The Girl with the Razor Blade Smile by EMW
I woke up tied to a bed, I could barely
move the restraints were so tight. The room I was in was white and featureless
only one plain white handle-less door leading out no other furniture
or decoration. It was pretty boring. I started feeling around the room
for any metal to see if I could use it to escape but it seemed they
were wise to that trick everything was plastic or wood, like my previous
room I guess they weren't taking any chances that I could use metal
to escape or something.
As I lay there it struck me that they
had made a misstep by shocking me for trashing my room, if they had
been smart they would have just made no move to stop me and likely I
would have burnt out my frustration cried myself to sleep in the ruins
of my bed and been even more in their trap the next day. Instead I now
knew a little about how to resist the implant as well as its limits.
Which, as long as they didn't want to do me permanent harm, would be
Of course I wasn't sure what to do with
this knowledge given I had been still fairly incapacitated by the pain
I couldn't have escaped like that so it probably didn't gain me a lot.
Eventually the door swung open and Norton
walked in a stern look on his face.
"Well young lady that was quite
a performance and after you were doing so well," his attitude that
of a parent let down by a naughty child.
I decided to try throwing him by doing
my best not to get angry, "Had to fight had to let out the rage,"
I said slowly so as to be understood.
He seemed taken aback, "well ...
we must punish you and see about straightening you out. I will have
to think of something appropriate."
With that he left me alone. I lay there
for some time it was hard to judge how much time had passed in this
featureless room with no visitors and no window. Eventually the guards
came in and gingerly undid the restraints, strong arming me out of the
room and eventually back to my room. It had been repaired so as to leave
no sign of my temper tantrum.
They locked me in and I sat on the bed
wondering what my punishment would be. Sometime later the door to the
eating area swung open, I wandered out to investigate.
All the other slaves are sitting at the
table but there was now another table with one chair sitting in the
corner of the room facing away from the main group. My fellow slaves
eyed briefly me with sad slightly fearful eyes then quickly look away.
The guard predictably put my tray down
on the other table then stepped back waiting for me to be seated.
"You are not to speak to the others,
one word and we will trigger their implants," the guard said then
stomped out of the room with a slight limp. I guess he was one of the
ones who I got a taste of earlier.
Norton's punishment was fairly interesting
he seemed to want to have me in the same room as the others while they
chatted and laughed yet exclude me and make it so if I talked to them
I'd hurt them. I quietly ate my lunch listening to the slightly strained
conversations going on behind me. They obviously had instructions to
ignore me and possibly instructions to talk so that I felt left out.
It was an altogether more subtle punishment than I was expecting.
When lunch was over I returned to my
room Norton showed up a short while later telling me it was time for
training. When we got to the exercise room all the other slaves were
waiting and they all had knives.
"Now that's more what I was expecting
them to do," I thought to myself.
"Now then, time for you to learn
to fight multiple opponents," Norton chuckled with an evil glint
in his eye.
It seemed I didn't get a knife, not that
it would have mattered. The fight went predictably. Five armed individuals
against one, I didn't really stand much of a chance. I fended off a
few attacks but they surrounded me and I was soon knocked down. I got
stabbed and kicked and thrown around like a rag doll. Then there was
a short break where the healer is brought in to fix my wounds and it
started again. The last session they left me with several painful, but
not life threatening, injuries and rather than heal me Norton had me
dragged back to my room in pain only healing me the next morning. The
next day the pattern repeated a morning sitting alone then lunch where
I have to sit in the corner then a beating.
This pattern repeated for the next few
days, I tried to bear it as best I could. Norton was trying to break
me and I wondered how much of my emotional state he actually knew. Whether
he only gets what he sees on the outside or if someone is telling him
every thought in my head. I decided to try and make him think he'd got
his own way and I did my best to cry during lunch. This had the unintended
effect of making my fellow slaves look even more worried in those brief
glances where their emotions are unguarded.
After another couple of days of beatings
Norton came to me in my room one morning while I was lying on my bed
bleeding from the last "practice" session. I did my best to
make sure my eyes were suitably moist.
"Now I hope you have learnt your
lesson," I managed a stiff nod and Norton began muttering to himself,"
Good good I can't keep wasting time on this your training is so far
behind it simply won't do."
He waved in the healer and she put my
broken body back together yet again.
Norton eyed me and sniffed in disgust,
"You do look a right mess and you positively reek, get yourself
cleaned up. After lunch we will pick up where we left off training your
powers my dear."
I haven't had a proper wash in a while.
Usually they left me too broken to do simple things like that. Even
when I was relatively whole they didn't let me have clean clothes so
washing the blood off only to put on filthy clothes seemed a bit pointless.
The drawer flew open and a fresh jumpsuit a small towel and a bar of
soap was waiting. I would have liked a nice hot shower but I guess this
would have to do. I put the clean things on the bed and stripped out
of my dirty things tossing them in the drawer. Using the sink I had
a good wash getting rid of the encrusted blood that had accumulated
on my body. My new skin seemed to make the blood stick quite well, all
the scales giving it purchase I suppose.
Clean and dry I put on the new jumpsuit
and sat on my chair waiting for lunch. When the door opened I made my
way out finding my corner table was gone and I was once again allowed
back with the other slaves. Everyone was quiet and they wouldn't meet
my eyes, well except for Alex who was just staring into space.
Eventually Bethany plucked up the courage
and said, "We're sorry, we didn't want to do that to you it was
barbaric but we were forced to. Can you ever forgive us?"
I almost blurted out that I knew it wasn't
their fault and I knew who was to blame but I stopped myself and thought
about how to answer. That sort of response would make my captors wary.
I wanted my captors to think I was beaten, that I was fragile and under
their control, that I had grudgingly accepted my place, "I don't
know maybe in time," I replied trying to sound weak.
Bethany nodded understanding and sadness
written on her face. I wondered how many times they had collectively
had to do this dance with the group of them being forced to attack another
member. I wondered if they had resisted at first. I couldn't find much
hate for them when they were as much a victim in this as I was. However
I was brimming with fury for Norton and the rest of my captors. Lunch
was a quiet affair. I guess all of the others still felt embarrassed
or ashamed by what they had been forced to do to me. I ate my food lost
in my own thoughts trying to think of what to do about my situation.
After lunch Norton brought me back to
the training room there were several little wheeled carts with stuff
laid out on them under cover of sheets.
"Today we are going to try something
a little different, we are going to attempt to quantify the limits of
your abilities. Ah you are most fortunate my dear this sort of work
is what drives me. Taking something and working out its limits pushing
it to the edge just for the thrill of discovery!" Norton said eyes
ablaze with excitement.
I mentally added, “Taking something
or someone" knowing his pushing the limits could equally be
applied to any of the test subjects here.
"Oh what excitement, I am quite
giddy with it. I'll probably need to have a quiet sit down and a cup
of tea later. But first a test of range!" he cried dramatically
whipping the cover off a cart to his side revealing a wired up metal
bar and a large tape measure, "you must bend the bar at various
distances so we can determine what your effective range is. Hold the
end of this," he said tossing the end of the tape measure to me.
"Let's start at a meter and work
from there my girl," he said.
He put his cane on the top of the cart
and wedged the tape measure at one end so the tape ran over the top
of the bar back to me in a roughly straight line. He rolled the cart
back till the tape read a meter over the metal bar then he turned to
me and nodded. I focused my power and bent the bar it came easily my
earlier practice seemed to have helped.
"Good good," Norton said making
a note on pad of paper he pulled from one of his pockets, "Now
let's try five meters."
He rolled the cart further away and nodded,
I reached out again and bent the bar back to a straight. It took a little
more effort but still it was fairly easy. Norton rolled the cart back
again to what looked like double the distance and once again nodded.
This time it took more effort to bend the bar. I could still accomplish
it but it was hard work. He rolled the cart away maybe double the distance
again and nodded. I reached out to metal and it took a lot of effort
to get it to bend. Whereas before the results were pretty quick now
it took me a good ten seconds of focusing to bend the bar by the same
amount. Norton rolled the car even further away till the measuring tape
abruptly stopped and fell off the cart. He fussed with the tape and
repositioned things for a bit then nodded.
This time it was very hard like trying
to lift a very heavy weight with an effort that left me panting. I managed
to make the little sensor light up to say I had bent the bar but I could
tell it wasn't by much.
"Excellent looks like you have good
control up to 20 meters though your power is less effective that far
away and it falls off quickly after that. At the extent of the tape
30m you have very minute influence, perhaps with time that will improve.
Good girl," Norton said and I fell to my knees panting as pleasure
surged through my veins.
When the fog of that cleared Norton was
unveiling a stack of boxes, "Now we look at how much you can control
at close range. I'm quite proud of myself for thinking up this, you
see it was a matter of getting easily divisible amounts of metal for
you to manipulate while making it practical. Thus ball bearings!"
he cried ripping open a box to show it was full of fairly large metal
balls, "easy to obtain finite amounts of metal that can be had
in sufficient quantities and allow us to give you and easily variable
amount of metal to work with. Yes most ingenious if I do say so myself,
goes to show that it's not just Harris in the implant lab that's got
brains round here."
He pulled out a clear plastic tub maybe
a meter cubed in capacity then tossed a few handfuls of ball bearings
"Now your task is to fuse these
ball bearings manipulate all the metal that make them up then separate
them again. We will keep adding more ball bearings till you can no longer
manipulate all the metal at once," Norton said taping the side
of the tub with his cane, "Proceed."
I used my power to reach out to the metal
in the tub. The ball bearings had spread out throughout the tub so I
combined the ones that were still touching shaping the metal into a
sphere then used my power to roll it around absorbing the rest of the
balls. Once I had the whole thing combined I had maybe a tennis ball
sized blob of metal. I went through the various exercises turning the
sphere to a cube and then back forming various geometric shapes.
Norton held up his hand when I had run
through half a dozen shapes, "Now back to their original form."
This was the hardest thing I had attempted
to do so far with my power. Reshaping a solid piece of metal was fairly
easy to imagine. Splitting it back up into balls again was more complex.
In the end I used some mental shortcuts shaping the metal back into
a cube that I could picture dividing up into smaller cubes then shaping
those smaller cubes into spheres and letting go. It was quite interesting
to watch a solid cube of metal suddenly having seams appear on it dividing
it into a load of smaller cubes that turned round and then it was if
the cube dissolved as the small spheres couldn't stack like that.
"Excellent now repeat but with some
more of these," Norton said tossing the rest of the box of ball
bearings in. He made a small note on his pad then nodded for me to continue.
I did the hoovering up trick again making
the small spheres into one large one this time about the size of a grapefruit.
It took a lot more effort to go through my paces changing the shape
and even more focus to divide it back to ball bearings.
Norton kept increasing the amount of
ball bearings I had to work with until I couldn't manipulate it all
at once. By the time we were finished my absolute limit was a ball of
metal maybe half a meter in diameter but I had to be touching it to
control all of that at once and that was a lot of metal and very heavy.
I couldn't move it without resorting to using my powers to change its
shape and I worried about the plastic tub breaking. If I had to operate
at a moderate distance a more comfortable amount was vaguely basket
ball sized. It was still quite a lot of weight and even with my enhanced
musculature I couldn't lift it. However by using my control over its
shape I could move it about or even make it flow up things like some
sort of slime monster from the movies.
By the end I was pretty worn out from
using my powers to their limit. Norton seemed pleased led me back to
my room I ate my dinner then passed out on the bed not even bothering
to take the dirty jumpsuit off.
I regretted not changing out of the jump
suit come morning or what I assumed was morning. It occurred to me with
no view of the outside I had no idea what time it really was. I felt
really grimy and I hated to think what I smelt like. The tray slammed
open shortly after the lights came on. I ignored it to have quick wash
then changed into the fresh jumpsuit and ate my breakfast of raw meat.
Soon after that Norton led me to the
exercise room. To my horror Alex and Mistress Hahn were waiting.
"As you see my dear we're going
to go straight into the fighting today as I have some different physical
tests lined up for afterwards. Oh it's going to be quite illuminating
I've been looking forward to seeing how well they function and what
reaction your physiology has. It will be a grand adventure and a great
..." Norton's Rambling was cut short by Mistress Hahn.
"You are not the only one who has
important work today, can we cut to the chase while we're still young,"
she said in an annoyed tone.
"Oh yes I apologise dear lady you
know how I get carried away, yes by all means fight," Norton replied
and tossed me a knife.
Alex came at me as soon as I had the
weapon in my hand and I had to dive out of the way to avoid his attack.
After that it was the usual dance of attacking and blocking. It seemed
the week or so of fighting multiple opponents had improved my reflexes
a bit. While I had always gotten a bad beating trying to dodge 5 knives
rather than one it must have helped improve my skills a little.
Alex still got several cuts in and I
still hadn't managed to land a single blow against him. He always seemed
to see the moves coming no matter what I did to try and feint or trick him. I
swung the knife so he had to turn to avoid it and then swung my foot
to try and knock him off his feet but he jumped before I even came in
contact. He could never have seen the blow coming but he still somehow
'What ever I plan he seems to know
about it's as if he can read my mind,'
I thought to myself.
*That's right,* what seemed like a girls
voice in my head said.
Startled I swung wildly my shoulder catching
Alex who staggered backwards.
*As you guess telepathy is the trick.
Enough to read your moves. The only blows that land are ones you don't
plan or do out of instinct,* the voice said.
This knowledge from this random voice
in my head was all very well but I was still faced with someone trying
to stab me and I couldn't concentrate on it. I dodged and dived some
more but eventually Alex cornered me knocking the knife from my hand
leaving me defenseless. He was standing there ready to plunge the knife
into me when I had an idea. Using my powers I took control of Alex's
knife it melted back and covered his hand.
He stared confused at the metal now covering
his hand and reached out to touch the flowing liquid like metal with
his other hand. Which was pretty dumb I used my power to bind his hands
together with his knife then as he began struggling I kicked his feet
out from under him and gripping my hands together swung them down on
I'm not sure if I landed the blow or
not because I was suddenly incapacitated by a blaze of pain.
Norton stood over me his face had gone
bright red like a beetroot and he was spluttering mad. I focused on
the pain and used what I had learnt to blunt and push it away. I didn't
want them to know I had some degree of resistance to their device so
I stayed limp and let my body twitch.
"This was a no powers match! How
dare you break that rule and abuse my trust!" Norton ranted but
eventually the pain stopped.
I sat still for a bit getting my breath
then turned to Norton and said, "You nnnnever sssssaid I wasn't
to use powers. If it was a rule you should hhhave mentioned it. Besides
heee wa using his powers."
"What!" Norton said obviously
"He's a telepath at leassst ppppartly
he was using his ability to knoow what moves I was planning," I
"How do you know this," Norton's
voice went cold and low I decided saying anything about the voice in
my head would be bad.
"It's pretty easy to work out he
was blocking moves he had no way of anticipating with methods that were
specific to counter them not something general. It was pretty obvious
that he was reading my mind," I said which was at least mostly
truthful, I had figured he was using his abilities the voice had just
"Hahahaha," Mistress Hahn laughed
causing Norton to send a dirty look in her direction, "She's cleverer
than she looks. Still not very good in a fight. Have her release my
toy so I can get some more productive work done would you Norton dear."
Norton scowled then gestured to Alex's
restrained arms and waggled his fingers about. I assumed he wanted me
to release him so I made the metal flow off his hands into a ball. He
was left holding the now empty plastic grip that had been the handle
of the knife. He dropped it and stood up following his mistress out
of the room.
I turned to observe Norton he was breathing
heavily looking angry still but seemed to be trying to get a grip. He
turned and through clenched teeth said, "In future no powers unless
I expressly say you can use them."
I nodded trying to look meek, inside
I felt something like joy I had beaten them at their own game for a
short while and I had nearly got some payback on Alex. Now I knew how
the trick was done perhaps I could use that to my advantage.
Since the session hadn't left me too
bloodied I didn't need the healer to repair my body. The few defensive
cuts I'd received on my arms hadn't been deep and were already healing.
Norton took me back to my room still muttering angrily but I got to
attend lunch anyway. Unusually I was the first into the room and sat
down to munch my way through my meat. Alex was the next to enter the
lunch room. He walked silently over to take the tray of fairly normal
looking food then sat down in his usual spot and began eating. He didn't
acknowledge my presence at all, he just sat there staring into space.
I stopped eating my raw meat and stare
at him for short while. I couldn't be sure if he even was aware of me
he was like a Robot. No apparent emotions or interest in the world around
him. It chilled my bones a bit to think what they had done to
him to make him like that and given enough time would I end up like
Some of the other prisoners entered the
room at this point they grabbed their food and shot me meek looking
smiles still guilty for their part in my earlier punishment. I wasn't
sure if I should seem to forgive them just yet it might seem a little
too soon to my captors. It occurred to me that maybe one of them was
the mysterious voice in my head and as such they might know I was pretending.
The voice hadn't sounded like any of their normal voices but maybe in
their thoughts they projected a different voice. Whoever it was either
wasn't saying or was not listening as my head remained quiet. It was
likely this outfit had a load of leashed telepaths like they had healers
for various purposes so it could be one of them I had heard.
I ate the rest of my meat. It was amazing
what one could get used to, at the beginning of my stay eating raw meat
repulsed me but now I didn't even notice. I could go so far as to say
I even enjoyed it. One of the many changes to my mind and body I had
endured since I woke up here.
Soon it was time to get back to work
and Norton was waiting for me when I got back into my room.
"This is so exciting, a new frontier
if you will on the environments we have tested our tools with. I had
to request this testing unit specifically," he gushed, "Well
we'd best get a move on my girl so much data to gather!"
He raced off down into the maze of corridors
and led me this way and that. It was hard to tell due to the generally
identical nature of the interior design but I thought this was a new
section one I had never been in before.
I sniffed the air trying to pick up some
clues and got a hit of a nasty chemical smell from somewhere up ahead,
it reminded me of something but I couldn't place it. The smell got stronger
as we made our way through the corridors and was to the point of being
quite unpleasant by the time we stopped. Norton opened one of the doors
to which revealed a large tank of water. That's when I placed the smell
it was chlorine like you got in swimming pools.
"This is going to be a wonderful
test of your biology and it will open up a lot of potential new approaches
for our later use of you out in the field. But first things first time
to strap you in so we can do the depth tests," He motioned me over
to what looked like some sort of frame.
Two of the guards appeared out of a side
door and before I knew what was going on had picked me up and were strapping
me to the frame device. They were also attaching various sensors pads
to my body.
"The frame will enable us to get
some nice clear readings on how your physiology handles the effects
of being immersed," Norton said excitedly, "Once we get some
good data we can test at more depth."
I realised not only was I going to be
dunked in the tank I was going to be held under the water in this frame.
I was going to drown!
I struggled helplessly against the bonds
that held me to the frame but it was very sturdy and designed to keep
me as still as possible. The guards had hooked it up to a small block
and tackle mechanism mounted to a rail in the ceiling which they used
to lift me over the tank which was a lot deeper than I had expected.
"It's an old water storage vessel,
this facility was constructed in what was once a nuclear facility which
used tanks like this to store water in case of nuclear wars," Norton
pointed out, “Mostly useless these days of course but we had this
one recommissioned and fitted with oxygenation pumps for just this test.
You should be honoured my dear."
I was not feeling remotely honoured and
was starting to get frantic now I was over the water. The guards began
to slowly lower me into the tank, the freezing cold water slowly creeping
up my limbs. I began hyperventilating trying to breathe as much as possible.
The water passed my waist now I pulled at the cuffs trying to get free.
Slowly the water crept up my body until it was at my neck I strained
my head trying to keep it above water but they kept dunking me. I took
a frantic last huge breath as the water touched my chin and then held
it while they lowered me into the tank.
I struggled some more but the effort
was only using my now limited oxygen reserves I looked out into the
tank blinking my eyes and noticing I could see remarkably well. Whenever
I had gone swimming before it had always been really blurry under the
water without a set of goggles or a mask. The panic of being held under
the water was burning in me, my lungs aching for air. My vision started
to tunnel as the lack of oxygen started to get to me the impulse to
breathe in got stronger and stronger finally I couldn't stop myself
any longer and I found myself breathing in water. There was an odd pain
then a strange sensation in my throat and the darkness fringing my vision
faded back and suddenly I could breathe again.
I hung there in the water in a sort of
daze for a bit and then realised what was happening. It was my gills
now doing the work of getting oxygen into my blood. I had forgotten
almost completely about the odd slits in my neck. It seems my captors
hadn't and had devised this setup to test them out. It seemed they worked
just fine which was something of a relief. I felt different under the
water like I was drifting everything slowing down the chill of the water
gone. They kept me under the water for a while then I felt the rack
moving back up towards the surface. As I breached the air I had a nasty
coughing fit choking up all the water from my lungs and took a ragged
breath of air feeling the odd sensations of my body switching back to
air breathing mode.
Norton was fiddling with a tablet looking
like a kid with a new toy, "Fascinating! I think your body expels
all the air in your system when your gills start to function. Your body
also seems to lower its metabolic rate as well as shutting down most
of the organs thereby burning less oxygen to compensate for the lower
oxygen content of the water. If my numbers are correct at peak capacity
the throughput of the gills would seem to be enough to extract sufficient
oxygen for higher levels of activity if need be. Let's take her deeper!"
Before I had even got my breath back
they were dumping me back in the water again. Again the panic of going
under the surface hit me almost as bad as before. I had to force myself
to relax and take that first breath even given the strangeness of it.
It reminded me of when I had tried scuba diving the panic of immersion
with all that gear on you the sheer unnatural feeling of breathing under
the water the fear of seeing the surface far above you. It had taken
a while for the strangeness to fade and for me to enjoy the experience.
Even then there were people trying it who just couldn't take it, the
wrongness of it too much for them.
I breathed in a lungful of water and
felt the burn of my body switching over to gills. Again almost immediately
I began to feel odd a sort of calm, I guess it was my body adapting
to the oxygen levels. The rack I was tied to sunk deeper and deeper
into the tank. The world got dimmer as the water depth filtered the
light from above to a dim blue. I could feel the weight of the water
pressing on me as I approached the bottom of the tank. I couldn't really
tell how deep this thing was but it was a significant depth. It was
as if my body was reacting inside shifting and adjusting to allow me
to function deep in the water.
I wanted to swim about to feel the freedom
of moving through the water but the rack held me tight so I just hung
there relaxed at the bottom of the tank. Sometime later they began pulling
me out again and it wasn't long before I was on the surface choking
up water so I could use my lungs.
Norton was raving on about his discoveries
to the very disinterested looking guards who were doing the lifting,
"I had wondered how her body would cope given almost all large
gill equipped animals are cold blooded but it seems she has picked up
some tricks from her shark DNA. Her metabolism drops very low and specialised
heat exchangers in her gills keep her from losing heat that way. She
keeps her brain and her eyes warm so she can function but shuts down
almost everything else."
They undid the clamps and let me out
of the rack. I was still dripping wet but no one handed me a towel or
anything I guess I would just have to drip dry.
"Excellent," Norton said regarding
me, "We can get on with some practice with your abilities while
my colleges crunch the numbers on your little trip. I hope we will be
able to get some idea of how long you can survive and at what depths.
Come along then."
He raced off into the corridor again
this time I nearly lost him my body was still a little sluggish from
the water. A bit of frenzied running got me all warmed up again. Norton
led me back to the training room from previous sessions his equipment
"Do keep up!" he shot at me
as I staggered to a halt behind him.
He had me do some warm-up exercises just
generally manipulate the metal a bit and test my control at range and
of volume. It seemed to have gotten a bit easier to go to my limits,
I couldn't really push any further but it left me less worn out.
"Now we'll try some more practical
exercises," Norton said uncovering more experiments for me to participate
The first test was a large cube made
of plates with various holes in them it was plastic and I guess it could
be described as a 3d maze of sorts.
"Now then my dear perhaps in the
future you will need your manipulative skills to open a door or get
inside something or any manner of scenarios. If there is no metal present
for you to use you will have to put some there. Now I want you to shape
this bar of metal and thread it through this obstacle course,"
he said pointing at a small bar with his cane.
I studied it for a moment then reached
out with my powers to get a feel for it. I had noticed different metals,
for want of a better word, 'tasted' differently. When I reached out
to them I got a sense of them and for some reason my body interpreted
that as taste. This tasted a bit like iron I smoothed its shape out
ready and rolled it over to the entrance to the maze.
The entrance to the maze was a round
hole about twenty centimeters above the base so I stretched the metal
up into a pillar and flowed it into the entrance. There was not a lot
of stuff to grip to so I sort of had to hook the metal to the hole and
brace it between the various layers of the maze to stop it falling down.
As I continued to thread the metal through various holes and around
the various obstacles it became easier I could form the metal to any
shape and make it extrude some fairly elaborate structures to support
itself. I was most proud of bridging a gap across a section of the maze
by making a rudimentary cantilever bridge structure to extend the metal
away from its grip of the wall. It was probably showing off but it made
me smile to see the silver bridge form and then dissolve as the metal
flowed across the gap.
Pretty soon I had wormed the metal through
the maze and into the little end goal.
"Ah well done my dear, on another
day we repeat the test with you blindfolded to replicate not being able
to see the inside of something but that will suffice for today,"
Pleasure hit me and I nearly fell to
my knees it was so intense, it caused me to clench my jaw catching my
tongue on one of my razor sharp teeth, the pain momentarily cut through
the haze. It was useful to know I could counter the effects a little
I filed the knowledge away for future use.
"So you were quite creative with
your shaping of the metal but for this next test we will see if you
can affect the micro as well as the macro," he brought a fresh
cart in front of me and revealed a bar of metal and some sort of scanning
device, "For this test I want you to focus on the microscopic structure
of the metal and reshape it into a foam like structure."
I stared at the metal bar for a short
while completely unsure how to accomplish what Norton wanted. I knew
now how to make the metal form into any shape I could imagine but how
could I imagine changes at a microscopic scale. I decided the best thing
to do was start with what I knew make the changes on the big scale then
try to reduce them.
"I am going to sssstart bahig ...
then wooork smaller," I told Norton so he wouldn't be inclined
to zap me thinking I was disobeying.
"A sensible approach, proceed,"
he nodded towards the block of metal.
I shaped it into a series of bubbles
the small metal bar expanding massively in size as I spread it out filling
its volume with air. The metal wasn't very stable like this the very
thin metal forming the skin of the bubbles had a tendency to collapse
in on itself and it took me a lot of effort to find the right balance
between thickness of metal and size of the bubble. Once I had a sort
of large scale model of what Norton wanted in the metal I tried to duplicate
its shape but smaller. I folded the metal in on itself forming dividing
the air pockets I had made at the large scale making the bubble smaller
and the metal surrounding them thinner. It reminded me a bit of baking
a cake where you had to fold air into the mixture to keep it light and
After a good ten minutes of metal folding
I had a bar maybe three times the size of the one before full of tiny
bubbles of air. Now that I had done this the hard way I was pretty sure
I could achieve the same sort of effect without so much effort. I had
just needed to practice manipulating the metal at such a small scale
to learn the trick of it.
Norton held up a hand, "That will
do for now my dear let's take a look at your handy work."
He lifted the bar up and gave it a quick
visual inspection then put it under the scanner.
"Yes excellent quite a good structure
closed cell foaming with suitable diameter bubbles. The material retains
a lot of its strength with greatly reduced density. Good for spreading
a smaller amount of metal out even getting it to float as well as quite
for shock absorption. While usually this sort of material is one shot
shock absorber as it deforms on impact and stays deformed with your
powers you could correct that. Well done my dear this sort of precision
fine detail work is what separates the blunt objects from the surgical
instrument," Norton beamed.
I didn't want to think about my being
his surgical instrument too much so I didn't react. Norton had me do
a couple more exercises building on the work of foaming the metal but
I was flagging fast and so it wasn't long till I was being escorted
back to bed.
My life was beginning to become routine
wake up wash eat raw meat. Get beaten to a pulp by Alex, lunch, power
or physical training, dinner, and sleep till it all started again. Several
days went by with me slowly improving my skills my control over my powers
improved and I learnt more about how I could use them and their limits.
My body got stretched to its limit in exercise then beat up in sparing
sessions with Alex. I wasn't really showing much improvement, I was
staying out of range of his blade for longer but it was just delaying
the inevitable. I hadn't heard the mysterious voice again that had clued
me in to Alex's telepathy I was beginning to think I had imagined it.
I was getting on fairly well with the
rest of the prisoners whom I saw every day at lunch it was the only
normal feeling part of my day.
Norton had been getting more and more
excited about something but he was being uncharacteristically quiet
about the details. This could only be a bad thing for me and I was getting
increasingly nervous about what was coming next.
It all came to a head a few days later
Norton was waiting for me as soon as I finished my breakfast.
"Today's the day my girl the day
we see if you are all we hoped you'd be!" Norton gushed practically
hoping about with glee, "We've been preparing now for weeks getting
you ready getting the course ready finding suitable challenges. Now
all the waiting is over! Come along come along time is of the essence!"
He rushed off down the corridor with
me following worriedly in his wake. We went through several sections
of the building that looked new to me and I could smell a lot of people
and thing having been through this way. There were so many scents I
couldn't get a good impression of what had been happening it was just
a mish mash of people equipment animals chemicals and so on.
Norton led me through a large door a
sort of entrance way with a door sealing us in.
"Now unlike previous tests this
is an all or nothing affair, use any skills or powers at your disposal,
use the environment to your advantage. You have carte blanche as the
French would say. To be clear there is no safety net on this exercise,
you fail and you will die, and we don't want that it would reflect very
badly on me. Now then on to the fun stuff," Norton grinned like
a child in a toy store, I felt sick, "This is your target."
One of the walls lit up with a projected
image of a thick set shaven headed man who looked like he might be the
missing link between apes and humans. He looked like the sort of person
that in my old life I would have crossed the street to avoid walking
past or even turned round and found a completely different street to
"He is an employee of ours who has
... failed us ... this is his one chance to redeem himself by killing
you. There will also be several guards with dogs to simulate an entrenched
protected target. They are also under orders to kill you but they are
also expendable so feel free to kill them if you want however we would
prefer a stealth approach. We have set up a simulated estate with walls
fences and so on. The moment I twisted the handle the lights went out
in the warehouse beyond this door we will be keeping it dark to pretend
it is a night approach. The estate does have surveillance and radio
communication between guards. Now then your equipment, one black slip
suit, gloves, hat, and here is a small amount of metal to get you started."
He waved a hand over the table with the few items on.
"That's it?" I said still in
shock, "some black clothes and a metal bar!"
"Yes well this is supposed to be
a test my dear. What would be the point of giving you any more than
that? Your body is a weapon better than any your opponents have. So
get properly attired then enter at your leisure. The exit will open
once you successfully kill your opponent," Norton said and made
for the door.
"I have to kill him!" I said
that part just sinking in.
"Of course what good would you be
to us as an assassin if you can't kill on demand? Well best of luck
we're all rooting for you, all your little friends from the canteen
will be watching cheering you on no doubt. Try to enjoy yourself have
a little fun with it it's so much more rewarding that way," he
said and dived out of the door it shut behind him. There was an ominous
clank as the lock engaged.
I stood staring at the door for a few
seconds wondering what to do. It seemed it was kill or be killed no
last minute heal or halt. It would be me or the guy on the wall. Not
to mention the rest of the psychos they had stocked their mad obstacle
course with. Was I ready to kill someone, especially kill someone for
these bastards? I really didn't fancy dying myself but was I ready to
take someone else's life to save my own.
In the end I went with my own survival
over that of this unknown stranger. It still made me feel a bit ill
inside just the thought of it but I consoled myself with the knowledge
that this guy was one of the people holding me prisoner, at least as
far as I knew. I changed into the black suit and formed the metal into
bracers on each wrist where I could deflect attacks and also have access
to the metal if I needed it. I made the metal flow under the fabric
of the suit so it wouldn't reflect the light and give me away. I thought
about trying some of the fancy metal manipulations I had learnt like
foaming it for impact absorption but it was too new a skill and I didn't
want to drain my powers this early.
I checked myself over, ink black clothes,
with metal armoured bracers under the fabric. My hair tucked away out
of sight under the hat. I suppose I looked dangerous which I suppose
was a good thing. Taking a deep breath I gripped the handle and opened
the door. The moment I twisted the handle the lights went out.
I guess this was to give me a fighting chance of going undetected.
Pausing in the dark I gave myself time
for my eyes to adjust then slowly pushed open the door. I slipped out
into the next room, in front of me was a wall it seemed to surround
the fake compound as it spread out for the entire length of what I took
to be the real room. It was a few meters tall with what looked like
razor wire on the top. I crouched there quiet letting my senses expand
and tell me about the environment. I could smell concrete, wood shavings,
still drying paint, and various clues on the materials they had used
to make their course with. I could also smell the scent of sweat, coffee,
and cheap deodorant the humans set to stop me there was also some sort
of animal smell which must have been the dogs. The strange fuzzy sense
that told me where people were gave me the impression that there were
several people but no one near me though they were moving about.
I carefully approached the wall and then
made my way along it to the corner staying low. Peeking out I spotted
one of the guards a man black uniform walking the perimeter holding
by a chain the biggest dog I had ever seen. There was an entrance way
further up which had a little guard post and more sentries. They were
clearly going all out on this. The guard turned as he got to the gate
and turned back coming my way. I ducked back round the corner not keen
to get caught by the dog. Examining the walls I found a way to clamber
up as I approached the razor wire I absorbed the section of it into
my store of metal.
The compound below me had several small
buildings and vehicles sitting about as well as the primary building
a simple two story box building with a few rooms. They had mentioned
cameras so I had to be careful not to get spotted. I stayed pressed
against the wall the remaining razor wire above me as camouflage. The
area was full of more guards all on the lookout, I was going to have
to be extra sneaky to get past them without a fight.
Taking my time I picked out the cameras
and more guards once I had a good idea of the routes and sweeps of the
cameras I dropped down into the fake compound. Hiding behind one of
the smaller buildings I waited for the next gap in the security to slip
further in towards the back of the building. I slipped unseen between
the camera zones hiding in foliage or behind boxes or buildings.
I was doing pretty well till one of the
patrols abruptly changed direction and headed back towards me. Trapped
against one of the cars with no route back due to a camera behind me
I had no option but to slip under the car and hope no one spotted me.
Waiting there I tried to keep as still as possible. They passed by without
incident but then some dust or something under the car made me sneeze.
I caught it before I made too much noise but even so it was enough to
get them stomping back to investigate.
As they approached I thought fast and
realised the car above me was mostly metal or at least the parts nearest
me were. With little time to think I reached up pushing aside the metal
compressing it into less space. Above me had been the engine it was
now a great deal less functional and the metal that made up most of
it was holding back the rest of the components making room for me to
slip into the engine compartment and make a floor so I could be out
of sight. The guards looked under the car finding nothing.
I waited till they resumed their normal
route before slipping out of my crudely hollowed out car and slipped
closer to the house. Out of the buildings this was the most realistically
constructed. It had windows doors furniture and internal rooms. I could
sense several guards inside it were not going to be easy finding my
I made it to the back of the house, they
had thoughtfully provided a back door. I pressed myself to it listening
... nothing. I took a sniff ... nothing but building material smells.
I tried my fuzzy people sense which seemed all clear too. The door was
locked with a fairly complex lock it also felt like it had wires of
some kind across the edges which were possibly door opening sensors.
I could have picked the lock as Norton had taught me but here I decided
to use the easier way I had thought of, I simply made the metal bolts
holding the door shut separate so they no longer held it closed. The
door sensors were trickier they used some kind of magnet from what I
remembered so I felt for the screws holding the sensor in place then
made the metal reshape to hold the magnet to the sensor rather than
to the door.
I pulled open the door and slipped in
shutting it behind me then waited. No alarms went off no people came
running I was so far undetected. I reformed the metal bolts so the door
stayed shut I didn't want it swinging open and giving away my entry
point. A corridor stretched out in front of me leading deeper into the
house, my instincts as well as the concentration of guards seemed to
suggest my target would be upstairs. Stalking down the corridor I nearly
made the fatal mistake of walking into view of a camera the slight wiring
sound of it moving caught me at the corner just in time.
I knew there was a camera right around
the corner but I didn't know its field of view or how it was moving.
Taking a gamble I formed a small mirror like metal plate and edged it
out around the corner. The camera was at the far end covering the corridor
it would periodically swing to its left to cover round another corner.
I slipped out as it swung away running up the corridor as quietly as
possible hoping to get under the camera before it swung back far enough
to see me. It was a close run thing a last minute dive covering just
enough of the distance to put me out of view.
As I straighten up I found I had a clear
view of the room with the stairs and the two men guarding them. They
thankfully had their backs to me at that moment but not trusting my
luck to last I slipped quickly behind a desk where they wouldn't see
me. The room had two entrances one leading to the front of the house
and the other, the one I had slipped in through, leading to the back.
It was square double height room with the stairs on one side and a balcony
above me that the stairs led to. A single camera scanned the room from
the wall above me.
I doubted I could slip past the guards
but the distance to the balcony looked jump-able. I would just have
to time it so I could get up and out of sight before the guard turned
which they seemed to do periodically. I waited tense as a coiled spring
for them to turn. When they did I scrambled up onto the desk then jumped
grabbing the edge and hauling myself up onto the balcony then lay flat
as far in as I could get to be out of sight.
I stayed there for a little while recovering
waiting for any sign they had seen me. When none came I crawled to the
door and opened it carefully slipping into the rooms on the first floor
of the house.
There seemed to be less cameras but more
guards on this floor, I evaded them carefully. Eventually I came to
two guards sitting outside a reinforced metal door. I guessed my target
must be in this heavily guarded room. The two guards sat facing the
entrance waiting guns at the ready to mow down anyone who came in. There
was no way to sneak past them. The only reason I could observe them
and not get shot was my mini metal mirror trick. I noticed the chairs
they were sitting on were metal folding chairs, perhaps I could make
use of that.
First I would need to disable their weapons.
I had no idea how to do that not being that familiar with guns so I
decided on overkill and fused all the moving parts I could feel. I even
made the bullets fuse to the magazine so they couldn't be removed or
With the guns neutralized I needed to
take care of the guards this was going to require some careful control.
I focused on their chairs making the metal mine to command. I had to
be quick so I formed some shapes ready behind them then struck. Metal
restraints flowing into place holding their jaws shut, the arms of the
chair encasing their arms, other bands holding their legs still, the
metal of their guns encasing their hands. It happened fast enough that
neither one made a sound. I rounded the corner seeing their immobile
forms eyes wide with fear bodies locked in the act of covering the doorway.
I left them as they were if any of the
other guards wandered past they would see them doing what they expected
and might not notice they were trussed up in metal bonds. I approached
the metal security door, which would be a piece of cake for me to get
through. Rather than open it I did what I had done to the car and moved
the metal aside slipping through a hole low down in the door. A room
full of equipment and monitors greeted me. The thick set shaven headed
man that was my target sat in a leather office chair watching the screens.
"Group 3 check section 4,"
he murmured into a walkie talky.
He scanned the monitors constantly, "Come
on someone find her she can't have gotten far! For fuck sake with an
ugly mug like that she should be easy to spot!"
He sounded angry desperate and I guess
he was, this was his one chance to save himself.
I psyched myself up making a metal club
with one of my bracers. I had to kill this man or it would be me dead.
He worked for this crazy organisation so he had to be a bad guy. The
thought crossed my mind that he might be as much of a prisoner as me
maybe blackmailed or anything. There was no way to know if this was
a good man or not all I did know was if I didn't kill him I would be
killed and I wasn't ready to die.
I lifted my arm to swing bringing the
club down on the back of his head but my movement must have been reflected
in the monitors or something as he dived out of the way at the last
moment. A kick to my mid section sent me sprawling.
"So here you are you little bitch,"
he cried sending another swift kick to my ribs as I tried to get to
my feet, "You're pathetic think you can take me down! It makes
me sick the outfit sending freak kids to do a professionals job."
He went for another kick but I rolled
out of the way and scrambled to get up. He pulled a nasty looking knife
from a sheath on his hip. In his other hand he raised the walkie-talkie.
"All units she's here you're all
a bunch of useless idiots. When I've taken care of her myself I'll see
the lot of you in chains," he spat into the mic then tossed the
unit and turned back to me, "So darling just you and me. Time to
get down to business."
He came at me fast and it was clear he
knew what he was doing. My training with Alex kept me ahead of his blade
just barely. I swung back at him trying to keep him back and buy myself
some time more than anything. We danced round the room dodging and diving
over furniture trading blows mine clumsy his more precise.
Most of the furniture became trashed
as we tramped around the room. He threw things at me so I returned the
favor soon the floor was littered with smashed bits of equipment and
He managed to nick me several times with
the knife and it was getting harder to stay ahead of him. I spun trying
to bring the club down on him but he had anticipated me and dodged slashing
my arm and knocking the club from my grip. I dodged to try and grab
it but he caught me kicking my legs out from under me. In a flash he
has me pinned to the floor. I bucked and fought but he had the advantage
on me and I couldn't get lose. I flailed my arms trying to go for his
eyes or any weak spot I could think of. Some painful slashes from the
knife and an adjustment of his position and he had my arms pinned as
well holding me down with one of his arms the other twirling the knife.
"Well then missy you've led me a
fine dance but it's time to punch your card, be sure to write,"
he lifted the knife high ready to plunge into me.
I needed some freedom so I focused on
my remaining bracer making it rapidly extrude an array of sharp spikes
into his arm holding me down.
He let out a high pitched scream of pain,
the spikes were counterproductive as they actually pinned his arm to
mine so I had them break off still embedded in his arm. This meant he
let go of my upper body I did the only thing I could think off and went
for his throat with my teeth. They cut in like knife through hot butter
and the taste of blood filled my mouth. I wanted to spit it out but
I forced myself to bite down hard then rip away to try and sever something
vital. There was blood everywhere but I obviously hadn't done enough
to kill him.
"You freak bitch!" He cried
blood bubbling out of his mouth a cold resolve in his eyes his fist
tightening on the knife.
He was bleeding profusely and I suspect
I had gotten one of the important arteries so he might well bleed to
death in the next few minutes but he was still moving and seemed intent
on taking me with him. I spat the chunk of flesh out and tried to work
out what to do.
He pulled back lifting the knife high
and began to swing down. Gathering all my strength and will I smashed
my fist into his chest and concentrated on shaping the remaining metal
on my arm into a spike coming out of my knuckles.
There was a strange crack and a wet noise
like then a long shaft of metal ripped out of his back. The knife clanged
to the floor and he stared at me with shocked eyes still with one hand
grabbing his ripped throat. His mouth opened and closed like a goldfish
no sound came out the light in his eyes went out they went cold and
death took him. His body went limp and fell on me his dead weight pinned
I lay there unable to move for several
seconds then used what little of my strength remained to throw his limp
body off me. I scrambled away from him into the corner curling up hugging
my knees against my chest. I started shaking uncontrollably tears pouring
out of my eyes which I couldn't take off the dead body in front of me.
I kept thinking about this man, even if he had been a bad sort there
were probably still people who loved him. A loving parent, an adoring
sibling, a devoted partner, or a worshipping child chances were someone
would feel this loss and it was all my fault. Even if there were people
that would mourn my passing it seemed either they already had or they
had been responsible for my current predicament selling me off to this
outfit. Maybe it would have been better for all concerned if I had just
let him kill me. But I was too selfish I didn't want to lose my life
and I could see now that would mean many more people dead at my hand
like this man.
I stayed still the sorrow and hurt and
shock of the event making me unable to get up. I knew I had to do something
I couldn't feel like this if I was going to survive. Gradually I pushed
those soft feelings down locking them away. I imagined that my captors
were watching my every move now laughing at me it was a good bet they
were videoing my entire progress for their own sick thrills. I stoked
the rage at what had been done to me that I had been forced into this
that one day I would have my revenge on all concerned. I forced myself
to my feet letting my anger give me strength letting the monster they
were making of me show on the surface. I grabbed the body by his legs
and began heading towards the door.
I gestured to the door thrusting the
metal away tearing it open down the middle like it had been blown apart.
Passing the two still captive guards I gave them my best smile their
eyes looked ready to pop out of their heads as I dragged the body past
them. I walked out of the house into the main area several groups of
guards stood staring the lights were on it was clear my controllers
knew I had accomplished their task.
The guards just stared as I dragged the
body across the fake lawn towards the reinforced gates one pulled a
gun. Before he could think of pulling the trigger I melted the gun it
leaving him with a handful of bits. At my command the metal gates peeled
back like some strange insect rolling up and out of my way. As I got
closer the dogs paroling the surrounds growled looking ready to take
a bite out of me I gave them a wider smile and focused on their choke
chains tightening them till the dogs backed off.
The final door was in front of me I kicked
it open and threw the body in surprising Norton who was waiting he scrambled
out of the path of the body.
"Dead as requessssted," I said
"Well it's a good start," Norton
said eyeing the body, "Well done my dear."
Pleasure surged through me as he triggered the implant and through that bliss I heard, "but we have a long way to go yet."
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/