“Hey there, you lazy bastard. You been enjoying your vacation? The place is a mess without you – literally, you know.” Travis asked a slowly rising Johnny.
“Fuck you.” Johnny replied, drawing out his ‘fuck’ in the same way Eluria drew out her ‘fine’s. “If you hadn’t stepped in front of my first punch, I might have had a chance at beating that prick’s ass, you know.” Johnny spat, full of piss and vinegar.
“Ha! Fat chance, buddy. We’re nowhere near as young or as angry as he is. Good news though, he’s off my office and things are a little bit back to normal. You’re officially being released on your own recognizance. As long as there’s no more trouble with you, you just have a few follow up visits over the next two weeks and you’re golden. Finish out the day and I’ll meet you at the house around six, sound good?”
“Yeah, I’ll see you then – maybe. Some asshole was just telling me how dirty the place has gotten without me, I might be a little late.” Johnny cackled to himself like he’d just told the world’s best joke.
“Travis, this is stupid – I don’t see what this has to do with anything.” Eluria howled, letting all the tennis balls she’d been keeping in the air fall to the ground with a staccato chorus of dull thuds as each ball fell and bounced around the room.
“I told you Eluria, we’re establishing a baseline. We’re trying to establish some sort of base line for how powerful you are and what you can do. Then, I’m going to try to interfere with your baseline with stress. I’ll start small and just ask you stupid questions and we’ll build from there. So far, though, it looks like your baseline is pretty close to how long your average teenage girl can go without checking her cellphone or saying ‘like’, which isn’t very comforting.”
“Oh, fuck you!” Eluria shot back. Immediately, she turned bright red at the thought of having actually sworn at Travis. “I’m sorry, oh my god, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I don’t know where that came from.” She rasped, all in one frantic breath.
Travis chuckled to himself once again at the juxtaposition of his student whose mind had traveled the world and seen the sights of a hundred countries and whose body was that of a pubescent girl. “It’s okay. Sounds like it was just a little stress. That’s what we’re here to work on. We’re supposed to be turning you into a happy little robot who doesn’t react to anything. Now, let’s start again.”
Once Travis had Eluria really paying attention, there seemed to be no practical limit to the strength of her powers. He’d run out of tennis balls and sent for more several times now. At last count, she’d held a thousand in the air and started working on various objects in the room.
“Okay, you can stop. This isn’t working.” Everything clattered to the ground at once and Eluria wore an expression of pain on her face.
“It isn’t working? I thought I was doing great! I had all the balls in the air, and a whole bunch of other stuff too!” Eluria whined.
Seeing her face and hearing her tone, Travis went in to damage control to wrangle his teenage student back into the land of adults.
“Nononononono – you were doing wonderfully. Too good for me to keep up with. I need to find a better measure of your power. You might end up at a million tennis balls before you actually start to struggle, and I don’t think we can get that many on short notice, no matter what the budget is.”
“Oh, so I’m doing good?!” She beamed.
“Yes, excellent. The only way you could be doing better is if you could help me think of a better way to test you.”
“What about, like, bowling balls?”
“Bowling balls? I think we’d have an even harder time getting bowling balls then tennis balls. We need something really heavy and we need a ridiculous number of them. I wish I could take you to Time’s Square and just have you lift all the tourists or something.”
“Well, can’t you?”
“Oh man. I think you and I are pretty high up on the shit list to be asking for vacations just yet, Eluria. We’ll make a deal though, when this whole thing” Travis gestured to the room around him with both hands “is over and done with, we’ll go see it together. How’s that?”
“That – that’d be nice, Travis.” Eluria mumbled, tripping over her own words as she cast her eyes downward and a tell tale redness crept slowly across her face.
Sooner or later, Travis was going to have to sort out this child’s infatuation with him one way or the other.
Datura’s creeper vines of malice crept through every corner of the Facility and gently caressed the consciousness of all the subjects in her kingdom. She hadn’t found anywhere so ripe for ruin in years. Compared to the supermax prison style security measures employed at Facility 7, Facility 4 was an all inclusive resort, built especially for Datura’s own enjoyment.
The baby’s got a burning in her loins for the Doctor, oh won’t that be such delicious agony for them both.
Datura briefly wondered how long it would be before the contingency and tertiary containment measures in Facility 7 would register her absence, but didn’t dwell for too long. No sense ruining a vacation by thinking about how sad you’ll be to go home. It was no matter, she’d inevitably get taken back home where she’d bide her time until she was ready to play again and then she’d send out those little tendrils of power and massage all memory of her existence right out of her captors’ little cockroach brains. Despite what she knew about the other girls, Datura never felt like she had gotten the short end of the stick with her power. What was it that silly bitch, Phleer, had said? “Technically a Laoton Scale Zero as well…. Datura inhibits the powers of others. She can nullify powers, reverse them, weaken them.”
Datura giggled to herself at that last bit – Phleer had come up with it all on her own. Datura had simply planted the suggestion of power in her memories and played on Phleer’s own selfish, blind ambition to do the rest. Yes, working with memory and emotion like clay was far more utilitarian than anything she had seen Eluria do in her brief stay in her Facility. Little princess wouldn’t be so special when Datura was done with her. Breaking people was her speciality, it came naturally to her, but breaking Laoton Scale Individuals (LSIs) was an art all to itself, and so much more fun.
Eluria sat alone in her dormitory, agonizing over Travis and his stress tests. How much longer did she have before he found out? How mad would he be when he realized how much he’d been lied to? The tennis balls had been easy enough, but how long could she keep it up before he found out she couldn’t do almost any of the things her file said she could?
Johnny passed Travis a bottle of cheap whiskey.
“Sorry about your face, buddy.”
“It’s alright Johnny, you punch like you clean. I got all that sorted out. We should have that young kid at the door tomorrow. That new guy is way too amped up.”
“Yeah, a real asshole. He sure rocked my shit. You don’t realize how the years have piled on until you get hospitalized by some young buck.”
“It wasn’t that bad. No worse than any other fight. Probably better because nobody was drunk so he stopped hitting you pretty quick. You were only “hospitalized” because it happened at work. If it’d been out at a bar somewhere you’d have just woken up in the drunk tank, no big deal.”
“Yeah, I guess. Still – I guess it’s been a while since I’ve had my ass handed to me like that.”
“Enough about all that. What am I going to do about this kid? If I leave her in there, they’re going to turn her into some kind of Murderbot 9000. I’ve got six more months with her before we head up to Maryland to really test her powers and then if everything is a go she’ll start training with the CAG guys a few months after that.”
“It’s like we said before – we’ve got to break her out. That’s the only option I see, Travesty. She shouldn’t be in there in the first place, she should be out living life, smoking pot, having sex, driving too fast. Not cooped up in a little apartment ten stories under ground, putting up with your boring ass all day. Even if she does have to stay there, she’s a kid. She’s all retarded shit with her brain powers, but she’s still a kid and no kid wants to get turned into Murderbot 9000. I guess we better start planning this thing out.”
“Fuckin’ A. You know things are bad when you’re making sense.”
“No. Not a chance in hell Travis. You can’t take her out of the Facility, not after that horse shit in the meeting. You know General Crayton still isn’t answering my phone calls? We honestly might not even still be on for Maryland after all that.”
“Just hear me out, Elle. I’m trying to establish the baseline for her powers, with a variety of metrics. The first thing we’re working on is how much raw strength she can output with her mind, as well as the limits of her concentration. I need to know what she can do, and unless you can provide me with adequate material and space within the Facility confines, I need to take her outside the Facility.”
“Tell me what you have so far?”
“I’m just winging this, but right now we’re working with tennis balls. She had a thousand in the air the other day. That’s not really anything special based on the reports we have available – roughly the weight of a small adult, about 130 pounds or so, but her keeping focus on one thousand separate objects at once, moving them individually and as a group while carrying on a conversation with me is significant. I need to move on to larger scale tests. My first planned excursion is to a bowling alley. I figure we can rent it out for a few nights, take an armed escort and work through the night. Eventually, I’d like to take her to one of the old airplane boneyards in Arizona or California.”
“Write up the proposal – I want everything covered down to the letter. If it’s good, I’ll pass it up, but don’t count on this going further than this office. I really don’t see higher approving this.”
“Pass it up? You’ve never had to pass anything up before?”
“And you’ve never tried to take an LSI Zero out of containment before either, Travis. This is out of my depth.”
Author’s Note: So here’s the Comatose Girl wordpress site.
It looks like shit and trying to make it look better has done nothing, but shown me how fucking inept I am at life, but it’s live.
Also, the new Patreon is live and just as rough as the new wordpress.
Lastly, would love to hear what you think.