Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Meta Corps: Dream of the Youth (Part 8)

  Chapter 10

             “Meta Corps is near the Golden Gate Bridge then?” Lora asked. “Wow.”
 Sarra nodded and sipped her water.
 “Yeah, the Purple Fortune spotted me in the air a while ago. She was a little pissed that no one had told her about us.”
 “Uh-oh, that’s not good. How come she wasn’t told?” Lora asked.
 Sarra shrugged.
 “I don’t know. She’s going to come by and get us soon though. I want to get better at this. I think she’s mad because her powers didn’t work back there. Can’t always be lucky.”
 Lora and Sarra sat in their new back yard, taking a break from unpacking. The lawn was bigger than their old one and a wall of trees on the parameter blocked the sun for most of the day. The garden furniture was still boxed up, so the sisters floated cross-legged above the patio.
 Sarra drank the last of her water and tossed the cup into the air. She wound her arm back, keeping an eye on the airborne cup, and swung it upward. Her arm made a loud crack and it struck the cup. Lora jumped at the sound. The cup landed in two pieces on the lawn.
 “I need to work on that.” Sarra said. She stretched her arm out to collect the slices.
 “Nice. What else can you do, Sarra?” Louie asked, coming out from the house.
 Sarra turned her head almost one hundred and eighty degrees. Lora expressed her repulsion.
 “You know, Dad. Run, ride a bike, use a jump rope, get away with evading my taxes, normal stuff.”
 Louie stood next to Sarra.
 “That last one sounds pretty heroic to me.” He said.
 “Just like getting your hand caught in the cookie jar.” Lora said.
 “You’re not helping.” Sarra intoned.
 Lora frowned.
 “Hey, Sarra, be nice.”
 Louie cleared his throat.
 “Really, Sarra what else can you do? How often does a man’s daughter… singular, become an ooze girl?”
 Sarra clicked her tongue.
 “Please dad, Ooze Person.”
 “I stand corrected.”
 Sarra uncrossed her legs.
 “Okay, look. Stretching is a given, but with it, I can change my viscosity and solidity. See look, my hand is thick right now.”
 Sarra drove her index finger into her palm. Although both her palm and finger stretched upward, the back of her hand did not break open. She wiggled her finger.
 “Now, I’m going to change how thin my hand gets, and…”
 Sarra’s glove went from crimson to dark pink. Lora watched the color change until Sarra’s finger burst from the back of her hand. Lora gasped and paled. She resisted the urge to ask if Sarra was all right. Sarra’s silver dribbled down her hand like water.
 Louie nodded nonchalantly.
 “That’s very disgusting. What else?”
There was a quiver in Lora’s voice.
 “Boy, I’ll say…”
 Sarra smiled and put her hand down. Her elongated finger separated from its own hand having merged with the other one. It shuddered.
“Oh, yuck!” Lora turned away.
 Louie held his hand up.
 “Alright Sarra, you have the potential to be a cosmic horror, we get it.”
 Sarra laughed. Her ‘extra’ finger melted back into her hand and emerged back where it belonged.
 “I plan to use that to my advantage. How scared shitless would a bad guy be if I went up to them as a tentacle beast? This is going to be an easy job.”
 “Your mother will be so proud.” Louie said with a chuckle.
 Sarra put her index finger up and floated out onto the lawn.
 “Won’t she now? Look at this; I tested my falling durability yesterday and I’m going to repeat it now.”
 Louie pointed at her.
 “You’re heartless, brainless and spineless, Sarra. How do you expect to survive the idea of a deadly fall, let alone act on it?”
 Sarra put her hands on her hips, her elbows disappearing into her arms in a perfect curve.
 “Oh, ha, ha.”
 Lora clutched her father’s arm.
 “Daddy, be nice.”
 Louie curled his lip and nodded; his five o clock shadow and longer blonde Ivy League hairstyle being a clear signal that he was both girls father.
 “Deadpan can be a wonderful thing, Lora.”
 Sarra screwed her face up. She clicked her tongue and immediately flew up into the air.
 “Is she really doing to do it?” Louie asked.
 “I hope not.”
 “Hey, I don’t think she’s gotten hurt since the transformation, so why not? I would like to see how she goes splat. I’ve never seen an EnWol explode in the lab.”
 Lora frowned.
 “Aren’t you concerned that Sarra will get hurt, Daddy? Just by some chance?”
 Louie rolled his head and looked at Lora with the same pointed look that Sarra had mastered and abused many times before.
 “Aren’t you concerned, Lora? We’ve had silver heroes that stretch, explode, and fly around our whole lives. I don’t think that Sarra can be killed by doing anything ‘humanly’ stupid anymore.”
 Lora looked inside herself for an answer. She was shocked to find that she was indeed concerned for Sarra, but only in a quiet sense that something might go wrong. On the surface, she knew from studying EnWol, and with bits and pieces of information, that Sarra would be fine.
 “I guess I’m not too concerned.” Lora said in a small voice. “I haven’t flown up to convince her to come down in a panicked frenzy.”
 “I believe she’ll be fine. Thing is, is that I don’t know if she believes that herself.” Louie said.
 Sarra succeeded the house by ten feet. She looked down, noticing her sister and father watching her. Her breath caught, which she thought was odd since her lungs and esophagus were no more. Sarra got used to flying and landing, but she felt reluctant to lose control and fall to prove a point.
 This would be easier if I were both suicidal and still made of meat…
 “The cyborg clone is ready to take your place in death, Sarra.” Louie called.
 Sarra rolled her eyes. She held her breath and thought of how she felt the last time.
 There was no pain on impact, just pressure; then came the feeling of being spread everywhere, and then finally imploding back at her leisure. Her heart quivered, and she focused on why she still felt physical human emotions when she was no longer human.
Sarra fell to the lawn.
 Lora inhaled and Louie’s hand dug into her shoulder. Sarra hit the lawn and exploded into reflective goop. She was in the trees, the bushes, and dripping down the wall. A large mass of putty reflecting the sky sat at the point of impact.
 “Eww…” Lora moaned.
 Louie let go.
 “Sarra a la Squished.”
 Sarra’s individual globs wobbled and flew back to the largest portion. The blob grew, and a mirrored Sarra stepped out of it. The remaining lump vanished into her legs and than her foot. Her color came back when she was fully formed, the reflective sheen muted to naught.
“See, I lived through that, so think of the other things that I could survive. That is why I think that I’ll be a better hero than my sister.” She hid her fear behind her wall of cool.
 Louie chuckled.
 “Hey, at least Lora will want to get back up on the horse instead of moping like some other hero that was scared to prove a point.”
 Sarra crossed her arms; they blended in with each other.
 “Yeah, because I really look dead.”
 Louie shrugged.
 “Well, you could be an ectoplasmic ghost for all you know. Ghosts are cold, would generate frost, fly around and act like goo. Can you haunt the Spanish tombs up north? I’m sure that the visitors would get a kick out of it.”
 Sarra smiled.
 “You know what guys?” Lora asked with a smile. “Sarra’s experience back in Huntington Beach didn’t go so well, so maybe she can buck up and learn to be extra super here? I’m sure that there are gyms up here too, Sarra.”
 Sarra stared at her.
 “Umm, sis, where are we? Near the main Meta Corps branch, duh.”
 Lora looked slightly contested.
 “Well, it was just an idea.”
 Louie stepped out onto the lawn.
 “Speaking of which, neither of you have told me about what happened in Huntington Beach. Everyone said that Sarra freaked out and Lora had to contain her. What happened?”
 Sarra closed her eyes, her face blank. Lora flew out and put her hand on Sarra’s shoulder.
“I don’t think that you were really ready then… were you, Sarra?”
 Sarra didn’t answer. She opened her eyes after a long moment and went inside the house. She didn’t look back. Lora and her father kept their distance.
 “Something’s eating at her.” Louie muttered. Lora nodded.
 “I agree. I’d talked to Cindy about it, but she didn’t think so.”
 Louie nodded.
 “Cindy’s nice but she’s kind of obnoxious. She needs to either cut the sugar, or switch to decaf.”
 Lora bit her lip, unsure of how to defend her friend who had done both of the things that Louie had mentioned.
 “Umm… could Sarra be moping because she’s an EnWol now?”
 Louie shrugged.
 “I don’t know; it seems like something that we’ve all wanted at one point. I wanted to be either a meta or EnWol when I was younger than she is now, but I kinda grew out of it.’
 “I can’t figure it out. Why would Sarra feel, umm…?”
 “Violated, maybe?” Louie asked.
 Lora shook her head.
 “No, umm… Why would Sarra feel morose about it, Daddy? Shouldn’t she be a bit happier? Sarra’s a good person at heart, and she always talks about what’s wrong with the world, so why is she unhappy about being given the chance to change it?”
 Louie rubbed Lora’s shoulder in thought.
 “I don’t doubt that she wanted to be a meta or EnWol, but it bugs her because… with Sarra, she realized that this was a fundamental change to what she has worked so hard to build up; her own sense of reinforced individuality. Sarra feels that the gauntlets, her flight, her being stretchy and all are a detour from her own personal mission as a human being. Does that make sense, Lora?”
 She nodded and thought of how the gauntlets had affected her.
 “Yeah. I kind of think that being stretchy is a little icky. I’ve told everyone who knows about my inheritance that I don’t think that I want to be stretchy. I don’t think that I need it either.”
 Louie shrugged.
 “Hey, Sarra can survive bullets and explosions. Why not? Besides, you never know. You might get a limb torn off somehow, and where would being stretchy be then?”
 Lora frowned, her face paled. Louie chuckled.
 “That’s the point Lora, think about it. We have metas out there that can spit fire from their palms and hurt people. How do EnWol react? They get a little gooey, flounder around and wait until the fire master gets tired. After that, bam, the EnWol recovers and the fire master is hauled off to prison. That’s why EnWol have that power.
 Think about this too. You and Sarra, you two young women are going to be around a lot of good metas and bad metas. It’s best to face the fact that it’s unfamiliar and get used to it. Look at this, how different is Sarra aside of being more flighty, stretchy and bitchy?”
 Lora laughed.
 “Not very much, daddy.”
 Louie nodded.
 “Yep, that’s right. So, think about this too. What if your elasticity comes in late, and you end up like some goo? What are going to do then?”
 Lora’s smile dropped. She looked at her pink hand and her pinched reflection in the gauntlet. She studied the image and tried to put herself in the situation.
 “I think that I would be too grossed out to move.”
 Louie shrugged.
 “Girls gotta move. How are you going to cope in the long run if it happens?”
 Lora tapped the metal of the gauntlet, listening to her muffled fingernails clink.
 “Well Daddy, if it does kick in, then I’ll try to make the best of it because I know that it won’t go away. Ever.” Lora made a sad smile. Louie patted her back.
 “Right back on the horse and kept going without worrying about the mud in your hair.”
 Lora nodded, her smile returning.
 Louie pointed at her.
 “That’s what I like to hear from you. Hey, what powers can you pull off to compensate for the dreaded elasticity?”
 Lora looked surprised.
 “Me daddy? Umm…”
 Lora held her hand up and bits of snow made a wet puff from her hand. It overflowed into the ground.
 “I need to work on that.” Lora clapped her hands.
 Louie nodded.
 “Most metas that can control ice can create spikes and impale people with them.”
 Lora scowled.
 “Well, I certainly don’t want to do that.”
 Louie yawned.
 “I never said that you had too, Happy. It’s a little weird how you and Sarra are attacking with the very thing that can stop you, well, her anyway.” He walked back to the door and started inside.
 “I’d better go and console your sister. I don’t hear her blaring her guitar, so she’s probably crying into her pillow.” Louie sniffed to clear his nose.
 Lora followed her father inside the kitchen.
 “I’ve only seen Sarra cry over movies.”
 Louie barked a laugh.
 “Well, this is obviously very different, Lora. This hero thing is going to shake everyone’s foundation to the core. Trust me.”
 Louie paused and fiddled with a speck on the counter.
 “You know, Lora, I felt like Sarra did when I was her age; mopey, sad and lost after coming out of being a teenager.”
 Lora nodded.
 “I can believe that. What did you do about it, Daddy?” Lora asked, a smile gracing her face.
 Louie sighed and smiled back at Lora.
 “I met your mother and grew up.”

If you would like the whole book, a souvenir of the experience, check it out at Smashwords here: 


No comments:

Post a Comment