They say that all pizza is good pizza, but eating under threat of a cruel adept left it churning in Tanya’s gut. She would have opted out completely, but Laser Lass insisted at the point of a loaded finger gun. Hours later she was still on the verge of throwing up.
No sooner had the doppelganger left than Tanya ran for her car. She threw herself into the driver’s seat, slammed the door shut, and inhaled as though every breath were her last. Soon she slowed, anchoring herself in the present, just like her psychologist had showed her, and reason took hold.
The situation was screwed beyond comprehension. What was she supposed to do about it? Sure, she didn’t want anything to do with the world of heroes, but that was no longer an option. Now that life was touched by the supernatural there was no going back. Anything else was wishful thinking.
Tanya gripped the wheel. Kaira, or at least what passed for her in some distant nightmare, stared through her long after she was gone. There was no compassion to her, no wonder. Every word from her mouth was a misanthropes barb designed to cut; like a laser, she supposed. The Kaira she knew shone. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #29 – “Crossing Over” (Part 5)”
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)”
So our first team-up didn’t go to plan. Blitz Boy… Kevin, took it hard. ‘Rookie mistakes,’ he said, like beating himself up would change things. I might have done the same in his shoes, but watching a version of myself from the outside came with new perspective.
And there were more important things. Even with Jumping Jack on the loose there was still the matter of my displacement. How did I come to an alternate Milestone City, and why? More pressing still was the question of getting home.
For answers we turned to one of the constants in both realities; InfiniTech, and its director, Dr. Storm – Stephen Storm, not Stefanie.
We descended onto the helipad atop an industrial building and there he was, waiting to greet us. He was taller than his counterpart, but remained squat and chubby. His jaw fell wide, parting at the purple streaks in his beard. Ever the fanboy.
“Twins!” he gasped. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #26 – “Crossing Over” (Part 2)”
Agent Finch was every inch the stereotype of a man in his position. He stood at six foot one, with square shoulders and a crew cut to match. Both eyes and lips were but narrow slivers on his face, while his nose and cheekbones were sharp enough to cut concrete. He wore an American cut black and white suit in tints and shades as bland as the rest of him. One glance was all it took to recognize his most prominent trait; that he was, as many had said, an irredeemable ass.
He, along with a convoy of black vans, sat on the roadside between the pines. Before them was an electrified fence surrounding a three story compound. The building was square and featureless save for the sparse warning signs along the ground level. Yet for all its drabness the building was conspicuous. An unsettling aura neither seen nor heard rattled the atmosphere. Not even birds dared to approach.
Soon they were joined by a second set of cars. Agent Finch didn’t smile at the figure in the passenger seat of the front car. He folded his hands in front of him and braced for the force of a ten foot woman compressed in a five foot body. The car pulled to the scanner, and the purple haired scientist reached to touch her card.
“I’m afraid I can’t let you inside, ma’am.” Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #25 – “Crossing Over” (Part 1)”
SOME NIGHTS AGO
Lovers of stories know the tale of Dracula, king of the night walkers. Once the world thought him vanquished in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Such presumption of his demise brought comfort to humankind, and who was the Count to rob them of that? Better thought a myth than an ever-present danger.
The ocean air blew with the taste of salt. A mortal man might have thought it refreshing. Though for the night king it was more awareness than sensation. The same went for the humidity of this South American villa. His flesh, more numb than cold, did not stick and did not perspire. He was neither comfortable nor uncomfortable in this environment.
All that sated him was life blood pouring direct from a host. But even that, after a time, became the property of the mundane.
With hunger muted by experience Count Dracula idled in a wicker chair. Staring at the waves he wondered what mortal eyes saw. Color, shade? Would the gentle hiss soothe them instead of sharpening their awareness? What irony that he should find enviable the existence of short-lived cattle. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #24 – “Shimmering Dusk” (Part 2)”
Tanya sat under a dark cloud for the better part of a week. She curled in her blankets. The sounds in her headphones alternated between new wave and podcasts. Every second meal consisted of leftover pizza, and the only time she left the dorm was to drag herself to class. How long had it been since she’d changed out of her pajamas? I couldn’t tell you, but the smell was too much.
Soon I was at my limit. “You need to get out.”
She presented the typical arguments; ‘I’m fine.’ ‘I need time.’ ‘It’s not that bad.’ ‘Don’t waste your time worrying about me.’ Next she offered distraction by reminding me that there was a city to patrol. Though all had been quiet since the reign of cats and dogs.
No more talking. I threw the duvet to the floor and dragged her by the feet. Tanya kicked and whined but it was no use. Tough love was the order of the day, followed by a shower and some real food.
I sat and waited for her while she was in the bathroom. Tanya had every reason to mope. Her first romance met with one disaster after another and fell on its face. It could be it was never meant to last, but even so, she was still a girl, and girls always remember their first. Or so they say in TV dramas.
But she couldn’t wallow forever. There was a life to live. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #23 – “Shimmering Dusk” (Part 1)”
You probably saw the news.
“-With reports coming in that the immediate danger has passed. Officials and the CDC urge citizens to stay indoors until a thorough sweep is conducted. Milestone Metro has decommissioned the subway network until further notice. Non-essential emergency staff are to steer clear of sewers and water systems.”
It turns out that aerosol dispersal only covered the surface of the problem. To be effective we’d have to force our way down, probe the dark corners of the city, and tackle what’s left head on.
I couldn’t leave. What if there were more monsters down there, bigger than the experts could handle? The emergency crews were more qualified, but didn’t have my firepower, or my speed. So, like a sucker I raised my hand to go another round. What could it hurt except my everything? Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #22 – “The Reign of Cats and Dogs” (Part 6)”
In a few hours the retrovirus was in production. Tanker trucks from all corners of the city migrated to the airfields. What a sight to behold; people coming from all over with a single purpose. Their collective world turned upside down when nature turned. They would do anything to put things back to normal.
I fought to still myself. The important work was in the hands of scientists and engineers while I stood guard. Meanwhile there was a city under siege. People and their children weren’t hiding from dogs and cats alone, but racoons, birds, rodents, and more. The animal kingdom was gifted power it couldn’t understand.
The convoy barreled down the winding dirt trail toward the grass strip. To one side was the gritty aluminium hanger, home to a range of museum pieces that passed for aircraft. Humble as they were, they were the key to salvation.
Dr. Storm explained, “the national guard are moving helicopters as we speak. In the meantime we use crop dusters and skywriting planes to deliver an initial payload. The sooner we start, the more effect it will have long term.”
My job, she said, was to keep them in the air. Sparrows had the potential of missiles, or worse. And who could say what other nasties moved between the clouds? Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #21 – “The Reign of Cats and Dogs” (Part 5)”
For the second time in as many months the staff at InfiniTech were audience to the impossible. First it came in the form of a disgruntled zealot folding the universe. Next was the evolution of Milestone City’s fauna. A process taking millions of years of genetic trial and error leaped forward in the space of a morning. How was such a thing possible?
Dr. Storm and her team had theories, of course. They developed working models to explain animal cells adapting at an accelerated pace. To do so required incredible energy – no doubt from space – but the means to measure it evaded them. In hours men, women and others made incredible discoveries. Still few could determine the how and why of the event, let alone a potential resolution.
The doctor sat with knees propped on a chair, offering vantage enough to peer down a microscope. Her hazmat suit crunched as she reached for a recording device and held it to the clear plastic of her visor.
“Every cell – blood, platelets, muscle – have adopted metaplasic qualities,” she said. “It’s like watching a transubstantiation of species in real time! The formation of a whole new genus inside of a single subject! I love it as much as it scares the hell out of me.”
She shifted the focus and observed. Twisting ovals swam under the lens in ways alien to anything she’d seen before. Continue reading “Glimmer Girl #20 – “The Reign of Cats and Dogs” (Part 4)”