DIVERGENT EARTH (2):
We were safe, I think. That’s the important thing. Away from the filthy streets, the roadblocks, and giant robots that nearly blasted us to dust. Kevin and I could rest, eat and recover… even if it meant sharing space with a most dreaded enemy.
Dr. Fellows approached Kevin and I with a pair of mason jars filled with a dark, steaming amber liquid. He set them down on the makeshift table, once an industrial spool for copper wiring, and smiled in a way that shouldn’t have been possible for that face.
“Would you like sugar?” he offered. “I don’t have any cream, unfortunately. Dairy is in short supply around here.”
This was not the Dr. Fellows that I knew and loathed; the impetuous engineer for whom ego took second place to human life. Instead he was like Mr. Rogers; soft spoken in good company, and polite to boot. How such a cruel world turned such a wicked man kind was a mystery for the ages.
The tea was good, though we drank cautiously. ‘Teddy’ as he called himself was no doubt aware of our suspicion, but was understanding. The things he knew, the things he’d seen, dwarfed our experience in comparison. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #28 – “Crossing Over” (Part 4)”
Imagine the kind of genius that takes a bat to a hornet’s nest. It was that kind of thinking that ripped Kaira Cade through a hole in the multiverse. One minute she was minding her own business, idling time tempting cats with a pointed laser finger – the next she was in a room of suits and scientists, wondering what the hell.
Someone, she decided, had a death wish.
Before they had a chance to draw their guns she was in the air, shimmering in gold and raining blasts toward every corner. They exploded on impact and seared the surfaces with sparks equal parts deadly and beautiful. She fired indiscriminately but with grace, forcing her unnamed enemies – and they were her enemies – into hiding.
In what fresh hell had she found herself, and why? There was no shortage of foes determined to put her down, and one in particular whose name she dared not ponder.
She paused and searched for an exit. The agents fumbled as their eyes adjusted. One of them blurted, “Glimmer Girl’s gone crazy!”
Glimmer Girl? The masked Kaira Cade pursed her lips. “What in the Great Satan is a Glimmer Girl?”
In the center of the room, crouched by the whirling machine, was a green haired prowler with a mysterious device in hand. Kaira nursed a moments confusion before they turned the orb they held. She started for them, only for the stranger to vanish into thin air. They were of some importance; that much was clear. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #27 – “Crossing Over” (Part 3)”
I woke with my arms shackled over my head. They were connected to a large steel conductor. The weight of my body wrenched them down. Every movement ached in my joints. I’d landed in a BDSM nightmare, and Dr. Vortex had worse planned still. I could make out the slivers of his coat through the uneven panels. He moved between workstations. A haze hung over my eyes like a swamp gas mirage.
Dr. Vortex strolled to my prison. He raised my chin and shone a penlight into my eyes. Resisting earned a firmer grip. He yanked my gaze to meet his. Once the examination was over he let my face drop.
“This next part requires you to be conscious,” he said. “It will be painful, but if it brings you any comfort that it’s for a good cause.”
I wheezed more than I spoke. “What’re you… going… to do?”
Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #09 – “All that Glimmers” (Part 9)”
A home had its soul carved out. All that remained was the husk and old furniture. A cold wind blew through the ghosts of my family. On better days they could be found streaming movies on the flat screen. There would be no more picking apart the special effects if Dr. Vortex had his way.
I pulled a photograph from the shelf. It rested in a black wooden frame. In it was a boy. My parents crouched on either side, smiling. I remembered that Summer, and being jealous of the other girls. Instead of a one piece I wore a t-shirt and swimming shorts. But there were jet skis, dive bombs, and a whole lot of other fun had by mistake. You know, the stuff that mattered. A life lived, and experiences shared. Those memories grew distant with the people in them. Despair bubbled into my fists. It wasn’t fair!
Tanya sprinted through the front door. She found me curled under the kitchen counter. “Oh my god. Are you okay?”
I stared at the tiles. My powers couldn’t fix anything.
“It’s pandemonium at the school,” she said. “They said there was some kind of explosion, and they found a gun!” Tanya searched my vacant expression. She grabbed my shoulder and shook me. “Come on, KC. Talk to me. Was it Dr. Vortex?” Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #08 – “All that Glimmers” (Part 8)”
Death spiraled toward the street. Frozen in a split second I traced the path of debris to the railway car. Things were going to get bloodier if someone didn’t act, and fast.
I cast off panic and lashed out at the oncoming destruction. Wide, unfocused blasts swatted chunks onto a new course. They veered away from the passengers and onto the front lines of the barricade. Every piece struck without forgiveness. They sent tremors through the crowd, as though they weren’t shaken enough.
It was only as the dust settled that I realized what happened. Fear saturated the surrounded area. Paramedics scrambled to check on bystanders. Gridlocked drivers abandoning their vehicles for cover. There I was, floating in the middle, trying to rein the pounding in my chest.
A chrome wall slammed into my side. I fell upward and fought for control over an empty car tumbling to the asphalt. It wasn’t alone. They flew by the dozen at breakneck speed, faster than I could dodge. I sliced through them with pinpoint lasers. Vehicle remnants fell like boulders.
“Everybody take cover!”
Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #07 – “All that Glimmers” (Part 7)”
Two hundred people were displaced during the InfiniTech incident. Their names sat cataloged on Theodore Fellow’s coffee table. He sifted through them in search of this ‘Glimmer Girl’, and matched profiles based on sex, skin tone, height, and build. So far the search bore no fruit.
The doctor collapsed onto the unmade bed. Within days of the phenomenon the adept made had her debut as a ‘hero’. The proximity of the events was more than coincidence. If the incident imbued another with extraordinary ability then it was his duty to know. More than that, he should own the power for himself.
Between liquid meals the doctor downed mugs of coffee. It did little to satiate the nagging in his belly, but kept him from becoming sluggish. With outside forces moving in there was little time for rest.
He considered the folders and the criteria of his chat. Were the subject able to alter her shape his search was in vain. Or the doctor was too discerning. Combing through the files again he searched for any sign of this Glimmer Girl, no matter how small.
Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #06 – “All that Glimmers” (Part 6)”
I’d decided. I had powers, and would use them for truth and justice. To do that there had to be a wrong to make right. The kind of injustice you punch doesn’t jump out waving a flag, so I had to go looking for it.
The beetle wasn’t built for city traffic, but Tanya made the effort. We scoured the backstreets for the better part of a Saturday, peeking into alleys. We found nothing save a few bad drivers.
I sat in the passenger seat with a hoodie pulled over my head. It worked in place of a costume, at least for the moment. I hoped the disguise read ‘female’.
“We’re going about this the wrong way,” Tanya said. She pulled to the curb.
The day before we pooled our cash to buy a police scanner. It was in good condition for its age, and offered new insight into the city. Nothing on the band called for the presence of a heroine who could fly.
Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #05 – “All that Glimmers” (Part 5)”
It was the best truck stop sandwich I’d ever eaten. The bread was stale, the lettuce wilted, and gods only knew the deal with the egg salad. But it was solid and kept me from shaking to pieces.
I sat in the corner of the Sheriff’s office and pulled the blanket they’d given me tight. Everything leading up to that point circled in my head. One moment I was at gunpoint, and the next I landed in a ditch. Between them were several hours and twenty miles into the next county. Nobody could explain why.
Tears pricked as I curled into my lap. Every part ached for the familiar; my own bed, and my family. Whatever that strange light it ripped them away and cast me into the unknown. Something greater than myself looked past where I stood. It blew the world into frightening proportion.
The Sheriff knocked on the glass and peered through the shudders. He overlooked my sobs, and cleared his throat. “Son, your parents are here.”
Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #04 – “All that Glimmers” (Part 4)”
Imagine being on vacation, except there’s nobody around, and you’re stuck in a single room. Such was life on the sofa, nursing the aftermath of the accident. There were only so many chat shows and soap operas I could endure before going insane. After three days I was at my limit.
Tanya texted selfies between classes. I couldn’t believe I missed the halls of purgatory. She pulled faces, and cycled through the filters of every app we shared. She even stole a butt cleavage pic of the shop teacher before going silent. I cackled. At a guess they confiscated her phone, but her sacrifice was not in vain.
It was sometime around eleven when boredom set. There were still finals to take, so I could have used the time to study, but none of it would stick. My mind was somewhere far, far away.
The phone rang, thank the gods. I hopped like a clown on a pogo-stick, and all but dived for the receiver. “Hello?”
Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #03 – “All that Glimmers” (Part 3)”
Mirrors aren’t known to be forgiving, but with some effort they can warm to you. I laid out my brush and straightener, foundation, concealer, eyeliner, and lip gloss. They were only a handful of tools required to scrub the ‘boy’ away.
It was by luck and her Mom’s difficulty with stairs that Tanya landed the master bedroom. It came complete with walk-in closet and bathroom en-suite. The running joke was she had more space than she could use and no incentive to leave for college. But for a high school girl and her not-cisgender friend it was the ideal refuge.
An hour and a half over the vanity only saw the start of the transformation. Halfway to girl with some encouragement. It could have been his face burned into my retinas, or his dimensions spread across my shoulders. Nothing could remove the nightmare in my skin.
Tanya’s reflection smiled from the bed. “You look great.”
The empty cups on my chest said something else. Tissues, tape and silicone could only do so much in the war against testosterone. That I was so lean was the only concession afforded me by nature.
Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #02 – “All that Glimmers” (Part 2)”