Momentum Shift!-3

night-girl.jpg

Momentum Shift-3

by Lynceus

A mere year ago, I lived in a world where things made sense. Magic was impossible, and superheroes were just a modern-day analogue to the Heroic Myths of ancient times. Now, my world was changing around me so fast I couldn't keep up, I felt lost, and very confused. And then Rhea took me by the hand, and led me into her world.


Alvin Toffler wrote a book in 1970 titled, Future Shock. As he defined it, Future Shock is a personal perception of 'too much change in too short a period of time'. That pretty much summed up my feelings as I sat on my couch, watching Hurricane Rhea, armed with nothing more than a pre-paid cell phone and my computer's internet connection, made plans for our future.

It occurred to me that she had done this before; completely uprooted and reinvented herself; there's no way even someone with her intellect could plot this out in such a short time. As for myself, I was having an existential crisis.

Who was I? I mean, obviously, I'm Linda St. Joan. But who that person is, had changed greatly. I was, to all appearances, a 17 year-old girl with a Master's in Physics. And, apparently, a superpower that defied everything I'd learned about Science to such a degree, that it could only be described as 'magic'.

Magic didn't exist. It was the stuff of legends. Myth. At best, one could attribute inexplicable phenomena to science or physics we had yet to understand. But apparently, I now lived in a magical world, or at least, one in which Scientific laws no longer applied.

Metahumans. I could accept, on some level, the idea of psychic abilities. Or people who could perform feats beyond what was generally considered to be human limits. I vaguely remembered something I'd read in my childhood, I think perhaps in a Heinlein novel, about how, at one point, a man had collected data about human speed, endurance, and all other factors associated with running.

Backed by sound medicine and science, he'd declared that no human could ever run the four-minute mile. And then, in 1954, Roger Bannister did it. And others soon followed. Today, it is the standard set for all professional middle distance runners.

Well, men at least. Women, until recently, hadn't been able to quite reach that standard. But I'll get back to that.

So yes, I believed that the boundaries of human potential were always being pushed forward. And that's just fine. Then Jade appeared, and in a few minutes, she not only told us that, yes, alien intelligences were real, but that shortly, other humans with amazing abilities would come forth.

Many scoffed at her claims. Now? Well, I knew for a fact that I was living proof. At first, I'd been willing to entertain the notion that Erik's transformation into the child-like Rhea was the result of a bizarre experiment gone horribly...right?

But even she could not reconcile all the details of her metamorphosis with science. No, she had come to the conclusion in short order that she was a metahuman. Even then, however, it hadn't seemed too far beyond the pale.

And then, I woke up to find that I, too, had transformed. In a way that defied all logic. I wasn't alone, of course. I had heard of others, many of whom (mostly young women, for whatever reason) who had gained abilities, and used them for good.

Yes. Superheroes.

Now Rhea wanted us to join the ranks of these new heroes. I admired her spirit, her drive to help others. But...was this something I could do? Was I the kind of person who could wear a silly costume and save the world?

I didn't know. The future was suddenly a frightening, uncertain place for me. Hell, the present was pretty scary, the future terrified me!

That's when Rhea hugged me. I hadn't even noticed her climb onto the couch next to me.

“Linda, please, trust me. Everything is going to be ok.”

“I...it's just all so much!”

“I know. I know! Why do you think I'm keeping myself busy? I know that if I stop to think about it, I...I wouldn't be able to handle it.”

Despite myself, I smiled. “Bullshit. I know you could.”

“I..I'm not so sure. All I know is, I've been given a great gift. And it's not my powers! It's you. You have no idea what you've done to me. Ever since you came into my life, you've beguiled me. Intrigued me. I fell in love with you, even though I knew I could never have a future with you. I don't know how you feel, but I love you. And I have for a long time now. And the idea that somehow, I could have a future with you..that's what gives me strength.”

I felt tears stream down my cheeks as I turned to look at her. “How long have you been wanting to say that to me?”

She reached up and brushed away my tears. “A few days after I met you.”

“I...I don't know when it happened, but I did come to care for you a great deal. But I knew...it was impossible. You were a man, and while I could appreciate you, I couldn't...”

“I know. I know! And what could I offer you? I mean, I wasn't that old, but...” She sighed.

“That's changed.”

She sighed. “Has it? Can you really accept me, in this body? Because you're not that superficial. Just because I have a female body doesn't make me a woman. It doesn't make me what you've been looking for.”

“You always were what I was looking for. And yes, I was that superficial. And foolish.”

She knelt on the couch and leaned in close, pressing her lips against mine. I returned her kiss. My tongue met hers, and it felt like a mild electric shock ran down my spine. I wanted her so badly, more than I'd ever wanted another human being. We parted reluctantly.

“Linda...you're not. You're beautiful, inside and out. You want to think of yourself as this terrible person, but you can't change who and what you are in an instant, no matter how much you might want to.”

I laughed. “I can't, but apparently my body can. I mean, look at us! This isn't just impossible, I can't even...”

She put her fingertips over my lips. “Shh. Linda, listen to me. What's happened to us? Yes, it's impossible. Yes, everything has changed, and that's scary. I know it is! But stop a second. Think. Isn't this really a miracle, for the both of us? Rather than be upset that our understanding of the universe has been irrevocably altered, open your eyes, and realize we live in an age of wonder. Where the unthinkable is real. A world where we can be together.”

She smiled at me, and I was struck by how very young she was. Not just her body, but her mind as well! I understood it, hell, I grokked it! The miracle wasn't our powers, the changes in our bodies. The miracle was that a grown man had been allowed to see the universe with the eyes of a child again. No preconceptions. To her, everything was possible again. She could believe in magic and dragons, and superheroes.

And so could I! I felt my lips curl up into what, in my mind, was a manic grin. “I want you. Now.”

She blushed a little. “You know, I'm not very experienced. As a girl, I mean.”

I leaned close to her, my voice soft and husky. “Then I guess class is in session.”

-

I lay there on the couch, afterward, only a sheet covering our naked bodies. Rhea was curled up on her side, facing me. Her mouth wasn't very far from my nipple, and her light breathing tickled in a very pleasant way. I'd never been aggressive with another woman before. And now I realized why.

I had desired the comfort of another woman, but I had never really loved one. Not until now. I grinned as I thought about what I'd done to poor Rhea. It had been pretty good for me, even though I hadn't let her do much. Just pleasing her, sating her tiny body, had been more than enough for me.

But I imagine the experience had been mind-blowing for her! What was it like, I wondered, for a man, to experience for the first time, how a woman felt pleasure? Had I gone too far? What would this do to her psyche? Could her male ego survive intact? Or would it be broken down completely?

She stirred lightly not even opening her eyes, and mumbled softly. “...go to sleep, you worry too much.”

I squeezed her gently. “Ok baby.” I know good advice when I hear it!

-

That afternoon, we hiked out of the city, until we found ourselves pretty far from, well, everything! We'd been following train tracks leading out of Salt Lake City, because Rhea wanted to try something. Stepping between the tracks, she held her hands out.

“I seem to be some kind of magnetic monopole. And before you correct me that magnetism doesn't work this way, trust me, I know, it's totally bizarre. My field doesn't attract, it repels.” Before my eyes, she simply rose into the air!

“This part is easy, I just repel the Earth's natural magnetic field. But all I can do is move up and down; I can't really propel myself in any other direction. I tried, in your apartment, and slammed against a wall.”

“So that's what that noise was!” I'd been in the shower when I'd heard a loud thud.

“Yeah. It didn't hurt, I was more embarrassed, really. The minute I tried moving in another direction, Earth's natural rotation caught up to me.”

“Rhea! That kind of speed should have killed you!” I gasped.

“Yeah, but it didn't. Luckily for me, there's metal nails, and probably other stuff, in your wall. My field repelled them, and they held, reducing my impact immensely.”

I shivered. “God, please be more careful! I...I don't want to lose you!”

She gave me a thumbs up. “Linda, I came back from another universe to be with you. You think you're going to get rid of me that easily?”

I shook my head. Her confidence was infectious. “I'm sorry. I can't help but worry about you.”

“Because you love me?”

I blew her a kiss. “You know I do! Now, show me what you got!”

And she did, zipping along the railway at ridiculous speed!

Woooaaaahhhhhyaaahhhoooooo!!!!!!!”

I laughed at her expression of mixed fear and joy. I couldn't quite let go of my adult nature, but it warmed my heart to see her be so totally...unrestrained.

I couldn't even see her in the distance. Could she stop?

Then, a speck appeared. Which got bigger, until she rushed past me at hundreds of miles per hour, still screaming at the top of her lungs! How she was even breathing at that speed defied logic...but I'd long since discarded my notions of logic and reason. In this crazy new world, very different rules applied!

Soon she was zipping back my way, laughing hysterically. “I can't stop!!!”

Then, off in the distance, I heard a noise. Oh no, a train!

Sure enough, a few minutes later, the train...and Rhea, came rumbling along the track, the horn blowing mightily. Rhea had stopped herself by repelling the train; of course, it far outmassed her, so she was being carried along with it!

I thought for sure I wouldn't see her again until the train stopped, but suddenly, she floated up, and zipped along the top of the train and the cars! When the train finally passed, she simply floated downwards.

“Oh man...my heart won't stop racing! That was awesome!”

I hugged her tightly. “I thought you were going to leave me behind in the dust!”

“Naw, not me! When I hover, I can propel myself along any metal surface, including the train. I'm glad it came along, I wasn't sure how the heck I was going to slow down!”

I scooped her up in my arms effortlessly. One, she doesn't weigh much, and two, it was starting to get dark, which caused my bizarre strength to kick in. “You reminded me of a railgun!”

“Mm, yep, that's me, the one-girl mass driver! Except, of course, I'm the mass being driven.” She giggled. “Hey, this is kind of fun, being carried.”

I kissed her. “I'm glad you like it. Too bad you can't carry us both home.”

“Hm...maybe if you wore some kind of metal harness...but I still need to figure out how to slow down...I actually could have gone faster!”

I shivered. “That was fast enough! I wasn't sure how you were breathing!”

“Hm. Good question. Remind me to bring an oxygen supply in the future. Just in case.”

I shook my head. “Great, so I get to be the practical one in our relationship?”

She got comfy in my arms. “You always were.”

“Good point. Well I guess it's my turn, let's see how fast I can run!”

-

I'm pretty sure I had the four-minute mile totally beat. Super-strong legs will do that. We got to the train yard about an hour later. It was pretty deserted, although I was sure the place had security of some kind.

I set Rhea down. She wobbled a bit. “Heh...got a little dizzy there.”

“I'm sorry hon, why didn't you say anything?!”

“S'ok. Shaken, not stirred.” She gave me a thumbs-up.

“Wow, I'm not even breathing hard!”

She nodded. “Your power must increase all aspects of strength, including stamina and probably physical resilience as well. The effect is like having massive muscles, but your mass remains constant.”

I frowned. “I wish I knew where the energy was coming from.”

“We'll burn that bridge later. Come on, let's see how strong you are!”

I looked at a railway car. “Ok, this isn't just a matter of strength. It's mass. That thing outweighs me by...um...a lot!”

“Well, an unloaded freight car weighs about 30 tons. However, it's on a track, so you don't need nearly that kind of strength to move it.”

I choked. “There's no weight I could move thirty tons!”

She poked me, but I didn't even feel it. Weird. “Wheels. Track. Aren't you listening?”

“Sorry, it's just...well here goes.” I braced myself, getting a good grip on the train, and pushed. And nothing happened. “Hm. So much for that.”

“Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, but...no, I've seen that strongman guy pull one of these with his teeth, you have to be able to move it!” She lifted herself up into the air, and circled the train. “Aha! The brake is engaged!”

I heard the sound of metal moving. “There, try it now!”

I shrugged. “Ok, here goes!” I pushed again, and to my surprise, the car moved! “Woah!” As I pushed it along, I realized the trick wasn't moving the train; as a wheeled object, it wouldn't take a lot of force to do that. No, the problem was one of traction; my damn tennis shoes weren't cutting it!

“Hey hon?”

“Yeah?”

“Take your shoes off.”

“You're kidding, right? The space between the ties is covered in rocks!”

“Do you feel the rocks?”

I blinked. Well, not really. I stopped, the train car still rolling along, and took off my shoes and socks. Then I deliberately stepped on the rocks. I...well I felt them. But it didn't hurt! “What the?!”

“I told you, resilience! Your body literally gets tougher when it's dark outside.”

I frowned. “Wouldn't that have more to do with my skin than my muscles?”

“Er...hon, I'm a physicist, not a physician!”

I giggled. “Ok Bones, I'll see what I can do.” I sprinted up to the train and got a good grip on it, stopping it's momentum. Then, I started to pull it along! Properly braced, transmitting my force along my spine, I easily pulled it along like it weighed nothing!

I laughed. “Oh wow! I'm a super girl!”

“That's nothing, let's get a loaded car!”

So we did. A fully loaded train car can weigh up to 140 tons. I don't know how heavy this one was, but again, I moved it effortlessly!

“Jesus...how strong am I?”

“Mm...well, it really only takes maybe 400 to 800 pounds of force to move one of these bad boys unloaded. Assuming that this thing weighs, call it, 120 tons, that's a factor of four, so you're talking...1600 to 3200 pounds of force. You don't seem to have any problems doing it, so, as a ballpark, you should be able to push something that weighs 2 tons easily.”

“Wow.”

“Mm, as metahumans go, that's not really as strong as it sounds. Giganta can lift a bus.”

I considered that. “What does a bus weigh?”

“50,000 pounds or so. 25 tons.”

I considered that. “Well, she is a giantess, right? So that stands to reason.”

“That helps her get a better grip and gives her more mass, true. And yes, no doubt makes her a lot stronger. Bigger muscles, and so on. I need a slide rule for this.” She frowned.

Wait a second. I could see her frown? It was getting kind of dark. “Oh wow, I can see in the dark!”

“I kind of noticed your vision has improved. It kind of makes sense though. You're adapting to a more nocturnal lifestyle, because that's when your body functions at peak efficiency. Plus, you haven't been wearing your glasses.”

I stopped the rail car. “....you're right. I didn't even notice!”

I saw her walk towards me, and trip. “Ow, damn it!”

I went to her and helped her up. “Sorry baby, I guess you don't get night vision.”

She laughed. “Just a bruise, I'll be ok. But yeah, um, you've had a lot on your mind.”

“True that!” I sighed. “But this presents a problem. How can we work together, if I'm a night person, and you can't see in the dark?”

“Hm. Night vision goggles?”

“Which require a high voltage power supply. Which, baby, you'll short out.”

“...fuck. I don't know.”

I hugged her, picking her up. “I'll walk slow, you just think about it while I walk us home, ok?”

She got comfortable, cuddling next to me in my arms. “Ok hon.”

-

Somehow, she actually managed to fall asleep while I was carrying her! I didn't feel tired at all; my senses seemed sharper, my mind more alert. I really was becoming a night person! Of course, that adaptation had it's price.

I get tired around dawn, and I sleep in pretty late. Apparently I do burn some of my body's energy reserves to support my strength. My relative invulnerability fades as it gets brighter around me as well.

When I woke up around three the next day, Rhea had a surprise for me. A drawing of a girl (myself, I realized, and not a bad likeness) wearing a costume with a stylish Owl-insignia. It was labeled 'Night Girl'.

“What do you think?”

I looked at it. “I didn't know you could draw, this is really good!”

“I dabbled at drawing comics in my younger days.”

I giggled. “Hearing you talk about your younger days seems kind of funny now.”

She grinned. “Yeah, I guess it does. So you like it?”

“Mm...but who's going to make it? I'm not a seamstress.”

“Oh I'll handle that.”

I blinked at her. “You cook. You can draw. You can sew. What can't you do?”

“Kiss you when you're standing up?”

I laughed. “Just levitate, silly.”

“Oh. Oh yeah!” She floated up about a foot into the air. “Better?”

We kissed, and when we finally pulled away, I smiled. “Perfect.”

-

Night Girl. It was kind of generic, but it was growing on me. I could do this. I could really do this!

I no longer missed my old life. There was a whole new world to explore! And it was glorious!

Carpe Noctem!


To be continued...



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