s what it had to be like for Omnigal, constantly flying around, looking down on all that surrounded her, who were nothing more than tiny insects to her. For just a moment, she revelled in that sensation, thinking what it would be like if it had been her who had claimed that incredible power. The world would be a different place indeed; it would all belong to her —and Cindy too, of course—with all that inhabited it forced to either serve Vivian’s will or be trodden underfoot. Vivian’s confrontational attitude had gotten her in all sorts of trouble throughout her life, but what if she was strong enough that absolutely no one could ever hope to stand up to her? Now that would be the way to achieve true peace, she thought, true order, if everyone followed the absolute law that was her word. After all, if she had that kind of power, the very idea of anyone opposing her became impossible to take seriously. What could anyone do against a tyrannical supergirl who had the ability to crush entire fortresses with her bare hands, or withstand the might of a nuclear explosion without so much as a singed hair on her head?
As Vivian found herself daydreaming, she was startled as Cindy suddenly called out to her, saying she had found something. Shaking her head, Vivian quickly turned around and raced to join her friend, being terribly curious as to what her discovery had been. When she came up to her, she saw Cindy holding a small, blue object in her hand, similar to a crystal, though radiating a faint light. As Vivian leaned in to look at it more closely, it seemed to her that the object was making a very faint buzzing sound.
“What is it?” Vivian finally asked.
“Dunno,” said Cindy, causing a slight groan of disappointment from her friend. “Never seen anything like it, is the thing. That’s good news, though, it pretty much leaves no other explanation for why it’s here. It has to be somehow connected to the lightning!”
“Is that so?” said Vivian, offering the object one more inquisitive look. “Can I look at it?”
“Sure, go ahead,” said Cindy, handing the object over to her friend. Vivian turned the small shard over in her hands, her face shooting a hundred questions at the strange artefact. As she held it, it felt odd, as though it carried a slight electrical current, but otherwise it made her feel no different. It certainly didn’t feel like it could grant her powers that rivalled those of Omnigal, or even boost the lesser power she already possessed.
“…well, I’d like to hold on to it for a while,” Vivian finally said, not knowing what to think of the object, but being oddly certain that it would turn out to be important.
“Be my guest,” Cindy said, “but I need you to come with me someplace tonight.”
“Where’s that?” Vivian asked, quietly pocketing the shard.
“The party at Ali’s.”
“A party?” Vivian groaned, much more noticeably than before. She hated gatherings of that ilk. “Why do we gotta go someplace like that?”
“Believe me, I take no pleasure in this, but it might be an opportunity to try and add to my compendium of the lesser supers on campus. All those girls like keeping their secrets, you know. This might be the only way to catch some of them red-handed.”
“Fine,” Vivian said, trying to convince herself that it was worth it for the sake of knowing more about how those powers worked. “But you better have lots of good news for me tomorrow.”
“Here’s hoping,” said Cindy.
The two friends went their own way, preparing to meet up later in the evening. As they left the school grounds, Vivian felt around the pocket she was carrying the shard in, being unable to shake the feeling that things were about to change in a big way.
* * *
The evening only served to remind Vivian of why she hated parties.
In a completely expected way, she and Cindy had been relegated to a proverbial corner, away from the commotion that pervaded the rest of the dwelling, It was certainly not going anywhere if they decided they wanted to take one step into it, but they did not. The strange, mindless comingling of all the humanity that made up that chaos was utterly incomprehensible to the both of them.
“So what do you see?” Vivian asked her friend, struggling to be heard above the commotion.
“Nothing yet,” Cindy said, her expression a sour one, only second to Vivian’s. “I have to admit, having all these people in the same place makes it just a little harder to focus than I thought.”
“Forget about that,” Vivian said, “you haven’t been drinking the punch, have you?”
“I may have taken a few cups. I mean, they said it was non-alcoholic, weren’t they?”
“For fuck’s sake, Cindy,” Vivian said, surprised at the naïveté her friend had retained even with her monstrous intellect. At that point, Vivian was at least partly inclined to declare the evening a bust so she could get out of there.
“Wait,” Cindy said, tugging on her friend’s sleeve all of a sudden. “Look over there. That one.”
“Hm?” Vivian turned to look where Cindy was motioning. There was a small crowd of men gathered a round a single figure, a figure that filled Vivian with even more bitterness. In the midst of that small gathering of humanity, there danced a lone woman, a woman quite different from anyone Vivian had ever seen on campus— and she certainly would have been able to tell if she had seen her before, for she was one of the most obnoxiously beautiful women she had ever seen. Her hourglass figure and outrageous proportions were only accentuated by her outfit, which tightly hugged what little of her body it covered, leaving very little to the imagination. It seemed to Vivian that the woman’s incredible beauty could only be second to that of Omnigal, and only because the latter had hers enhanced by her godlike aura.
“What about her?” Vivian retorted towards Cindy, feeling annoyed for even having looked at the mystery woman.
“There’s something off about her.”
“How could that be? She’s not from around the school. I’m pretty sure we’d know if she had ever so much as set foot there.”
“Regardless, there’s something really off about her. She has to have a power.”
“Hmph. So what is it?”
“I… I don’t know. There’s just something about the way she looks, though…”
“Are you sure you’re not just seeing things from getting buzzed?”
“No, I’m serious. If only there was a way to make her use her power…”
As the two girls looked on, the ultra-beautiful woman suddenly excused herself and retreated to a quieter part of the house, seemingly to use the restroom. The sight of her swaying her hips back and forth even as she did this annoyed Vivian even more, and momentarily a wicked idea brewed in her head.
“If someone was going to beat the crap out of you and you had a power, you’d use it to defend yourself, right?”
“Exactly what I said. You want to know what Miss Sluttypants’s power is? Don’t fall behind.”
Vivian set off at a powerwalk to catch up with her newly acquired mark, calling out to her on an empty hallway. Cindy followed close behind, resigned to her inability to stop her friend, but wanting to know how the encounter would turn out.
The unknown beauty turned to look at Vivian, giving her a look of haughty dismissal and defiance.
“What do you want?”
“To see what your face looks like when you’re done scraping it off the ground!”
The other woman turned to face Vivian, walking up to her slowly and deliberately. As she approached, Vivian saw that she was quite a bit taller, at least one head, which accentuated her statuesque frame, though Vivian knew her own strength was much greater than that of the bimbo before her.
“Go play elsewhere, little girl,” the woman said in a venomous tone, “and don’t get in the way of a real woman.”
As she finished saying this, the bigger woman put her arms forward and shoved Vivian, who forcefully staggered back a single step. Even though she was still interested as an observer, Cindy covered her mouth with a gasp. Whatever was about to happen, she was not entirely sure the other woman would survive her friend’s wrath.
Vivian herself, however, had other things in mind. She could easily give the woman the beating of a lifetime, leaving others to puzzle over what her face could have looked like before it met with the business end of a steamroller. But after what she had just done, that seemed too simple. Vivian had to do something a bit more imaginative, something that could not be dismissed as a simple product of impulse. Something more interesting, she thought, and perhaps even destined to happen, as her hand began wandering into the interior of her pocket, which still held the shard Cindy had taken from the roof.
The other woman smiled one more wicked smile, then began turning her back on Vivian to carry on her way. However, the instant her head turned the other way, Vivian flew at the woman in a rage, taking the shard from her pocket and plunging it into the woman’s side, shanking her like a street thug.
Cindy was in a silent panic, expecting the woman to let loose with a piercing scream that would give away what was happening, but strangely enough, the woman’s voice became choked up, and it seemed she was unable to produce any kind of sound as she collapsed to the ground. At the same time, Cindy noticed Vivian stumbling back as if she had just been struck, only stopping once she bumped into her friend, then shooting her a momentary glance that revealed a bewilderment far greater than Cindy thought her friend ought to have, even after what had just happened.
However, the attention of both girls became fixated on what was happening the other woman. Just after being struck, she had collapsed to the ground, but even then, she trashed in a series of odd convulsions. As she began to settle down, it seemed to the girls that her frame had somehow shrunk, appearing decidedly less spectacular than it had been when they had first caught sight of her, even in the dim lighting. As she shuffled around and collected herself, it even looked as though the skimpy clothes that had hugged her figure so tightly were sagging, struggling to hold on to her frame, causing her to grip them haphazardly as she got up. As she finished collecting herself and lifted her face up, the two girls could not help but stare in amazement at the sight with which they were now faced.
Cindy’s suspicions were indeed correct, as the two girls were now staring at the frame of their frumpy, middle-aged teacher, who looked pathetic enveloped in clothes that were obviously meant for a much better endowed woman. Without saying a word, the two girls turned and ran out of the hallway in a panic, abandoning the party in short order. Behind them, the vulnerable middle-aged teacher tried to do the same as best she could, left completely embarrassed by her unexpected transformation.
* * *
On an empty street several blocks away, the two girls stopped to catch their breath, still filled with confusion and disbelief as to what they had witnessed at the party.
“What…” Vivian was the first to break the relative silence that accompanied the huffing and puffing, “what was that?”
“That…” Cindy struggled to regain her composure, “That was Miss Harper.”
“That was, wasn’t it?”
“But that woman we saw before wasn’t her…” Cindy said in between gasps, “or was it?”
“I perceived something weird about that woman,” Cindy continued, “I knew she had to have a power. What if that was her power?”
“Turning into someone else,” Cindy said, not quite finished processing the implications herself. “But then, that shard.”
Vivian paused and produced the shard, which she had hastily stuffed back into her pocket during their getaway.
“Maybe… maybe it can erase people’s powers?”
Vivian stared at the shard in disbelief. Of all the things she could have learned that night, that was certainly something unexpected. So that strange object could take away powers? She wasn’t sure she wanted that. Her unspoken ambition was to increase her powers, not to take them away, even if it was other people’s powers on the line. She wasn’t even sure she could bring herself to sap Omnigal’s powers if that meant that such an incredible, godlike might would be lost forever.
“I just…” Vivian stammered, “what… what the fuck?!” Her mind raced with the implications of the strange object she now held, thinking of the strange storm, the lesser supers, Omnigal, until her thoughts came to be directed at the transformed Miss Harper. The bewitchingly beautiful woman whose incredible body and snooty attitude had riled her up to the point of stabbing her. Vivian’s thoughts revolved entirely around that indescribable bitch and how she had provoked her into such a brash course of action.
Vivian was momentarily brought out of her daze by Cindy’s voice, as the other girl briefly tried to get her attention.
“What is it?”
Rather than reply with words, Cindy made a quick gesture towards her chest, as if to suggest that Vivian had something on hers that she should check out.
Vivian complied by looking down toward her chest, then became stunned at what she encountered. Riding high on her chest were a pair of breasts far larger than anything she had ever laid eyes upon in the flesh. Anything that is, except for that weird woman who had transformed into Miss Harper.
It was then that Vivian noticed her clothes. They were the same as those Miss Harper had been wearing, having replaced her regular outfit. A quick and mildly panicked glance at the rest of her betrayed the truth momentarily: She had been transformed into the same, incredibly beautiful woman Miss Harper had been posing as.
“What the… fuck…?” Vivian began to blurt out, stopped only by the fact that she noticed her voice had changed as well.
“It looks like…” Cindy began speaking, “I think… could it be…?”
“What?” Vivian said, hoping Cindy’s insight could bring her out of her intense confusion.
“Is it possible that you…” Cindy paused, seeming reluctant to finish her thought. “That you… you took Miss Harper’s power?”
That remark made Vivian’s world slow down to a crawl. If what Cindy was implying was true, then the possibilities were positively staggering. The shard in her hand, which her attention momentarily wandered back to, could allow her to take the superhuman abilities of anyone she could get her hands on. Her previous belief as to the shard’s function was completely turned on its head— there was no need for the shard to reduce the total amount of powers in existence; instead, it could redistribute them, move them from one place to another. And Vivian knew the perfect place for each and every one of them to make their home.
“Viv?” Cindy’s voice snapped Vivian out of her momentary daydream again.
“Yeah?” Vivian said, wanting to share her thoughts with her friend, but not yet having figured out a way to do so coherently.
“Can you… turn back into yourself? Or are you stuck like that?”
Vivian realised that was a question to which she also wanted to know the answer. She did not know exactly how the power worked, but she tried imagining her old self, the one she saw in the mirror every day, and put all of her concentration on that image. In her concentration, she could actually feel her body changing, molding itself back into its old shape. As she looked down to see the results, she noticed with relief her clothes were back to normal too.
“Wow…” Cindy said, having no more words to offer for the moment.
However, Vivian looked at Cindy and immediately knew what her next course of action would be. Looking intently at her friend, she willed herself to change once more, and in moments was transformed into a perfectly replica of the bookish girl in front of her.
“Wha…?” Cindy said, taken aback by the spontaneous development.
“Looks like this really works, huh?” Vivian said with Cindy’s voice.
“Can you, um…” Cindy began saying with a reluctance similar to the one she displayed before, “I mean, are you… Do you… see things the way I do?”
Though her words were cryptic, Vivian knew what she meant. The transformed girl looked around for a bit, trying to figure out if she could perceive anything more than she could before; if anything jumped out at her that she would have missed prior to her latest transformation. However, nothing of the sort came to mind.
“No dice,” Vivian said.
“Hmm,” Cindy replied, “guess that means the shapeshifting can’t copy powers.”
“Don’t need to,” Vivian said, changing back into her normal self, “not now that we have this,” she said as she brandished the shard before Cindy.
“What do you mean?”
“Didn’t you say it yourself? I can use this to take more powers. Powers that are better off in me than in the simpletons who have them right now. And it just so happens you’ve been putting together a list of all the suckers who’re lugging all those powers around, ripe for the taking. Cindy, don’t you see what this means? The world is as good as ours!”
“I… think you might be getting a head of yourself, Viv…”
“That’s because you’re forgetting the biggest prize of all…”
Once again, Vivian’s thoughts turned to Omnigal. The ordinary, unassuming high school girl who had been suddenly transformed into a god-like superwoman through no virtue of her own. The holder of such a tremendous power, a power she had done nothing to earn. A power that, Vivian realised with a mad glee, could now be hers.
“All I need to do now is find a way to take Omnigal’s powers. When I do, the whole world will be in the palm of my hand.”
“Are you sure…?” Cindy could not help but take her friend’s attitude and apparent plans with a bit of disbelief. However, even she could not deny that the prospect of being the personal friend of the most powerful being in existence was an exciting one. Even while looking at the mad glint in Vivian’s eye, Cindy had little doubt that even if her friend came to command that kind of absolute power, she would not forget about her.
“Do I sound like I’m joking?” Vivian offered with an evil smile. “Don’t you want to know what the world is gonna be like with me as its goddess, and you as my second in command, holding the highest position a mortal could ever hope for? I’m telling you, as soon as that power is mine, all of the world’s armies combined won’t stand a chance…”
Vivian bit her lip, allowing herself to become lost in her fantasies for a few moments more. Why not, she reasoned, when it was not long before her wildest dreams became reality?
“But first,” she suddenly brought herself to say, “we’re going to need a plan. I’m going to need your help, Cindy. Are you with me?”
Cindy looked her friend over once more. The past few minutes had made it evident that she was dead serious about the whole affair. Her enthusiasm had proved to be contagious, as even Cindy herself could not deny how alluring the idea of ruling over the entire world by the side of her invincible friend had become. A simple, impish smile and a nod of her head was her response, and the two girls took each other’s hand and went off into the night, eager to begin concocting their plot to dethrone Omnigal and turn Vivian into the undisputed goddess of the planet.
* * *
Valerie was not happy with who she was. Before the incident, she had been no more than an ineffectual she-rake, whose only talent of any sort was gathering gossip and sowing chaos among the school, which more often than not came back to bite her and made her immensely unpopular. After the mysterious lightning strike, the strange ability she had developed —the power of voluntary invisibility— had done little to change that. She was far too timid to attempt to use it for anything else than gathering even more dirt, and so her attitude and the way she was perceived by everyone else had not changed in the slightest.
However, the party changed everything for her. She had snuck in there to gather even more rumours, being particularly intent on finding out who that alluring new bombshell that had shown up out of nowhere was, but instead had been treated to an inexplicable scene as that tomboy Vivian had stabbed the woman with some kind of strange crystal, causing her to transform into Miss Harper. Valerie was suddenly very thankful for her power, as it allowed her to not only witness the whole scene unnoticed, but also tail the two girls who had ran away from the bizarre scene. The things she had heard them discuss between themselves after settling down had been very interesting indeed.
Valerie knew that, even holding a power with as many potential devious applications as invisibility, she would never have the guts to use it for anything truly significant, as she would be petrified at the notion of how vulnerable she would be if she were ever caught. However, if she had more strength at her disposal, like say, all the powers of Omnigal, then the situation would certainly be a different one. With those kinds of powers, she could finally come out of the shadows and claim the glory she had craved her entire life. With that kind of power, she could force everyone to worship her, be her slaves, serve her every whim. And by the sound of it, all she needed to do to claim that power was crash the party those two were planning, and seize the opportunity when the moment was just right. And then, just like that, in the blink of an eye, the world would be changed forever, and the age of Valerie the all-powerful would finally begin.
Part 2: Reaping
Vivian and Cindy had spent the entire night throwing ideas around, drawing up daring plans and coming up with all sorts of theories. After a whole night of scheming, the two teenagers had managed to come up with a general course of action, one that involved hunting down three particular powers from Cindy’s compendium in preparation for their final encounter with Omnigal. For the purpose of their project, however, Cindy decided to err on the side of caution and present the theory that someone’s powers could only be stolen while they were in the process of using them. The only case they had witnessed so far could hardly be treated as conclusive, after all, so there was no reason to make their risky endeavour even moreso.
However, on all other fronts, Cindy’s genius had shone through, and the two had managed to concoct a series of elaborate plans to light their road to supremacy. The girls that carried the powers Vivian would need for her last stand all fell into the general tendency of trying to keep them secret, so a particular approach would be needed in each case. But at last, their efforts had borne fruit, and when the morning came, the two set out on an excitement-fuelled crusade that would end with their mastery of all.
* * *
The reddish-violet sun was lazily making its way to the top of the sky as the school grounds slowly filled up with sleepy students. Of those who were already present, there were probably none more energetic than Josie, who was in the process of running her fifth lap around the jogging track. She had been running track for as long as she cared to remember, and everything about her appearance seemed to reflect that; her tall, lanky frame was nevertheless toned, particularly where her legs were concerned, and despite her modest frame anyone would have a hard time labelling her as weak.
As she took a quick break to have a drink and recover her energies, Josie was approached by another girl, someone she had seen before but had never expected to see on the jogging track outside of gym class. The girl, whose name was Cindy if her memory did not fail her, was the small, nerdish type, certainly not someone you’d expect to take an interest in sports on a regular day.
“Hi there,” the nerdier girl spoke nevertheless, “could I have a moment of your time?”
Taking a few more big gulps, Josie capped off her water bottle and turned to look at the unusual presence that had appeared before her. “Yeah?”
“Sorry to bother you, but I’m doing a kind of physics project, and I could really use your help if you could work with me for a bit. Are you gonna run around the track a bit more?”
“Yeah, sure,” Josie replied. “What do you need?”
“Oh, I’d just like to observe and take some notes on how quickly you can do a full lap. However, you really look like you know what you’re doing, if you don’t mind me saying so, and I gotta mention that the data would be a lot more valuable if you ran as fast as possible.”
The sly compliment had perked up Josie’s spirits, and she offered the small girl a smirk as she got up. She confidently swaggered back to the track, eager to let that geeky girl have what she wanted, and perhaps surprising her a little in the process.
Josie was the best runner she had ever known, but ever since the incident, things had taken a twist for the interesting, and she hadn’t been left out. Running as she normally did prior to the lightning strike demanded very little effort from her, and when she actually decided to strain herself while running, something far more colourful took place. Something she would now deign herself to show off to the girl watching her, and leave her slack-jawed.
Positioning herself at the starting line, Josie took a deep breath, then set off at a run. She could feel the other girl’s eyes on her as, even with her usual pace, Josie made her way across the track with remarkable swiftness, her powerful legs cutting through the air with supreme ease. However, as she got done clearing the first quarter of the track, her pace tightened, and she started moving at an even greater speed. Though she was already going faster than the top speed most humans could achieve, her acceleration did not stop, and she only grew more speedy. By the time she finished a full lap, she was moving in such powerful strides that her movement appeared as a blur. Even after she conquered the track once more, she kept going.
The feeling was exhilarating to her. Josie had spent her entire life running because of the freedom it brought her, both while feeling the wind on her face and the burn on her body, and the strength and agility she had developed as a result felt immensely rewarding. The incident had made it even better for her, but even then she did not treat her improvement lightly, feeling she had earned it through her continued effort. Her display of that power felt like nothing more than an extension of that, showing off the results of her hard work and dedication as a natural consequence.
However, Josie’s enjoyment did not last for much longer. As she continued running at incredible speeds, she felt something nick the side of her leg, making her lose her balance and sending her careening to the ground. The fall scraped her skin pretty badly, but at least left her bones and muscles intact, and so she picked herself up off the ground in just a few moments. However, she felt somehow heavier, more burdened by her own self than she had just a minute ago. She felt it odd, but could not really explain it, just as she could not have explained the change that had come over her after the incident. However, as she got up, she noticed the source of her pain: A small cut had appeared on her leg; nothing serious, but it immediately led her to question how it had gotten there. There was nothing around she could see that could have caused it, and as she looked around, Josie couldn’t help but notice that even the girl who had asked her to run so quickly had vanished. The area around the track was fairly open, so she couldn’t imagine anyone could have gone out of sight as quickly as that girl apparently had, not unless they had the kind of speed Josie herself had come to command after the incident.
Unbeknownst to her, that is precisely what had happened; the one who had nicked her leg had used her newly acquired prodigious speed to grab Cindy and make a quick getaway. The plan that incorporated Cindy’s theory had been a success, and phase 1 of the preparation project had been completed successfully.
* * *
The rest of the school day went by quietly, with Vivian and Cindy nowhere to be found, much to Josie’s puzzlement. However, another student who was far less perceptive to their absence was Madeline, the goth girl who sat in their class. For as far as anyone could remember, she had been around, but had never really bothered to get to know anyone. Any friends she might have had seemed to have stayed in the earliest years of her life, then vanished into the æther, leaving her a loner through and through. Her eternal show of individuality did not seem to bother her, however, and she went through life without needing anyone’s help.
Once the bell rang and the students made their exit from the building, Madeline was quick to set out on her usual route back home, unwilling to let herself be distracted by anything or anyone; and yet, something that flew under the notice of most everyone else caught her attention. She noticed something coming from behind the school building, first with her nose, which was exceptionally sensitive, then felt it as a slight irritation in her eyes. Smoke.
Taking a slight detour to check out where the sensation was coming form, Madeline was faced with a rather unexpected sight: Behind the building, a pile of garbage which bunched up against the wall appeared to have caught on fire, a fire which was quickly spreading to engulf the entire pile, from which it threatened to spread further. Madeline approached quietly, making sure nobody else was around, drawn to try and put out the fire more out of a desire to no longer have to put up with how unpleasant the smoke was than because of concern with the integrity of the building, or the safety of the people therein.
Once she was right up next to the garbage pile, Madeline pointed her arms down toward the fire, her palms open, and momentarily began to produce a stream of ice and frost from them. In a mere few moments, the stream of chilly air encased the entire pile, dousing the fire and cooling the entire thing to the degree that no more smoke was produced from it, the heat being drained completely with a faint hissing sound.
However, Madeline became so fixated on her handiwork that she did not notice that one person had, in fact, managed to sneak up on her— though, to be fair, that person used the incredible speed she had acquired just a few hours ago to appear behind her in an instant. Faster than Madeline could react, the mystery person took a swipe at her hand with a sharp object, leaving a cut on it, then hit her on the head with far more force than she would have expected from someone’s bare fist, knocking her out in an instant.
As Madeline lay on the ground, Vivian looked down at her newest victim, with Cindy quickly coming out of her hiding place to join her friend.
“Is she gonna be alright?” Cindy asked.
“She’ll be fine, she’s just gonna sleep for a few hours,” Vivian retorted. “You really shouldn’t worry about her anyway. In less time than you think, she and everyone else around here will be our slaves for eternity.”
“Yeah, I know, it’s just…” Cindy paused as she bit her lip, having grown almost as passionate about Vivian’s dreams of power as Vivian herself. “At least give me until after you conquer the world to let it sink in that we own everything and everyone!”
“Oh, believe me, when I’m on top, my supremacy over everyone will be hard to ignore,” Vivian offered. “But let’s stick to the plan. Before I go and bag me the powers of a goddess, there’s just one more thing on the shopping list we gotta go pick up.”
“This last one’s probably gonna be the trickiest, you know…”
“Maybe, but it’s also the most important one. This is one power I can’t afford not to have if I’m gonna go toe to toe with Omnibitch. Besides, things have gone smoothly with both of our marks so far. With your smartypants plan, what reason do we have to believe it will be any different?”
Cindy smiled at the confidence shown by her friend. However, even Vivian had to quietly admit to herself that Cindy had a point there— though luring their first two targets had been surprisingly simple, their third objective would probably prove a more complicated one due to the secrecy she aimed to keep over her power. However, the mere thought of possessing that power was enough motivation for Vivian, and so the two girls set forth to begin the final phase of their power theft project.
* * *
A couple hours had passed since normal curricular activities had ended on the school grounds, with only the members of the school’s various clubs still lingering about, wrapping up their off-the-clock activities and preparing to go their own way. Of these, the drama club was the one that had the most room to themselves, being housed in the theatre area, a rather spacious annex to the main school building that contained all the equipment they would need in practising and developing their talent.
Though not terribly well-known on a grander scale, Angie was definitely the star member of the drama club, having diligently attended each one of their activities and rehearsal sessions for the past several years. Her colleagues could hardly be surprised at her proficiency, either, for she possessed a very special air of fancy and imagination that could be seen in her attitude. Acting came as naturally to her as breathing, and her ability to get into the fictional escapades she portrayed on stage was second to none. As such, the wondrous power she had gained for herself after the incident could hardly have surprised anyone who thought about it, as it fit her to a tee— but of course, nobody knew. It was hardly the sort of thing you could use without anyone noticing, after all, so Angie had gone to great pains to avoid using, not being terribly keen on the kind of attention that could potentially befall her if the secret got.
Of course, she had to have found out that she had that power somehow, and so she had made use of it on a few occasions. She had been subtle about it, but not subtle enough to escape Cindy’s notice, and now that carelessness would seal her fate.
The day after the end of the day having ended, Angie was the only one left in the theatre area, tidying up and making ready to leave. She was just about done with leaving everything as it should be when she heard a remarkably loud “thud” coming from near the exit— it seemed to have come from the props and costumes closet, which was located quite nearby. Suspicious of what had just happened, yet rather reluctant to face it, Angie went forth to check it out.
Much like she had suspected, a good chunk of the closet’s contents had fallen over, and several colourful and extravagant costumes now littered the floor. Angie groaned as she surveyed the mess in front of her, knowing that she couldn’t very well leave without taking care of it first, and quietly put off starting on the tedious task ahead of her. Rather, she took a moment to look over the costumes that now lay on the ground, cloths of all hues, styles and sizes, enough to hide anyone’s true, mortal identity from the world if they so desired. Something was bothering her in the back of her mind, as she seemed to remember the boxes that held these outfits being stacked rather neatly prior to the making of that spontaneous mess, so it made no sense that they would fall over on their own through any natural force short of an earthquake, and yet she paid this little mind, as her thoughts suddenly began veering in a different direction.
The sight of all the costumes before her made Angie think of Lizzie, or rather Omnigal, the extraordinarily mighty superheroine who had come from the very same place she did. She knew Omnigal wore a costume, something rather cliché fashioned pretty closely on the kind of thing you’d see in the comic books, and yet her new look made no effort whatsoever to significantly distinguish itself from her old one, assuming you didn’t pay any mind to how much more of a sexpot Lizzie’s ascension had left her. Everyone who had known Lizzie Starkey could tell without any room for doubt that she had been the one who had been transformed into that ultra-famous superwoman, who now received a level of worldwide attention the very thought of which made Angie cringe.
Even with her affinity for the spotlight, Angie had to admit to herself that she preferred a quiet personal life, living rather asocially whenever she wasn’t taking part in her regular school activities. Had she been the one to receive Omnigal’s powers, she thought, she would have fashioned a fancier costume for herself, one that allowed her to keep a humble identity as an ordinary high school student whenever she wasn’t out saving the world from evil’s clutches. Of course, the more she thought about it, she noticed there would probably have been some complications with that plan— her transformation into a creature far stronger more beautiful than she had ever been before would probably make it difficult to hide the changes, and furthermore, she reasoned, maybe it was Omnigal’s incredible powers that made her feel she didn’t need to hide her identity. After all, if Angie had all of those powers, maybe even she would feel confident enough to not have to hide who she was, as any kind of threat to her personal peace could be resolved by way of a lifelong pass to all sorts of remote and dangerous places that any mortal human would never dare to set foot in…
Angie’s reverie was interrupted by another loud noise; this time, a scream, coming from outside. Angie momentarily forced the mess in the closet out of her mind and ran out to take a look. A small crowd was forming around a building just across the street from where the school was— a building which, Angie quickly noticed, had large billows of black smoke coming from its windows.
“Help!” Angie suddenly heard a shrill, mousy voice shouting in the street. Before she knew what has happening, a small, nerdy girl had ran up to her and grabbed her by the lapels on her shirt, shaking her and shouting towards her in a frenzied panic.
“You gotta help, please!” the girl continued. “That building’s on fire and my friend, my friend’s in there! All the doors on the ground floor are locked so no one can go in, and she can’t stand smoke, she’s probably passed out helpless in there, and she’ll never make it out! You gotta help, someone’s gotta…”
The hysterical girl suddenly let go of Angie and ran off elsewhere in her panic. For her own part, Angie didn’t really understand what was going on, but if what that other girl had said was true, then there was someone trapped in the building, someone who probably wouldn’t make it out if nobody helped her before the firefighters arrived. All the doors were locked, so nobody from the street could get in, but as she looked on Angie couldn’t help but notice that a good number of the windows on the upper floors were wide open. If anyone could get up there, it could make a viable escape route for the one that was still trapped inside, but to find a way to do so in such a quick, impromptu way was impossible. Impossible for anyone except, say, Omnigal, but she was nowhere to be seen at that moment, being on some peacekeeping assignment halfway across the world. But Angie knew full well that there was one more person, one who was standing right there, who could, in fact, do something about it.
Angie’s mind suddenly wandered back to the mess of costumes littering the floor of the closet in the theatre area, just a few steps away. In retrospect, the whole affair was terribly convenient. Too convenient. But she couldn’t afford to stop and think about that right then.
The small crowd of onlookers around the building which appeared to be on fire began growing larger. A few approached the door, wanting to check if there was anyone left inside though as the nerdy girl had said, it was shut tight. The atmosphere quickly became sombre and critical, until all of a sudden, someone pointed up with a shout, leading the entirety of the crowd to witness an extraordinary scene. Some shouted that the one up there was Omnigal, but others were quick to point out that the outfit and the build were all wrong, and the one they were seeing, the masked girl flying through the air in complete defiance of gravity, was acting in a way that seemed too hesitant and inexperienced, and so it had to be somebody else.
They were right, of course. Angie overheard some of the comments being shouted from below, but she could not let any of them distract her. Instead, she frantically glided between each of the open windows, trying to figure out if there was anyone behind any of them. In just a few moments, as she examined the windows on the highest floor, Angie caught sight of her— a small, lanky girl passed out on the floor, breathing very faintly. In just a moment, Angie flew through the window and found herself inside. Even then, she found it odd that the inside of the building did not feel any warmer, meaning there were no vestiges of a fire other than the smell of smoke, but she put all of her concentration in trying to help this stranded stranger.
“Hey,” she said gingerly, having no real idea of what to do in that kind of situation. “Hey, are you okay?”
“Hmm…?” The other girl, someone Angie had never seen before, was exceptionally small and thin. As she apparently rose from her dazed stupor, Angie could hear her voice was terribly faint and strained.
“Can you, ah, walk?”
“I can’t…” the other girl said, half-wheezing. “You’ve gotta… carry me… please….”
Angie was taken aback by the other’s request. It made some sense, as even though Angie could not have imagined having to do something like that, the other girl’s tiny frame filled her with some confidence that she could get her out of there. Gingerly putting her arms around the smaller girl, Angie tried to stand up. The girl was certainly heavier than Angie would have cared to deal with, but she figured if she only had to carry her back to street level, it was something she would have to manage. Carrying the girl, Angie walked a few paces back to the window, then with another effort, began to hover in the air in preparation for her descent. As she glided above the ground, however, she noticed the smaller girl open her eyes and look at her with a warm smile.
“Thanks… thank you for everything…” she said.
Angie felt a feeling of tingling warmth envelop her, sending her stomach into a frenzy, but she could not enjoy it for long, as it was soon replaced with a sharp, piercing pain in her side. The surprise from that sensation and a strange feeling of lethargy which suddenly washed over her sent her crashing back to the floor, where it was her turn to lay in pain.
“And when I say everything,” Angie heard the other girl say, though her voice had suddenly grown far deeper than it had seemed to be before, “I really do mean everything.”
Angie turned to look at the other girl, but rather than the small, lanky one she had held in her arms just a few moments earlier, she now beheld a girl with a stocky, tomboyish disposition and a completely different face.
As Angie looked on in distress and confusion, Vivian decided to test out her new toy and closed her eyes with a wide smile, gradually willing her self upward into the air. In just a few moments, her feet had left the ground, and she hovered in place, enjoying the sensation of weightlessness she had just stolen from the other girl.
“Oh, this is gonna be fuuuun,” Vivian muttered to herself. “But the greatest fun of all is yet to come. Watch the skies, girlfriend,” she mockingly said to Angie, “some interesting stuff is gonna go down real soon, and it’ll be hard to miss.”
As Angie watched, the other girl punched a hole in the ceiling with her bare fists, demolishing a huge chunk of it which came crashing down, causing Angie to try and shield herself in a panic. When the dust from the debris cleared and Angie looked around, the other girl had disappeared from sight, having zipped away at speeds far greater than Angie had ever managed to achieve when she still held the gift of flight.
When the firefighters eventually turned up, they broke into the building only to find that there had been no fire, only a series of strange chemical bombs scattered around which were nevertheless not toxic at all, but appeared to be the source of all the smoke. The building was also empty except for a strangely-dressed girl on the top floor, who could not provide a good explanation for why she had been there. With no choice but to place her under suspicion, the police took her away and placed her under custody, with her family and everyone involved at a complete loss for trying to explain what had happened that day.
* * *
Far away, on the outskirts of the city, a far more jovial gathering was taking place. After meeting up again, Vivian had brought Cindy over to an abandoned warehouse, which her brand new set of powers made it trivial to break into. Once inside, Vivian spent a good amount of time revelling in her newfound power, deeply enjoying how much more free and above the rest of humanity her new collection of abilities made her feel.
“HELL yeah!” she shouted, as she threw an empty oil drum up into the air, before flying up and punching it back down with a deafening crash, then using her frost powers to flash-freeze an old box before smashing it into a million tiny shards that went flying everywhere.
Cindy had to duck and cover every now and then to avoid getting hurt by her friend’s awesome display of power, but the truth was that she was thoroughly enjoying herself as well. She took a certain sense of pride in that it had been her careful planning that had led Vivian to gain four new incredible powers in the span of just a couple days. The way everything had proceeded, there was little doubt left in her mind that their final trophy, the god-like powers of Omnigal herself, was already within their grasp. Once that power was finally theirs, the time for true celebration, pleasure and indulgence beyond imagination would be upon them.
“These powers are fuckin’ incredible!” Vivian shouted, still immensely enjoying herself. “With this kind of strength, I could be fuckin’ untouchable. Try stopping someone that’s too fast for you to see, someone that can zip through the air faster than you can move your eyes from left to right. Try going after someone that can sap the very life out of the air with an instant cold snap. And even if they find me, they’ll just find some other person, someone nobody has ever seen before. Then maybe that mystery person will surprise them by pounding their face in with the same kickass powers as the girl they were chasing the entire time. With this… I could own this whole damn town within the week.”
“Um, Viv?” Cindy ventured to say, playing along with her friend’s power fantasy, but being unable to ignore she might be getting carried away a bit. “You’re still not invincible.”
Vivian stopped her ranting, as she could not ignore that which Cindy had mentioned. Even with all of her power, with all the amazing abilities that set her squarely above ordinary humans, she was still mortal. One slip-up, one misstep, and her rightful reign over all others would come to an abrupt, unceremonious end. That was not a situation she could bear to live with; no, that weakness had to be corrected. And just like the increase in her power that had already taken place, the final phase of her project to achieve supremacy, to claim the ultimate power for her own, would have to be completed.
“No, I guess not,” Vivian finally offered. “But you know who is? You know who’s parading around the ultimate power that is so rightfully mine?”
“I think we both do,” Cindy replied.
“When is she coming back?”
“Just a few more days, by the sound of it.”
“Just a few more days until the entire world learns what we’re really capable of, then.” Vivian said, hovering in the air, posing as though she were lounging back in a recliner. “Better make preparations, Cindy, and not just for the plan. Mark my words, once that power is mine, we will be like gods. The entire world will know what we have in store for it. Just because I’ll be the one with the real power doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also try to make it exciting.”
Vivian offered her friend a devious wink. Cindy replied wordlessly with another impish smile.
Part 3: Supremacy
Lizzie had to admit that, for someone with the sort of incredible powers she had gained, she didn’t think she had nearly as much direction for herself as most of her adoring fans seemed to think she did.
True enough, she had been pretty quick to take up the mantle of superheroine, fighting all sorts of crime and helping out the unfortunate in the most badly affected parts of the world. Her exploits had caught the attention of each of the world’ governments, and all of them had offered her honours and positions as a defender of their particular interests, but she never really took those offers seriously. She mostly tried to keep good relations with as many as them as she could manage as a means to find more problematic situations in which she could be of help, but she had never truly considered devoting her amazing superpowers to one particular cause that she would place above all others.
And yet, coming back to her hometown after a week of protecting the innocents and promoting disarmament in various war-torn countries, she could not help but feel that something truly incredible was about to happen, something that would affect not only the world around her, but herself as well, in spite of all the seemingly invincible power she now commanded.
She was in the middle of a routine she had established for herself after gaining her powers, doing a flying patrol of the city from thousands of feet in the air, her invincible frame completely unaffected by the sub-zero temperature, and able to see anything going on below perfectly with her super-vision, even through the clouds that blanketed the overcast sky. The scope and precision of her surveillance was so great, that she did not delay at all in detecting the massive explosion that occurred in a factory building a few miles outside of town. Dashing downward at incredible speeds, her immodest figure generating a sound not unlike that of a fighter jet as it cut through the sky, Lizzie soon came to land outside the factory grounds, where a large multitude of people were running out in a panic, as the whole place was evacuated. But there was no need for any of them to fear, now that Omnigal was on the case.
“Omnigal,” a middle-aged man with the look of a supervisor shouted, approaching her, “we’re so glad you’re here! You’ve got to help find out what’s happening?”
“What’s the situation?” Omnigal asked in a calm, yet assertive voice that carried untold power behind it.
“Something blew inside the building, a big fire broke out and some of the walls started coming down! Nothing we had in there could possibly have caused that kind of damage. The explosion had to have been created deliberately!”
“Has everyone been evacuated?”
“We’ve gotten out as many as we possible could, but it’s too soon to tell if everyone is accounted for. For all we know there could still be people trapped in the building!”
“Wait out here, then, and lead those who are already out away from here. If there are any others left, I’ll rescue them. Tell the emergency response team to wait until I come out before they move in.”
“Sure… sure thing.” The supervisor found it difficult to keep his cool while talking to Omnigal, as he could not prevent a big part of his attention from becoming focused on her tremendously sexy body, which was only accentuated by her costume, a skintight sky-blue leotard with striped gold and silver finishes. It left very little to the imagination, treating all onlookers to every detail and crease of her toned arms and legs, cobbled abdomen, and exceptionally full and shapely breasts and rear end. Finally, the supervisor forced himself to tear his eyes off her, and went running in the direction opposite the blazing building.
Using her flight powers to head into the building without touching anything, Omnigal surveyed the ruins that now made up the interior. Smoke and flames pervaded every corner, and piles of debris from demolished walls and floors were present wherever she looked. The destruction was definitely far too extensive to be labelled as an accident. However, a quick survey of the interior with her x-ray vision made it apparent that there was nobody left inside, meaning that everyone had been evacuated safely. As she looked around, it seemed to her that there were some people left in the general vicinity of the building’s perimeter despite her warning, but she merely rolled her eyes for the time being, as they were in no immediate danger and she had to definitely confirm that there was nobody left inside before she could deal with them. She did not suspect that those figure were watching her every move, waiting for just the right moment to spring the next part of their plan.
As Omnigal continued to survey the burning ruins of the factory, she gingerly touched down on the ground, wanting to examine some of the rubble piles around her to conclusively ensure that there was nobody left in need of rescue. Reaching down to grab a particularly large slab of concrete, she began to lift it with her incredible strength. However, even though she could have easily picked it up and swung it around like a flyswatter, she instead decided to do so slowly and carefully, being mindful of the extremely precarious integrity of the building around her.
As she was in the middle of this casual yet herculean feat, another unpleasant surprise suddenly befell her. A loud booming noise came from above her, being rather similar to the cacophony she had perceived that had first alerted her to the situation at the factory. A quick look upward confirmed her fears: Another explosive, or series of explosives, had been detonated around the perimeter of the building’s roof, as well as on the numerous columns that supported it. Whoever had engineered that malady could not have been anything less than a bona fide genius, as the bombs had escaped her notice even as she had surveyed the factory’s interior. Ordinarily, her x-ray vision would have betrayed this heinous plan, but now she was faced with the results of her lack of attention as a slab of concrete as wide and heavy as the building itself came crashing down on her.
Omnigal had rarely left even a smidge of hesitation after being empowered, but the situation she had suddenly been thrust into left her at a complete loss. She frantically looked back and forth between the roof that was falling towards her, and the massive slab of concrete still held in her hands. She wondered if it were possible that, just as she had somehow been made ignorant of the bombs’ existence, there could still be somebody around that was in desperate need of her help, but in the end, forced herself to decide that if she did not get out of there immediately, the world would suffer a much greater loss, loathe as she was to degrade the value of others’ lives so.
Letting go of the massive slab she had held only served to further fluster Omnigal, as it caused a considerable tremor when it met the ground again. Losing several more of the precious seconds left to make her escape as she hesitated in confusion, the superwoman concentrated on the direction of the exit from the building, the same passage she had used to go in. Putting every fibre of her being on flying across the vast factory interior fast enough to get out in time, Omnigal could not ignore the massive wall of death, which was almost upon her. The hot, stifling air of the burning building met her face as she zipped through the air with incredible swiftness, but in spite of her efforts, the first true serving of fear she had felt after leaving homely little Lizzie behind managed to catch up with her right in the nick of time.
Omnigal felt an incredible pain in her legs as she found herself pinned to the ground, half-trapped under the huge mass of concrete that had once served as the factory’s roof. Even as somebody who had recently made a career out of defeating incredible odds such as those while wielding an unrivalled power, Omnigal could not deny how helpless she had become in just an instant. She struggled, but the damage her legs had sustained left her in a daze. She found herself unable to use them, and could barely bring herself to move her upper body around. However, she could still feel something in her legs, like a faint tingling sensation, but she had no idea what it could possibly be, as she had never been hurt so badly before. However, as there was not much more she could do, she found herself focusing on that sensation more and more, and gradually, she understood.
The amount of powers Lizzie had received upon her ascension into Omnigal had been staggering; even she was not completely sure of how powerful she had become, of the full arsenal of wondrous powers that had been placed at her disposal. Given that she had never had the weight of a building dropped on her before, she had never suspected the true extent of her invincibility— the fact that, in spite of having appeared limited in the past, it had potential to grow and become even greater. That was what she learned right then, as she felt the strength come back to her legs and the rest of her body, leaving her feeling exceptionally reinvigorated. Making an effort to sit up, Omnigal looked at the part of her body that was trapped under the concrete, then narrowed her eyes just before a streak of super-heated rays fired out of them, shattering and disintegrating the debris that had pinned her down. In just a few moments more, the now freed superwoman took to the air once more, dusting herself off as she surveyed the building’s ruin with a newfound air of confidence, given to her by the ability she had just discovered.
The superhuman excitement Omnigal had just gone through filled her with an odd sense of exhilaration, that almost led her to not notice the one that had come up behind her right after she freed herself from the debris. However, alerted by a weird hunch more than anything else, Omnigal suddenly turned her head to see something else that managed to surprise her even more: Another flying girl, hovering right behind her. The girl, thought Omnigal, looked decidedly less impressive than she, though the very fact that she was flying was enough to know that she could not afford to ignore her. Omnigal began to raise her hand and open her mouth, as though in a greeting, but she suddenly saw the other girl dashing at her with an expression of rage, leading her to quickly dodge out of the way. Looking back at the other girl, whom she had barely managed to dodge due to her amazing speed, she noticed she was holding a strange crystal-like object in her hand, which had evidently been meant as a weapon with which to attack her. Omnigal had previously been faced down with a variety of unconventional weapons that her attackers believed could stand up to her superhuman invulnerability, but they had always proved ineffective against her. However, she could tell that what this girl had was different, as she doubted that if it were as much of a worthless trinket as what she had seen before, the one holding it would be flying around in the air, and at such amazing speeds.
For her part, Vivian was livid. Up until that point, Cindy’s plan had been executed to perfection. Even though Vivian had helped out on the preparations, she was still amazed at the deftness with which Cindy had managed to whip up those super-bombs, coated them in a weird compound that would hide them from Omnigal’s vision, and infiltrated the factory to plant them without anyone growing wise to her actions. However, they had never expected Omnigal to free herself from the rubble so quickly, or to be in any condition to fight even if she somehow managed. The supergirl, who now hovered before Vivian with nary a scratch on her, was a complete defiance of everything she and Cindy had planned for. It made Vivian angry, angry beyond belief, as it threw a wrench into her plans to swiftly seize the power of a goddess and begin her domination of the entire world. It was something she had been looking forward to with extreme anticipation, and now this prissy, do-gooder superbitch threatened to deny her that which was rightfully hers.
Flying in a blind rage, Vivian tried assaulting Omnigal once more, not willing to let that bitch keep on parading the powers which were so rightfully hers. However, just as before, Omnigal was prepared for her strike, and used her superior reflexes to catch Vivian’s arm. Vivian struggled in her grip, watching in frustration that Omnigal had manage to capture the arm she was holding the shard in. Her fears about the nature of the strange object all but confirmed, Omnigal squeezed Vivian’s arm a little harder, forcing her to drop the shard, which went falling down into the ruined factory.
“Look,” Omnigal began saying to her attacker, “I don’t know who you are or what your deal is, but I can’t have a maniac like you running around, blowing up factories and trying to attack me. However, I may go a little easy on you if you tell me who you are and what your story is. Now, are you going to—”
“Fuck you!” Vivian shouted, using her free arm to swing a fist of incredible power right into the side of Omnigal’s face. The strike, powerful enough to have knocked an ordinary person’s head off their shoulders, sent Omnigal flying back, forcing the superwoman to release her grip on Vivian’s arm. Omnigal was momentarily stunned by the attack, surprised at having been hit by such a strong blow. Her concern at the power displayed by the other girl only grew; if she could fly, move so quickly, and was even superhumanly strong, there was no telling how much of a threat she could pose. What’s more, her actions so far had made it obvious that she had no concern for human life— that, if she got what she wanted, she would use it to dominate and subjugate all who surrounded her. Omnigal was hardly conceited, but she was only too aware that the only thing that stopped her from using her own powers for anything of that sort was her strong sense of morality, which she had inculcated into herself from a very young age.
It was obvious that the girl before her had no such restraints. The idea of a girl like that being as powerful as her frightened her. Vivian, on the other hand, saw the terror in Omnigal’s eyes, and it only served to make her aroused. She knew the most powerful woman to have ever lived was afraid of her, afraid of what she was capable of, and she just couldn’t wait to prove to her once and for all that her fear was completely justified. The instant those powers were hers, Vivian would do her worst, and neither Omnigal nor anyone else in the world would ever be able to forget it. Omnigal knew that girl had to be neutralised.
Vivian was only too happy to comply with the idea the superwoman had gotten, as she decided that the only way to deal with her now was to beat the living snot out of her, in her own special way. The overcast sky above grew darker, as the two superhuman girls stared each other down, unable to tell which way the confrontation that was about to take place would go, or what its outcome would mean for the millions of mortals who were bound to the Earth below.
The initial series of attacks made it clear to both Vivian and Omnigal that the latter’s overall strength and abilities were significantly greater. However, Vivian knew it, and Omnigal had every reason to believe that her opponent was cunning and resourceful. Knowing that a straight-up brawl was out of the question, Vivian instead zoomed away into the distance, though not nearly as fast as she could fly. She decided to lay some bait, bait that she was confident Omnigal would take— and the latter, having little choice in the matter, began following.
As Omnigal chased after Vivian, the other girl began to increase her speed, knowing full well that Omnigal would be able to keep up with her. She seemed to be flying without any particular direction or destination, moving around in circles, making sharp turns; but after about a minute of this bizarre leading-on, Vivian came to a sudden stop not too far outside the factory grounds. It was where all of the factory’s staff, waiting for updates on the situation, as well as some people from the emergency services, were gathered. Omnigal stopped as well, unsure of what the other girl was up to.
“Hey, buddy,” Vivian shouted to Omnigal, “it’s your job to protect these suckers down here, right? So do it!”
As she spoke, Vivian wound her arm back as it adopted a strange blue glow, then cast it forward, shooting a stream of extreme frost into the air. The strange jet of cold seemed to not only lower the temperature in the air, but generated a strange mass of ice, which formed itself into a series of man-sized stalactites. In moments, these began raining down upon the crowd.
The strange sight and the series of screams that followed made it clear to Omnigal that there was no time to waste. Using a combination of her flight, speed, heat vision and strength, she began systematically disintegrating each of the stalactites raining down on the crowd, pushing herself to the limit to make sure that nobody was hurt. The super-powered feat, which took place over just about half a minute, seemed to Omnigal to take much longer, as it demanded the use of all of her abilities to subvert the tragedy the other girl had engineered.
Once she had ensured all of the stalactites were gone, Omnigal took a moment to catch her breath, never having been pitted up against an opponent who could challenge her quite like that strange girl could. However, her respite was short-lived, as one of the people in the crowd came up to her shouting for help.
“Omnigal! That other girl, the psycho bitch! She took my friend back towards the ruins of the factory! You’ve gotta help them!”
To Omnigal, the sight of the one who had spoken to her —a short, geeky girl who looked like she belonged in a high school library— was more than a little disconcerting, but she couldn’t ignore her plea. Zooming through the air once more, Omnigal returned to the place where the whole bizarre affair had started: The ruins of the factory. As soon as she got there, he used her x-ray vision to scour the whole place for any sign of life, and this time, she found it: A prone, trapped human figure was somewhere inside the factory, apparently trapped under a large pile of rubble.
Omnigal moved quickly but carefully, being painfully aware that the other supergirl had to be around somewhere, and she would probably take any opportunity to ambush her. However, her first priority remained to rescue the one trapped in the ruins, whom she was sure the other girl had spirited away to lure her there. Flying at an uneasy pace, Omnigal soon found out the trapped person trapped under the rubble. The sight only served to make her more uneasy, as it seemed that being under as much weight as that person appeared to be meant that they had to be completely crushed by that point, and yet they appeared to be conscious, even pushing against the rubble in a struggle to get out.
“Omnigal!” She heard the one trapped under there, a middle-aged man in an old-fashioned janitorial uniform, call out for help. “Get me outta here! I’m beggin’ you!”
Descending quickly, the superheroine repeated the feat she had done when she had first examined the factory, carefully lifting up the massive pile of rubble that the man was pinned under. The rubble was significantly more voluminous than the single slab she had attempted to lift back then, however, so it took a greater effort from her, though it was still far from her limit. As the pressure let up, the man trapped underneath haphazardly scrambled to his feet, clinging onto Omnigal’s legs as he did so, before looking up at her and offering her a starstruck glance.
“You…” he began speaking, seemingly at a loss for words regarding his saviour. “You really are as much of a hero as they say.”
Though she was definitely feeling the burn from lifting up the mass of debris, Omnigal could not help but smile at that remark, which brought her a sense of reassurance. It was, after all, the sort of thing that she felt was most rewarding as part of the job she had chosen for herself.
“Too bad that also means you’re about as gullible as they come!”
With incredible speed, the middle-aged man seemingly jumped out from underneath the pile of rubble Omnigal was holding up, then delivered a right hook of incredible strength to her midsection, sending her tumbling backwards— and making her loose her grip on the massive pile of debris, which crashed down on her entire frame in moments. Her head being the only part of her body that had escaped the terrible crash, Omnigal was thrown into such agony that she was amazed that she did not pass out immediately.
Instead, she was left to lay helplessly once more and witness as the man she had just rescued transformed before her eyes into the girl who had attacked her. Vivian’s final gambit had worked, and finally, the most powerful being on the planet, the holder of the godlike strength that would be her in just a few more moments, was left completely at her mercy. As if by destiny, the shard that Omnigal had knocked out of Vivian’s hand at the start of their fight was lying just a few feet away, just within reach. Vivian’s destiny had finally been laid out before her, completely hers for the taking.
Vivian could not help but laugh. After so much careful planning, the time had finally come to take her place as the indisputable mistress of mankind. In just a couple of days, Vivian had gone from a mostly-ordinary girl with a single super-talent to a superwoman with greater powers than most mortals could ever even dream of. Now, all that remained was to claim the ultimate power. Vivian revelled in the sensation, throwing her head back and letting loose with several peals of mad laughter. Even without having obtained that final power, she had managed to best the one who held it— once it was finally in her grip, absolutely no one could ever dream of standing up to her. Vivian quickly collected herself, knowing that even now, that superbitch was probably in the process of recovering, of changing herself into someone stronger, someone who could recover from even the terrible force that had been brought down upon her; but her injuries were such that even then, Vivian knew she had time to gloat. However, finally tired of waiting, she resolved to step forward and claim her ultimate prize, only to be faced with one final surprise.
Rather than lying on the ground, the shard was floating in midair.
Vivian’s devious, smug expression was quickly changed to a scowl, as she was about to loose an expletive to ask what was going on, but before she could do so, another girl materialised in front of her, holding the shard in her hand.
“So, this is it, huh?” Valerie said, turning the shard over in her hand.
“Who the fuck are you?” Vivian shouted.
“Oh, just somebody who’s very interested in what goes on around her. I like my environment to be a product of me, y’see, rather than the other way around. And from what I’ve heard,” she said while eyeing the shard, “this baby here is what I’m after to help me with that.”
“Put that down,” said Vivian, her tone growing more threatening. “You don’t have any idea what that is.”
“Oh, I know what it is. I’ve seen you use it. All I gotta do is poke a super with it, and just like that, all of their powers are aaaaall mine to keep. Hell of a fun toy, if you ask me.”
As she spoke, Valerie slowly began to walk toward the place where Omnigal was pinned down. Vivian noticed, but was too riled up to think of anything other than pounding this strange bitch’s face into next week. She knew the first thing she had to do, however, was to knock the shard off her hands.
“Well, that’s enough chatter. That playtime back there must have been awfully tiring for the both of you, after all, so what do you say I relieve goody two-shoes here of her powers?”
Valerie turned back to look at Omnigal, raising the shard up in the air. Knowing she couldn’t wait any longer, Vivian rushed the girl who had appeared out of nowhere with a scream of rage, only to be interrupted by a most peculiar sensation. Having come to a sudden halt, Vivian looked down at her stomach, which had just been pierced by the shard— the shard that Valerie held in her hand.
“No…” Vivian muttered in disbelief, “no fucking way…”
For Valerie, the feeling was a much more pleasurable one. A rush of adrenaline shot through her veins as she could feel all of the powers Vivian had held pour into her. Feeling her pathetic, mousy attitude be extinguished with each passing moment, Valerie delivered a swift kick to Vivian, sending her flying back across the ruined factory, with the shard flying off elsewhere. Before Vivian even had a chance to hit the floor, Valerie used her newly-acquired super speed to jet forward and catch Vivian by the throat, lifting her up into the air as she took flight for the first time.
“Sorry, dearest Viv,” the newly empowered Valerie offered, “but it appears you didn’t think quite as big as you thought you did after all. Mind you, I admire your moxie. I think when I finally sit my throne and bring the entire world under my heel, I’ll think of you as an inspiration. Don’t worry, everything that’s to come now will be everything you ever dreamed of… only difference is you’ll be on the receiving end of it.”
Valerie let go of Vivian, who fell to the ground in a daze, gasping for air after having her neck in the other’s grip. As Valerie turned back to look at the prone Omnigal, however, she saw something far different than what she expected: A small, nerdy girl was holding one end of the shard that she had just used to steal Vivian’s powers. The other end was stuck firmly in Omnigal’s neck.
“What…” Now it was Valerie’s turn to be at a complete loss for words. “WHAT?!”
Valerie floated forward absent-mindedly, not quite believing what had just happened before her, but as she reached the halfway point between herself and the trapped supergirl, she felt herself hitting something, like a wall, only there was no such thing anywhere in front of her. As she tried to take a step back in an attempt to collect herself, she found that she couldn’t move— though she still floated in the air, her limbs appeared to have completely locked up, making any struggle on her part to wriggle around completely futile.
Valerie remained in this state as both she and Vivian witnessed something neither was fully prepared for: Cindy, the one who had managed to stab Omnigal with the shard, used her newfound power of flight for the first time. The small, plain, nearly featureless nerd girl’s eyes had turned pure white, and an aura of mystical light seemed to envelop her. Just then, before the two high schoolers’ eyes, Cindy’s frame transformed from a short, thin, basically shapeless waif into a seven foot tall, muscle-bound superwoman with muscles and tits that would defy examination. The glasses that had always covered her eyes seemed to vanish into nothing as her entire face reshaped itself into the very definition of sex-appeal, and her dishwater blonde hair adopted a deep golden shine as it grew to the length of her entire body, seemingly keeping the same shine of strange light even as it vanished from the rest of her.
“Well now,” the newly risen Super-Cindy finally brought herself to say, her newly enhanced voice showing such femininity and power that even Vivian couldn’t help but feel a slight tingle in her stomach and lady-parts. “I have to say, that certainly was a pleasant sensation.”
“Cindy…” Vivian muttered, the very power of speech apparently having left her. “What…”
“Oh, don’t make that face now, Viv,” Super-Cindy said, “there’s no need to fret. Things may not have gone completely according to plan, but this development has certainly led me to make a very significant discovery regarding Omnigal, or rather Lizzie’s, old powers— the powers that now dwell within me, in their entirety.”
“What the fuck are you going on about?”
Super-Cindy turned to look at the source of the more brash remark, taking on an expression of annoyance and scorn. Valerie, it seemed, was still struggling in defiance in spite of the bonds Cindy had placed upon her.
“I believe you’ve got something that belongs to my friend,” Cindy said. “You really ought to give it back, and with interest, even. But first… Ah yes, here we are…”
Both Vivian and Valerie watched in amazement as the shard, which had been lying on the ground next to the now unconscious and very much powerless Lizzie, floated up into the air, seemingly following various motions Cindy was doing with her hand. As it came to float in front of her face, Cindy snapped her fingers and the shard broke apart into a glowing mist, which then surrounded Cindy’s body and seemingly became absorbed into it.
“Ahh…” Cindy sighed in contentment, “that felt quite pleasant too. And on that note…”
Super-Cindy pointed a finger towards the constrained Valerie and momentarily produced a bright bolt of arcing electricity from it. The next moment, a ball of light, about the size of a volleyball, floated in the air, just in front of Cindy. Just a second later, Cindy waved her hand and Valerie fell unceremoniously to the ground with a faint thump.
“You bitch!” Valerie shouted in anger. “I’ll show you what happens when you… when you…” as Valerie spoke, she extended her open palms towards Cindy, as though expecting something to happen, but nothing did. Valerie stared in disbelief at her hands as the realisation came to her. “You took my powers?! They’re mine! Give them back to me this instant!”
“They were never yours,” Cindy retorted coldly, “and I think they’ll find a much happier home inside someone who knows how to use them. But first, might as well throw in a little extra for their trouble.”
As the other girls watched, Cindy made several mysterious hand motions around the ball of light floating in front of her, which went from a plain white hue to a bright golden one. The next moment, Cindy extended her arm in Vivian’s direction, which caused the ball to go flying and hit her friend, who was surrounded by a bright light for a single moment. Cindy and Valerie watched in expectancy for what would happen next.
Vivian got up to her feet, the pain from Valerie’s attack apparently having left her. She doubled over forward, grasping her stomach with both arms, and making various grunting and moaning noises, until finally, she began giggling softly, which evolved into a full-on cackle as she straightened upward, extending her arms towards the sky in glee.
“YESSSSS!” She bellowed out as her own transformation began to take place. Before the others’ eyes, Vivian’s body took flight once more and began to mold itself into that of an uber-sexy superwoman. Vivian adopted several power poses as she changed, being taking immense pleasure in the power that was filling her body, which felt far more empowering and arousing than she could have ever imagined when she plotted to steal Omnigal’s strength.
“It’s mine… It’s finally MINE!” Vivian shouted, casually reducing various tons of the concrete littering the factory around her to cinders with her newly acquired heat vision.
“That’s right, Viv,” Cindy said, “you now possess all the powers of Omnigal, plus some stuff even she never had. There’s also invisibility, courtesy of bitchface here. You are now the second most powerful being to have ever graced this universe.”
Vivian took a look at her friend. There was no doubt in her mind that Cindy, mousy, nerdy little Cindy, had somehow used Omnigal’s powers to evolve into a being greater than even she. Far from it making her upset in the slightest, the sight of her uberified genius friend filled Vivian with joy. Hd she known how, she would have loved to let Cindy share in the power that she had planned to usurp for herself, and now that problem had been resolved for her in a far more wonderful way than she could have imagined.
“So what happened, anyway, you little smartypants?” Vivian inquired with a seductive smile. “How’d you manage to turn not just yourself, but me as well, into the most powerful super-hotties this world has ever seen? It sure as hell didn’t look like Omnigal had that power at her disposal.”
“I can’t really say for certain myself,” Cindy offered, “but I think it had to do with how her power interacted with mine. You and I both knew that I got super-smart after the incident, but you got a power that was similar to Omnigal’s, only weaker. I guess part of what Omnigal’s own power does is crank other powers up to eleven. Not only do I have all of Omnigal’s powers now, I also have an extremely augmented version of the one I previously possessed.”
“So… now you’re even smartest than the smartest little bookworm you can think of?”
“That, and a little more. As you saw before, I can now manipulate a great deal of the physical world around me with little more than a bit of concentrated mental power. I can even play with the basic properties of matter to allow me to incorporate certain unique properties, such as the shard’s power-manipulation abilities, into my being. Of course, since I’m much more powerful now than that little trinket ever was, I can not just move powers around, but erase and replicate them… maybe even invent new ones.”
“I’m sure we’ll come up with some creative uses for that,” said Vivian, growing even more aroused at her friend’s formidable power and intelligence. “You wanna get out there and show the world that we mean business? After all, no one can stop us now…”
“About that…” Cindy said with a slight pause to her tone, letting even Vivian know that she felt something was off.
“What is it?”
“Well, it’s true enough that our powers are not unlike those of gods now. As things are now, I doubt whether anyone could challenge us. We could take over the entire world in a matter of days if we so desired.”
“That sounds very good to me, so what’s the problem?”
“Well, just before this last ordeal started, Omnigal sensed something. I can feel it too. There’s something else coming, something that’ll bring big changes with it. I doubt whether even we will be able to ignore the consequences of what’s about to happen.”
“But what is it? Don’t you know?”
“I have a lingering suspicion, but…”
As Cindy grew quiet, the girls watched as the overcast sky above grew even darker, and the faint sound of a distant thunderclap reached the ears of everyone there. A storm was coming.
“Well, a god’s life is a lonely one… I have a feeling things are about to get a lot more interesting…”
* * *
Before the incident, no one had heard of Denise Vinci.
She had just been an ordinary high school student; the sort you’d find no matter what sort of schools you looked in. A top-tier bitch, who got off on using her looks and popularity to boss the other girls around, and have her way with any dumb enough guy she ever deemed attractive enough to captivate her interest. Nobody genuinely liked her; they just sort of tolerated her, having resigned themselves to the presence of a girl like her as being pretty much inevitable in the life of a high schooler. Nobody ever dared to imagine that she would amount to much, even if she did manage to graduate— short of finding a wealthy sugar daddy, or someone that would take her as a trophy wife, she would spend the rest of her days finding it more and more difficult to manipulate others, others who wielded the power she so desperately desired for herself, but knew that someone of her standing and attitude could never truly have.
The incident, however, changed everything, not just for her, but for all of the world around her as well.