Randolph and Kim

Chapter 8

AUTHOR'S NOTE: All of my stories have been written for an exclusively adult audience. They contain descriptions of violence, some of it of a sexual nature. They also include other sexually explicit depictions. They are in no way suitable for minors. Furthermore it is against the law in many parts of the world for this type of material to be read, either by minors or by minors and adults. Please make sure you are not acting contrary to local legislation before reading on and please do not read any further if you find this type of material offensive in any way. This is a work of fiction and any similarity between the characters and events depicted and any people/events in real-life, past or present, is purely co-incidence. A number of the characters and events portrayed are inspired by, or based upon, existing works of fiction. Although I have made every effort to keep plagiarism to a minimum, I must acknowledge a debt of thanks to the many artists and writers who have shared their talents with the public. I've released my stories to the public domain to make sure that as many people as possible who share my interest in this type of fiction can enjoy them. Please feel free to re-distribute them by whatever means you like, provided you respect the following points: (1) The stories will be re-distributed exactly as they are - unchanged and unedited. (2) No other person will claim authorship of any of these stories or any part of them. (3) The stories will not be distributed for profit, either on their own or as part of a group of other works. Lastly, thank you for your interest in this story. I hope you enjoy it!

The last transistor is in place. The new diodes, capacitors and other components are also soldered in. Having verified that it is indeed complete, Randolph has placed the modified circuit board to one side. He rubs his sore wrist and his aching fingers, cursing the arthritic pains he has to endure to fulfil his destiny. Still, despite the continual discomfort he is suffering, he cannot resist picking up his one and only Sherman crystal. He holds it out between his thumb and forefinger, turning it in the powerful artificial glow of his work light. It truly is his masterpiece; maybe even the greatest achievement in the entire history of biochemistry.

The crystal looks so dull, so.. ordinary right now, but Randolph knows that it will soon be a very different proposition. Once it has been filled with power - his power, which he so painstakingly and patiently collected for forty years - it will be far too hot to touch and it will glow with his energy. Energy which he will soon be able to reclaim from the foul juvenile enchantress who stole it. Energy which he will then be able to transfer into his own, wholesome body. He will be able to use the power so much more intelligently than any ignorant youngster, so much more appropriately than any female. Yes! When the world sees him wield the might of his discovery, there will be no doubt in anyone's mind that he is responsible for the single greatest scientific accomplishment of all time. In any field.

Back at the highway, Kim finds herself all alone. Her so-called friends have either fled or been killed. Even the survivors from the vehicles caught up in Kim's exhibition have seen more than enough to conclude that the greater the distance they can put between Kim and themselves, the better. Her wonderful eyesight allows her to truly see the colossal extent of the damage inflicted on the formerly imposing school building. Amidst flickering flames, she knows that nothing remains of the four-storey edifice bar a pile of burning and unrecognisable rubble. There's no-one left to show off to, and just about nothing left to show off with. She's done here. She might as well go home. After all, she's got to change. Yet again....

She breaks into a fast but comfortable jog, instantly accelerating to a speed of over nine hundred miles per hour, outrunning the sounds of police sirens approaching from the opposite direction and so never hearing them. Neither is she aware of the helicopter speeding to the scene. If she'd waited a minute, she'd have been able, with her awesome eyes, to read the Channel 8 News logo on the side. But by the time the whirlybird makes it to the smouldering ruins of the J. Edgar Hoover High School, Kim is already standing on the sidewalk in front of her house.

While Kim sighs at the tedious prospect of having to leap over her home in order to get inside without keys for the second time that day, Randolph sighs at the frustration of not being able to remember when - and most pertinently - where he last used his orange electrical extension reel. Was it when he last cut the grass in the back yard? Or when he tried to set up that night-vision camera with motion-detector that was supposed to record any nocturnal activity taking place in the bedroom of the whore next door? The camera failed because the inconsiderate filthy trollop always remembered to close her bedroom curtains at night. But was that before or after he mowed the lawn? He's pretty sure it was after, which means the extension reel must be somewhere here in the garage.

His frustration is heightened by the knowledge that his crystal-charging, power-draining ray is now ready. All he lacks now is a way of powering it at any distance greater than five feet from his workbench. He fails to draw comfort from the irony that once he regains his energy, the degeneration of his memory will no longer be a daily factor in his life. He will also be able to see in much greater detail, something from which he could benefit right now as he casts furiously around the garage, hunting the last piece in his jigsaw. Then again, as he has already fantasised a thousand times before, once he regains the power, he could have an army of servants to find the reel. Oh yes, he can picture it so clearly. His army of filthy, degenerate females - re-educated, of course, to know their place and follow his glorious leadership with unwavering loyalty - ready to spring into action at his whim.

No! He must stop touching himself. Stop allowing himself to be derailed from his straight and noble course by these disgusting thoughts. Thoughts planted in his head by evil, black-magic-practising witches for the very purpose of distracting him. No. He will not let the witches - the females - win. He will keep his hands away from his groin and dedicate his whole mind to the task of finding the extension coil. He will ignore the sensation of his erect penis pressing insistently against the inside of his trouser-fly. He will not be side-tracked!

Kim, on the other hand, is already having to deviate from her plans. There's no point leaping into the back garden now. As far as avoiding her parents goes, it's too late. Her father's seen her hanging about on the sidewalk. He must've been waiting for her or something. Maybe he's pissed about the mess in the back yard. She'll just tell him some bullshit about it not being her fault and he'll buy it. He always does. He'd never accept that his little princess was anything less than perfect. How could she be, he'd think. She's had a perfect childhood. Never wanted for anything. Always had everything she asked for delivered to her. Why wouldn't she be a good person?

She walks confidently up to the front door as her father opens it. He seems to be looking at her strangely as she enters the house, like he's studying her to see if she's really his daughter and not an almost-identical fake. And, most unusually for him, he isn't talking. He hasn't said "How's my princess?" or "Hey, Sunbeam!". She dismisses the odd behaviour as yet another shitty aspect of getting old. She hopes she won't have to go through all that crap now that's she super and all. God! It's like he's getting alkaseltzerheimers or whatever that thing is called when old folks can't remember their own names. He's left the front door open and just walked off into the TV room. She'd better close it. A burglar could come in and steal all her clothes. Then again, she'll have to do it really carefully so as not to smash the door. And anyone seeking to even touch her clothes without her permission is so going to die that it doesn't matter.

"Fuck the door" she concludes, leaving it slightly ajar. She's about to go upstairs to claim the sanctuary of her bedroom when her mother's voice reaches out to her from the T.V. room. "Kimberly? Could you step in here please? Your father and I need to talk to you."

She sighs. It IS going to be about the back yard. She may as well get this over with now so that her parents will leave her alone afterwards...

"Kimberly!" her mother begins the interrogation as she walks in. "Where have you been, dressed like that?"

"I told you, mom. I went to Jessie's house. To study. And, er, do stuff."

"We know that's a lie." her father says. "I spoke to Jessie's dad three times this evening and I know you haven't been there. Now, answer your mother's question. Where have you been?"

"Down by the highway."

"Doing WHAT?" her mom practically shrieks "And with WHO?"

"Hanging with my friends."

"What did you do after school today?" Her father asks.

"Just came home and worked on my tan. What's the problem?"

"Are you sure you didn't go downtown, Kim?" her mother says, softly. "We.. we... your father and I saw some... er... saw some pictures on the television that looked a lot like you."

"On the news." her father adds. "Was that you Kim? Look at me, Kim. Look at me and tell me, was that you in the Pasta place?"

Her mind is racing. She's been on television - how cool is that?! What a shame that she missed it! Maybe her dad taped it. She hopes that some of the other guys from school - the ones that weren't with her earlier tonight - saw it too. She's about to correct her father and tell him it was a Pizza place, not a Pasta place when she realises that displaying such in-depth knowledge of the now-famous restaurant's menu would not be a good move right now. That's because she's got a cast-iron alibi which she doesn't want to compromise. One single, simple line should do it. "I don't know what you're talking about." she announces. That should get the heat off her back.

For some reason, her brilliant plan does not succeed. "Show her, Earl." her mother instructs. "Put the TV on Channel 8. They've been running that clip all night. They're bound to show it again." Her dad obeys. All three of them turn to face the image on the flickering screen. It's not the footage from Luigi's. It's an aerial shot of a building, or rather the ruins of a building, in flames. It looks somehow familiar. The pictures are accompanied by the studio anchorman's voice:

"What you're seeing now are images being captured live from the Channel 8 News 'copter of the fire still burning at the J. Edgar Hoover High School. We've just heard from a fire department official that the entire school building has been totally destroyed, possibly - although this is as yet unconfirmed - by an explosion. Let's go live now to our reporter Ken Clark who's on the scene. Ken, do you have any further information on what might have caused this fire or, indeed, whether or not there was an explosion as the fire department say is likely?"

"Well, Mike, there's been no official word on any of this so far. I can tell you that the damage to the school building, as best that I can see, is pretty total. There's no indication yet of any casualties in the school building, but the local Sheriff has told me that two bodies, believed to be students at J. Edgar Hoover High, have been recovered from beside the highway that runs alongside the school here. The Sheriff did not give any further details, except to say that, given the condition they were found in, identifying the two bodies would take some time. Perhaps significantly, Mike, he refused to rule out a connection between events here and the Pizza-House slayings this afternoon."

"Thanks, Ken. You're watching Channel 8 News with me, Mike Rofoan. Right now, we're going to hear from Marcie Green, who is head of the School Board at the J. Edgar Hoover High. Marcie joins us now by telephone. Marcie, do you have any idea what might have caused such a devastating fire?"

"Ah, good evening, Mike. No, none of us have any clue what could have happened. Our school boasts the third best safety record in this county and the eleventh best in the whole state and we all work hard - parents, teachers and kids - to try and sustain that record. We're all just shocked that this has happened."

"Marcie, we'll continue this interview in just a moment, but right now we're going back to Ken Clark live at the school. Ken, I believe you have tracked down a eyewitness? Is that her with you now?"

"Yes, that's right Mike. This young lady claims to have witnessed everything. Would you please tell the Channel 8 News viewers what started this fire?"

"It was Kim. She did it." The interviewee glances to her left and her right "Am I really on TV?" she suddenly asks.

"You're live on the Channel 8 News." Ken confirms, expertly trying to keep the unrehearsed interview as professional as he can. "Who's Kim? Is she a student at J. Edgar Hoover High?"

"Yeah. She's gotten totally super - superpowers, you know what I mean? She threw a gasoline truck at the school. She's out of control."

"You're so dead, Veronica." Kim says to the girl on the TV screen. Her father switches the television off with the remote control and holds his head in his hands. Her mother falls back into the sofa, shaking her head in shock.

"So," her father says, slowly, the words forming themselves with difficulty, "It was you at the Pasta place... And this explosion at the school - was that you too, Kim?"

Kim neither denies nor admits the charges. Her parents make the correct assumption that, under the circumstances, the lack of a denial is worth as much as the presence of an admission. Her mother bursts into tears.

Just thirty yards away there is evidence of a very much contrasting emotion. In Randolph's garage, it is a moment on a par with Archemedes' legendary bath-bound yell. He has located the extension reel. He puffs and sweats as he stretches to plug its trailing cord into the home-made transformer beneath his workbench, but in his heart now there is nothing but anticipation. Sweet, tingling anticipation. The moment is close. Soon... Soon he will take back that which is his from she that has stolen it. He lifts his beam-generator from its podium, the weight of the contraption straining him almost to his last ounce of strength as he activates the mechanism to open the garage door. Before the door is even two-thirds raised, Randolph has ducked beneath it. He marches, full of righteous intent towards the house next door, leaving a lengthening trail of orange cable in his wake. Can he really see what he thinks he can see? A chink of light on one side of the front door? Yes! The obliging imbeciles have left the door open for him...

"Kim, what have you done?" her mother sobs. "We didn't raise you to be a killer!"

"Relax, Mom." Kim misinterprets the gist of her mother's cry. "I got superpowers. No-one can touch me."

"We can," says her mother. "we're you parents."

Her father drones "I... I have to call the police."

"Oh no you don't." Kim tells him. She becomes a smear before his eyes. He feels a sudden gust of wind that nearly knocks him over and as he stumbles, there's a loud crunching sound to his left. Suddenly, Kim is standing on the other side of the room, the crushed up ruins of two cellphones - his and his wife's and the TV room telephone - falling from her hands. She brushes her hands off theatrically.

"What are you going to do now, Kim?" her mother asks, now unexpectedly calm. "Are you going to kill us?" Kim's father is too shocked to speak, so his wife goes on "What's happened to you, Kim? What's happened to our little girl?"

"I told you," says Kim in a voice that suggests she's getting bored of the line of questioning "I got superpowers. I can do anything."

"Not if I have anything to say about it!" her father suddenly announces.

Kim rolls her eyes. "Well.... you don't, Dad," she retorts.

"What's happened to my baby?" her mother demands to know, tearfully. "How... how did this happen? Where did you get these 'superpowers'?"

"She stole them from me!" shouts Randolph, triumphantly, as he bursts into the room carrying his beam-generator and trailing thick electric flex behind him.

"What the hell's going on?" Kim's father stands up.

"Your slut of a daughter stole my work! She stole my powers!" Randolph answers.

"Don't call her that!" Kim's dad instinctively protects his princess' honour.

"I'll be able to call anyone what I want as soon as I absorb the powers out of that girl with this de-Shermanizer and restore them to their rightful owner - me." Randolph rants. "Just as soon as I press this bu-"

"-No way, dude." Kim interrupts him. Less than a split-second later, the large metal contraption is a series of dozens of pieces of torn and twisted metal and circuitry, scattered on the floor like bizarre confetti.

"No!" screams Randolph. It's not pain that makes him cry. It's something far worse: failure. Failure yet again. Failure, once more, at the hands of the same stupid, immature, degenerate, disrespectful whore. It's so unjust! All his effort, all his genius, destroyed in the blink of an eye. Just as it was so difficult for him to reassemble and reconfigure the beam generator, so it was sublimely easy for the obscene trollop to tear it apart. His labour took hours, she has undone it in microseconds. To build that machine took a mind as powerful as any on the planet, honed by decades of study. To destroy it required nothing but an ill-educated, unintelligent, inexperienced... female. "No! No! No! No!" he screams.

Kim ignores the old man's tantrum. She's just realised something. She shares it with the room, just in case anyone there might be thinking she's not very clever. "And there's not going to be any running off home to build a new one of those. No more zapping for Randy here!" she decrees. She takes a step towards the sexagenarian who backs away, gets his ankle caught in the cable still lying on the floor behind him, and falls backwards. Randolph smacks the carpet with the back of his head and does not move. His eyes are closed. Kim bends towards him.

"Kim! No! What are you doing?" her mother yells.

Kim looks up to tell her mom to shut up, but she never gets to say the words. Her superhuman ears detect the sound of cars - lots of cars - in the road outside. Something's going on out there. She races to the window and pulls the curtain aside. "Shit!" she says "Cops!"

Kim's parents look at one another, their daughter and the elderly man lying unconscious on the floor. Kim looks at her parents, the elderly man and the men piling out of cars, swarming like a plague of insects on the sidewalk in front of the house. A few seconds pass. No-one moves and no-one says anything. Then the silence in the room is broken by an amplified voice carried over a megaphone loudspeaker from outside. "Kim! This is the police! We know you are in there. The house is surrounded. You have thirty seconds to come out with your hands in the air and surrender peacefully!"

Kim has no intention of surrendering to anyone, peacefully or any other way. Why should she? She's never been keen to do what other people told her to do before and, hey, she's super now. What's the point of that if she can't do exactly what she wants? She's about to walk out of the TV room and make her way to the front door to confront the boys in blue, when she has a better idea. Why would a girl need a front door when she's tougher than steel and strong enough to throw a truck? She smiles, placing her hands defiantly and dominantly on her shapely hips and thrusting out her remarkable chest, testing her bikini top to the very edge of its capabilities. Then she strides straight towards the window. She keeps walking as she comes to the wall. It's only bricks and plaster, concrete and bits of steel. Nothing there that she needs to be concerned about.

Her bare foot kicks into and clean through the side of the house, emerging in a small shower of fragments into the front yard. Dozens of startled police aim their guns at the small bit of gorgeous naked female leg sticking out of the wall. Kim has stepped right through the building as if it wasn't there. Enjoying the sight of her body causing so much damage, she continues her stride. The front of her body slams into the wall, pressing into it with a force hundreds of times stronger than any it is intended to withstand. Her stunning breasts, so large and proud on her upper torso, lead the onslaught, smashing and grinding to powder any substance or object that dares to stand in her way. Even her face now is carving through the wall, her beautiful features utterly undamaged as they demolish brick and stone.

Half a second later, an area six foot high by three feet wide of bricks bursts noisily outwards from the front of the building. Pieces of wall fly as far as the nearest police, injuring a couple of them. A cloud of dust fills the yard for a moment. It clears, revealing the startling sight of a beautiful sixteen-year old in a bikini standing, hands on hips, inside a rough hole, almost exactly her size, in the front of the house. She strolls forward through the gap, her nose imperiously in the air as she surveys the ranks of law-enforcers spread out in front of her. Each confident, languid step she takes causes another chunk of displaced concrete or brick to be crushed to dust beneath her bare soles. She doesn't even notice. She just continues to advance, fluid sexy stride after fluid sexy stride.

"Freeze!" The megaphoned yell intrigues Kim just enough for her to turn her head slightly to look at its source.

"No. YOU freeze!" she retorts to the overweight man with the loudspeaker. She pushes those gorgeous red lips out, as though proffering him a kiss. But the lips are just a guide to steer a strong blast of her coldest superbreath. The air her powerful exhalation touches condenses to moisture immediately. The shape of the jet of her breath becomes clearly visible as a conical, white cloud that tapers to a point at the precise centre of her irresistible pout. As she effortlessly blows, the other end of the cloud stretches rapidly away from her until it touches the man with the megraphone.

In the span of a second, Kim's breath turns every molecule of liquid in every cell in the officer's body into ice. She closes her mouth once she has turned him into an completely solid statue, coated in a thick layer of frozen air. Kim smiles at the effectiveness of her lung-power. The cops stare in horror and amazement, but not for long. They know that she killed their colleagues at the Pizza place earlier in the day. Now they have witnessed her taking the life of yet another policeman. Even Kim is not surprised when, almost as one, the men crowded around the front yard open fire on her.

There must be two dozen pistols aimed at her and half a dozen rifles. Not every shot hits her, but the vast majority do. To Kim, facing the onslaught of bullets directly, her hands still on her hips, her lovely eyes wide open, her erotic mouth showing no emotion beyond a defiant, slightly bored sneer, the sensation is rather like lying on a lawn under light drizzle. That's how the continuous stream of impacts feels for her. Like harmless light raindrops, bouncing off her skin.

The lead and steel barrage is insistent, but her body refuses to allow even one of the thousands of bullets to make a mark. They bounce off her forehead, her cheeks, her chin, even her sneer. They ricochet uselessly from her neck and her shoulders, and her perfect abdomen. They peck holes in the heroic fabric of her bikini until there's more hole than material, and what's left falls in tatters from her. Now her remarkable breasts and her inviting groin are on clear display. It's just more flawless flesh for supersonic metal projectiles to rebound away from. Kim leisurely brings her left palm up to her mouth to stifle a pretend yawn. Then her hand returns to her hip and the sneer takes over facial expression duties once more. The useless onslaught continues all the while.

About one in twenty of the shots meant for Kim misses its intended target entirely. These bullets, unlike the ones wasted on the teenage girl's naked body, are able to do actual damage. The windows of the front of the house have all been shattered. The brickwork all around the rough Kim-shaped hole is pockmarked with countless deep holes. Some shots actually deflect of her smooth, flawless skin and ping into the house, chipping more brick, smashing more glass. The increasing tarnishing of the front of the building is the only proof that the police are using real bullets. The way Kim seems so completely unaffected by the unceasing stream of gunfire makes them wonder if their weapons are working at all.

Inside the house, Kim's parents are lying on their stomachs on the shattered-glass-covered floor. The air is thick with dust. Deadly bullets fly over head from time to time through the windows, showing their destructive power by burying themselves deep into the far wall. Kim's mother and father dare not move for fear of being struck by one of these stray shots. From the floor, they look up towards the enormous gap in the wall which their daughter smashed, apparently merely by walking through. They can see her, naked, out in the front yard, absorbing the brunt of the lead and steel assault. Neither of them can believe that this superhuman killer is the same sweet, innocent Kimmie that they have been raising with such care for the past sixteen years.

They watch their precious offspring moving towards the semicircle of police in front of their home until she vanishes from their line of sight. Maybe now would be a good time for them to move. Kim's father gestures to his wife and they both begin to crawl out of the TV room towards the improved sanctuary offered by the back of the house. A bullet whizzes close to Kim's mother's head. Both parents dive back to the ground. They wait a couple of seconds and then recommence their tortuously slow trek. They're just a few yards now from the TV room door. Once they get through there, they should be a lot safer.

As bullets continue to bounce off her completely exposed body, Kim decides she has had enough. She starts to approach the line of police with determination. As she nears, the level of firing diminishes considerably. No officer wants to run the risk of hitting one of his own by accident. Or even, incredible though it seems, seeing one of his own injured - or worse - by a perfectly accurate shot that might ricochet from some part of the girl's fully-visible and utterly desirable anatomy. Now Kim is only being hit on her back and her peach-like rear, and only at a rate of a couple of bullets a second. It doesn't really make any difference to her though. One bullet, ten bullets, a thousand. On her legs, her groin, her backside, her hips, her stomach, her wonderful chest, her arms, her head, her face. They just don't hurt her. They don't even mark her skin.

The arrogant, yet oh-so-sexy, sneer is still fixed on her face as she quickly reaches forward with her hands, grabbing a fistful of police shirt with each. She bends her arms, effortlessly lifting the two men she has selected at random from the ground. They kick at her bare legs, pound her face and her body with their fists and struggle with all their might to prise her petite fingers off their clothes, but their efforts are in vain. They cannot hurt her. They cannot move her digits even a hairsbreadth. They hang, helplessly from her unbreakable grasp, their hands and feet bruising against her silky skin. Other cops try to come to their rescue, attacking Kim's arms and skull with their night-sticks, trying to wound her with the butts of their pistols, the soles of their boots, their teeth - anything. But they are wasting their time. Kim tosses the two men she has captured over her shoulders with a simple movement of her arms.

Inside the house, her parents have almost made it to the door. They can hear how the sound of guns outside has now been replaced by a serious of grunts and shouts. They take this to be a good sign and make a break for the hallway. There's a scream and two large objects rocket into the room through the destroyed windows. One of the objects clips Kim's father, knocking him down onto his face before it continues its flight towards the far wall. The other object passes through the room unhindered. Both objects strike the far wall with a sickening splat. It's only then, amidst the blood and the uniforms, that Kim's mother realises that the two objects are policemen's corpses. She turns away from the horrendous sight and looks down at her husband. Slowly, he picks himself up. She helps him make the last few feet out of the room.

A wave of Kim's lengthy, slender arm sweeps three more men off their feet, sending them spinning thirty feet through the air. They land, awkwardly, on the hard street. None of them move. The others are beginning to scatter. Kim crosses the sidewalk, bending low by a parked squad car. She hooks the fingers of her right hand around the top of the nearest wheel-arch and stands up, the near corner of the car lifting with her, her single arm effortlessly holding its weight. She pulls the car up until she can easily reach her free hand underneath to grab hold of the chassis. Then a simple fluid movement of her arms raises the entire vehicle over her head. Compared with the tanker truck she lifted earlier, the task of hoisting the cop car feels as taxing to her as picking up a sheet of paper.

Kim draws her arms back and releases the vehicle, tossing it at a group of three fleeing officers. The automobile leaves her hands like a missile, obliterating its targets before it even hits the ground. Then it explodes, sending huge chunks of metal in every direction as flames engulf the area. A number of surviving police are cut down by shrapnel and others are burnt by the fireball. A particularly vicious chunk of twisted steel smacks Kim on her navel with a "Clang!" and bounces to the ground, now bearing the imprint of her abdomen. She picks it up, her fingers crushing the metal where she grips it. Using her other hand she carefully squeezes the steel between her palms, oblivious to its metallic groans as she compacts it and smoothes it with her fingers until it is a solid, grapefruit-sized sphere.

There's panic now as the remaining men run for their lives. Kim chucks her new ball underarm. It passes right through the bodies of two policemen without even slowing before punching a hole in the side of a parked car. She does not pause to reflect on either the feat of strength or the carnage. She turns her head in the direction of another man sprinting away and, pouting, blows a short, casual blast of superbreath in his direction. It's enough to create a brief gust of warm, gale-force wind that pushes the runner forward so hard, his feet come off the road and he flies twenty yards down the road, smashing hard into one of his colleagues. The impact kills both men.

Meanwhile, inside the house, Kim's parents are crouched on the floor of the kitchen which overlooks the back yard. They can't see out of the widows because they're too low. But they feel safer here. Much safer. "What are we going to do?" Kim's mother asks. Given the situation they now find themselves in, and the events of the past few hours, it's a massive question.

"I... I don't know." whispers Kim's father by way of a reply. He listens to the sounds of burning fire and the other terrifying noises outside of the house. Noises like the less and less frequent shouts of men, some of them cut short in a way that makes his skin crawl. The sound of a distant car engine. The sound of a car crash, tinkling glass. A scream. Something large and wet hitting a wall.

Kim is finishing off the last of the police. Two of them had been hiding in the front seats of a car parked a little up the road. The sounds her father could hear were the men trying to make a break by starting up the car and flooring the accelerator. Kim simply took off in pursuit, catching up with the speeding automobile in a couple of strides, overtaking it and placing herself right in its path. The front of the vehicle crumpled up against her tiny midsection and the windshield shattered. The occupants were so severely jarred by the impact that only one of them survived. The scream that was audible in the kitchen was this man's last act as Kim reached for him.

Now, the street is silent save for the licking of flames from what little is left of the squad car Kim threw. There are no guns being fired and no cars being driven. There's no-one left to shoot or drive. There are no more runners trying to escape. Uniformed corpses and pieces of bodies litter the sidewalk and the front yard of the house. Crooked and deformed used bullets are scattered all over the lawn. Wrecked automobiles punctuate the horrific scene. The front of the house, with its huge hole and its bullet-marks looks like a scene from a war report on television. Nothing seems to have survived the past five minutes intact or undamaged... except, of course, for Kim herself. There's not so much as a scratch anywhere on her glorious nude body.

She casts her gaze imperiously over the mess. Then she checks the chaos visible inside the house. Her careless glance reveals no sign of any movement. She wonders, for a moment, if her parents are all right. She begins to move with the intention of checking on them and then realises that she really doesn't want another boring lecture from them right now. Perhaps, she's better off avoiding them for now. After all, she has more important things to take care of. She's lost yet another swimsuit. At the rate she's going through them, she's going to need a whole new wardrobe. In fact... She smiles as a rare idea forms itself in her mind. Then she becomes a blur of pink that disappears into the night.

In the kitchen of the house, the silence weighs heavy. With extreme caution, Kim's father stands up. He offers his hand to his wife to help her to her feet. Then, they hear something inside the house. A sound. Terrified, they revert in an instant to their crouching station. It will be quite some time before either of them moves again. They listen to the noises. A splutter. A groan. And then a cough.

The settled dust and plaster in the T.V. room shifts slightly. A pile of broken glass is displaced. A wrinkled, skinny male arm appears from beneath. Then another. Then a grey-haired head. Randolph sits up slowly, shaking the debris from his shoulders and sleeves. He rubs the back of his head and feels the fresh, painful swelling there. His leg hurts as he gingerly stands. He feels nauseous. He reaches out for something to support himself with and finds nothing. The room seems to be spinning. His stomach churns. He doesn't feel steady at all. He sinks to his knees. He retches, once, twice and then vomits for real.

Randolph wipes his mouth and tries to focus his eyes. He can see tiny pieces of his beam-generator distributed all over the floor amongst the brick and glass and plaster and... he turns away in quickly in disgust from the sight of the two exploded bodies on the far wall but it's no good. He's going to be sick again. Once he's done, he picks up one of the little chunks of metal. It's hard to believe that this postage-stamp-sized scrap was once part of a four-foot long, quarter-inch thick steel tube. That disgusting trollop had torn the beam-generator into a thousand similar-sized pieces with her bare hands in a split-second. It should have been him with the strength and speed to perform such a feat.

Why wasn't it him? Why had he hesitated before firing the laser? Why had he given the girl the time she needed to destroy his beautiful creation? Randolph knows why. If only... if only he had activated the beam first, before letting his gaze slowly wander the length of her evilly enchanting body. If only he had resisted the siren-distraction of her obscene curves, the power would be almost his by now. The young whore would have been nothing but a typically pathetic weak, crying female and his crystal would have been full of energy, poised for transfer into him at his whim. Now the laser, the crystal and his dreams are in irreparable pieces on the ground. The girl is unstoppable. As he, Randolph Sherman, should have been unstoppable. It is not right! How can someone so unworthy, so degenerate, so young and ignorant - so female - have his power?

He thinks of the myriad ways in which the juvenile trollop might be misusing his superpowers. How she might be using that indestructible, obscene body of hers, flaunting those oversized, and now bulletproof, breasts. His nausea, the taste of vomit in his mouth - even the carnage all around him - cannot distract his hand from heading towards his groin. Something cool, hard and slightly rounded with edges - lots of edges - presses into his palm as his fingers seek to make their way instinctively, like a salmon heading upriver to spawn, towards his tingling, growing erection. There's something familiar about the object and the dawning recognition starts to gnaw at the edges of his breast-obsessed thoughts. The thing is completely blocking the path of his hand to his lap. He has to shift position.

He sits up and finally catches sight of it. In an instant, his pitch-black despair is partially lifted by a tiny flicker of hope. There, amidst the rubble and glass, apparently still intact, is his Sherman crystal. He picks it up, bringing it close to his eyes to examine it. Miraculously, it is undamaged. He cradles it in his grateful hands as he uneasily climbs back to his feet. Staggering, he makes his way out of the room, and back through the still-open - if now bullet-ridden - front door of his neighbours' house. The scene on the street is terrible. Smashed, overturned, burnt-out cars. Dead policemen everywhere, some of them in more than one place... There are bullets, bent and flattened, carpeting the lawn. A dead man with a megaphone in his hand is still standing on the grass. Randolph realises that the corpse has stayed upright on its feet because it is frozen solid . Drip by drip, it's slowly begging to defrost.

Randolph surveys the evidence of the power of his discovery. He grips the crystal tight in his palm. Someday, this power will be his. To use for better ends, of course. Like punishing and humiliating the delinquent, murdering trollop who caused all this destruction. Making her pay for what she has done here. Making her pay for the suffering that she has caused him. Making all the women pay for that. Pay and pay and pay... in so many different kinds of ways. He slips into his garage and activates the mechanism that closes the big door. As if it were an infant, Randolph carefully places the world's only Sherman crystal on his workbench. He's tired, injured and sick, but he has a lot of work to do. There's no-one there to hear his words, but he cannot help making an announcement: "This is not over."

Five miles away, in the centre of downtown, a six-foot tall by three foot wide hole gapes in the side of a department store. A pile of loose concrete lies at the foot of the hole, just inside the building. From there, a straight and narrow swathe of destruction cuts at an angle right across the shop floor. Displays, counters and racks have been knocked aside and smashed as a path has been cleared, as if by an explorer through thick overgrown jungle, right through the store as far as the bikini section. The swimsuit area remains intact although there are a large number of discarded bathing costumes on the floor. The path of devastation resumes on the other side of the bikini department, ending in an almost identical hole in the opposite wall. On the other side of that hole, standing atop a small pile of smashed brick and plaster on the sidewalk, Kim is trying to decide which of her new bikinis she wants to wear.


Conceptfan, Oct. 2005.