TG Universes & Series:
Erik had come back to me, in the form of Rhea, which was itself quite a shock. Then I woke up to find that I'd mysteriously become a teenaged girl again! Had I gone insane?!
Rhea had to practically pull me away from the mirror. I'm not sure how she managed it; I'm a lot taller than she is. My hair had grown out to shoulder length, and I kept brushing it out of my way. The girl in the mirror hadn't been me! I mean, yes, she resembled me, but she was...way hotter.
Rhea sat me down on the couch, and then joined me, pulling her legs up onto the couch. “Ok, Linda, first things first, are you ok?”
I blinked at the tiny girl. “Ok...? I...you! You did this to me!”
She held up her hands defensively. “Woah, wait a minute! Yeah, I can generate a magnetic field, but come on! The kind of power I'd need to do...um...” She paused. “Can I mention you look great?” She continued in a much softer voice.
“I...thank you? This can't be happening. I've gone insane. You're dead, and this is just some grief-induced hallucination!”
Just then, my smoke detector went off. Rhea jumped off the couch, and dashed for the kitchen. “Ah, breakfast...burning...bad!”
In a daze, I went back to the bathroom mirror. I judged the girl I found there to be about seventeen. She...I...looked amazing! But there was a coldness to my features that was new. Even when I smiled, there was a haughtiness that I didn't care for. It's like she was saying, I'm better than you.
That wasn't me at all! I closed the door and locked it. Rhea...Erik...whoever that person was, had done this to me! I wanted to cry. Would my own mother recognize me? Who the hell was I?!
Somehow, I managed to climb into the shower. I growled at all my stupid hair. This is why I kept it short in the first place! Washing it, conditioning, drying it out, keeping it out of my way...what a hassle! So what if it made me look sexy, I was a child!
The lights went out, leaving me in darkness. “Oh...that's...just...great!” I punched the wall. My fist cracked the plastic, and embedded itself in the plaster behind it. “What the hell?!”
“Linda! Are you ok! I'm coming in!”
“Wait, the door is locked!”
I heard the lock turn and Rhea bust in, just as I exited the shower. Sunlight streamed into the room. She looked at me, her eyes widening.
I frowned. “See something you like?”
She nodded energetically, and despite myself, I giggled.
“You look like someone just slapped you in the back of your head, hon.”
“I'm not sure they didn't! Sorry about the power. I'm not sure, but I think I shorted out something.”
I reached for a towel. “Good grief. You're a menace!”
She looked down. “I'm sorry.”
I sighed and hugged her. “No, I am. I'm being a real bitch. It doesn't help that I look like one either.”
She looked up at me. “You don't look like a bitch.”
“Oh come on, I look like one of those uppity rich girls from High School!”
She pulled me out into the hallway. “Let me take a closer look.”
Rolling my eyes, I posed, one hand on my hip.
“Wow. I think I see what you mean. But...it's not because you're a bitch, Linda. You look...stronger. More confident.”
“Oh dear God, I'm an Alpha female!” I sighed.
“So what was that noise, did you fall?”
“Ah, no. I punched through the wall.”
She blinked. “No way!” She went into the bathroom to check. “That's awesome! You must be a metahuman too!”
“...don't be ridiculous, do you know what the odds of that would be?”
She grinned at me. “Never tell me the odds.”
Despite myself, my inner geek couldn't help but laugh.
“Oh you like that? How about this? Back off, man, I'm a scientist!”
I laughed so hard I nearly dropped my towel! “Oh God...stop!”
“If I did this to you, I'm sorry.”
“Ugh, stop. You're too cute for me to be mad at. And you're right, it's highly unlikely you could have done this. But what could have caused me to mutate now, of all times?”
“Exposure to a powerful magnetic field, I imagine.”
I raised a brow. “What?”
“You were right there when I got ripped right out of this universe. And when I came back. And then you were standing nearby when you stabilized my intrinsic field. Maybe it just took longer with you, I don't know. For the moment, I want to test this strength of yours.”
Well, first, I got dressed, while Rhea replaced the circuit breakers. I wasn't really any shorter, but I had lost some weight, so most of my clothes didn't fit very well. “Christ, I was pretty chunky, wasn't I?”
Rhea shook her head. “No, all the padding was in the right places. But slender is a good look for you too.”
“Mom always had a problem keeping the pounds off. But Dad was real thin.”
Rhea nodded. “I remember. You look a little more like him than before. Except he smiled more.”
I frowned. “It's hard to smile. Ok, so what do you want me to do?”
“Uh..try lifting the couch.”
I did, and my girly arms exerted about as much force as you'd expect. “Ugh. No go.”
“Now that's odd. Let's go back to the bathroom.”
Shrugging, I followed the pint-sized physicist.
“Ok, punch the wall.”
I did. “Ow!” I shook my hand. “That smarts.”
Rhea closed the door, and turned off the light. “Try it now.”
“Uh, sure.” I punched the wall, and if anything, I made a bigger dent than before; I even heard the wooden stud snap! “What the!!?”
“Now that, I have to admit, is weird. You're a supergirl, but only when it's dark!”
I turned on the light. “Oh swell. We really got the bottom of the barrel super powers, didn't we?”
Rhea chuckled. “Oh I don't know. More crime happens after dark, right?”
“You can't be serious.”
“Why not? Look, nobody is going to believe us if we tell them who we are!”
I frowned. “Are you sure? I mean, haven't other metahumans gotten younger?”
“Sure, but we'd still have to prove it. And who's going to hire us?”
“...you have some secret superhero fetish, don't you?”
To my shock, her eyes flashed. Literally! This bright white light was burning in them, and it scared me more than a little!
“Linda, you can make fun of me all you want. But if I can help people, then I want to! All my life, I've tried to help the world from the lab, and what did I get for it? Transformed into a damn midget of a girl?! But you know what, I'm sure there are lots of people who could kill for that kind of bad luck.”
She paused. “Anyways! What do you want to do that's so much better than using your powers to help people?”
I gaped at her for a few minutes. Then I sighed. “Nothing. I'm sorry, it's just...this is all so surreal!”
She hugged me then. “I know. I know! Look, has anyone gone to my place yet?”
“I don't know, where do you live?”
She got an odd look on her face. “Oh. You know, I don't think I bothered to tell anyone that I moved. Come on, let's get you fed, and then, it's time for a road trip!”
“...if we get stopped by the cops, we're totally screwed, you know that, right?” I thought again to last night, and the cashier who had given me an odd look. Christ, I must have started to change while I was out last night!
“It might be better to take a cab anyways.”
That turned out to be really good thinking; the cab died four times on the way to Erik's apartment! Luckily it started again each time, but I could tell from the look on Rhea's face that she felt guilty.
“Not so much control over your power, huh?” I sighed as the cab driver left, cursing his luck. He'd refused our fare because of how much extra time the trip had taken.
“No...I guess not. I'm going to seriously need to practice.”
“So you going to let us in with your powers?”
“Nah, I have a security system, passcoded and everything.”
“It wouldn't be Saintjoan, would it?”
“Ah...no, I moved here before I met you. It's still nikolathomas.”
She giggled. “Well who would think to put those two together?”
I ruffled her hair. “You're weird.”
“Come on, show me your place.”
It was bigger on the inside than I'd expected; apparently the house extended out pretty far into the back yard. Everything looked so expensive! “Holy shit, Rhea, you're loaded!”
“Yep, yep. That's how I can afford to be a physicist. The job doesn't pay as much as you'd think.”
“Gah, tell me about it. So you inherited your money?”
“Mhm. I'm actually Erik B. Ronick the Third. Or was.”
“Wow. So this place is bought and paid for. But you're dead, so...what's going to happen to it all?”
“The estate is managed by Dad's company. I don't have any head for business, so I sold my controlling shares back to the company.”
“Weren't you afraid they'd screw you?”
She shrugged. “What's the point? Maybe if I had kids, but...I never got married. Almost, a few times, but...I never met the right girl. Until it was too late.” She looked to me.
“Come on, we're mostly here to pick up my money.”
“Money, bonds, my stock shares. I may not know how to run a business, but Gramps taught me a lot about how to hoard cash.”
I chuckled. “Don't trust banks, huh?”
“Not really. I prefer investments. Oh sure, there's always the risk the bottom will drop out of the market, but that's all the banks do with your money, so I just cut out the middleman.”
“There's a flaw in that logic, you know.”
“Yes yes, now help me carry stuff.”
We hung out at Rhea's place until it got dark outside. And sure enough, I got a lot stronger! “So, ok, the darker it is around me, the stronger I get. Cool, but how?”
Rhea shrugged. “Magic?”
I blinked. “Rhea, you're a physicist, how can you say that?”
“You make it sound like it's a bad thing! Would saying 'I don't know' be any better? There are a lot of things in this world that can't be explained. Your power is one of them. I mean, the only thing I can think of, is that you're normally super strong, and light somehow disrupts your power. Like...Kryptonite.”
“Which doesn't make much sense, you'd think the opposite would be true. I don't know how strong I am, but it stands to reason I need energy to do what I do.”
Rhea nodded. “Exactly. And where does that energy come from? Not the sun, obviously!”
“Right, I guess magic is as good a guess as any, then. It's kind of lame though.”
“Hm, in what way?”
I smiled. “Well, I mean, what kind of secret origin is that for a hero? Oh uh, I'm magic. Move along!”
We had to leave Salt Lake. I don't think the Mormons are ready for superheroes. But where to go next? Rhea was thinking Las Vegas, since a few odd things had been seen there lately. But I wasn't so sure. “Maybe we should go someplace with less heroes?”
“Oh sure, I mean, it makes no sense to gather all in one spot. But I want to meet some of the other ones, and we wouldn't be able to do that in the middle of nowhere.”
I nodded. “I guess that makes sense.”
“Plus, we need to train. I was thinking we could buy a warehouse. You're not dead, and it's amazing what you can do without meeting someone face-to-face; trust me, I know.”
“Ok. So we can find out if I can do anything else, and give you a chance to practice without destroying anything electronic in reach?”
“That's the idea.”
“Ok, it sounds good. But I do have a condition.”
Rhea looked up at me. “What's that?”
“When we get settled, you're going to take me out on a date.”
She blinked at me, then slowly smiled. “It would be my pleasure, Linda.”
I winked at her. “So, given any thought to code names yet?”
“Well, I hope you don't get mad, but I was thinking you could be Night Girl.”
“Night Girl?” I thought about that. “It's kind of....generic, don't you think?”
“Sorry, I'm a physicist, not a...whatever I'd need to be to think of a cool name.”
I chuckled. “So what are you going to call yourself?”
“Ooh, I like that. And it's not like anyone would make the connection right off either.”
Rhea beamed at me.
“Wait a minute...how come you can come up with a cool name for you, but not me?!”
“Uh...” She giggled nervously and took off running.
“Oh...you! Get back here! I got longer legs, I'll catch you and you know it!”
“Let's see you try it, 'Night Girl'!”
And it was on!
I caught her, of course. And then tickled the stuffing out of her before I lay on the ground, exhausted. Once she caught her breath, Rhea turned to look at me.
“Are you happy, Linda?”
I smiled softly at her. “Yeah, I think I am.”
To be continued!
Authors Note: and I finally get around to revealing who our new Retcons are!
Cosmic Boy (Rokk Krinn) was a founding member of The Legion of Super-Heroes, possessed of 'generic magnetic powers'. Completely subverted here, as Cosmic Girl has much stranger, yet still magnetic-based abilities.
Night Girl (Lydda Jath) was initially, rejected by the Legion, since her strength was very unreliable, only functioning in darkness. But eventually she persevered, and became a full-fledged heroine. Yes, her ability is a little silly. Yes, there's more going on with her than I've let on.
EDIT: Almost forgot. The Rhea Jones name is another reference, to Lodestone of the Doom Patrol. Who was subject to a revamping by an obviously insane Grant Morrison that has to be seen to be believed!
Possibly NSFW, despite being printed in a regular ol' comic book anyone could by. Grant Morrison, folks. He's just plain nuts!
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