Breathe in. Breathe out. Slowly, ever so slowly, lest they catch on...
"This girl the prototype that Kobish is excited for?" That would be the guard holding my right hand. Rather tightly, too. Rude. And yes, I did tell them to give me whatever, so I guess I was that 'prototype.'
"Yeah," another voice said - that was the man holding her left arm - and laughed. "Kind of sad, though. First boy they gave the new Wm to went crazy and had to be put down." Wm? Was that her 'power' then? One of them, anyway...
"Kind of sucks, though. She's a looker. Blonde and fit, just like I like them." Keep dreaming, perv.
"Anyway," the left hand man said, "I can't wait to see a manticore. IF she can actually manage it without dying, that is."
Manticore? Like, that fake creature my little brothers showed me once? Let's see.... Lion body, wings of a raven, and a scorpion tail. Well, that would be useful, but it wasn't a very pretty power. I sighed in my head, making sure to keep my slow breathing going. I needed to know more. What else did I have?
"What else does she got?" Well, Mr. Right Hand Holder, I might just start to like you. For being convenient.
"Well, she's got some weird thing called Sm-12 and..." he paused. "I think she's awake, man..."
Well, so much for waiting for them to spill the beans on my new powers. I moaned softly like I was waking up and slowly opened my eyes. Despite seeing such a cool beauty wake up, the men did not just stare. They dropped me.
I barely caught myself and moved to my side, still acting as if I had just woken. Damn that Kobish, though! Couldn't have given me some sort of cool power like lightning or fire or even levitation? And what was Sm? Like... S&M? Oh God...
I groaned and complied, my groan only half faked. A manticore! A bloody beast from a story book! Dating was tough already, having so many kids to watch. Now, she was essentially a monster. Oh hey, potential lover and/or soulmate, I can change into a monster and I have several children that view me as their mother! I could already see them running...
As soon as I was up, I stared at the men, then looked around. What to say...? "Where am I?"
"You know where you are." That would be Mr. Left. He wasn't much to look at but had the body of a bouncer. Note to self: don't try to run til you can beat him.
"Hell, you're the one who walked up and made a bet with Kobish about WINNING this thing!" And the perv, Mr. Right.
I nodded, remembering I actually did that. Two million for my home - Twinacre Orphanage - if i win, along with my freedom. And if I lost... Well, I would have to become a test subject for the rest of my life. Not a bad deal, considering I planned to win this.
"You not talk or something?" Mr. Right asked.
"Oh, I do," I told him, brushing off my gym shorts and tank top. "I just don't like talking to people I don't like."
The man grunted and pointed to the end of the doorway. "Go win, then," he said mockingly.
Mr. Left spoke up as I walked away. "I bet you twenty she bites it on the first round."
The stadium was nothing like the forums online had described it. Instead of some ornate arena styled after the Roman ones, it was pretty much a pit full of red sand that Mars was so fond of. Well, I had found how to join Superpowers Inc and get in here - being twenty years old and having no parents to boot - so now all I had to do was win it.
I swallowed hard. I didn't really think I was prepared to kill someone though... I was capable, however, and that would have to do. I steeled myself as my opponent entered the arena.
He was a tall and stocky boy, looking more like a pro athlete than anything else, and had bright red hair spiking up into the air from how short it was. As he saw me - a semi-tall 5'7" girl with golden hair - he laughed loudly enough for me to hear.
"I have to fight a girl?" he shouted to the audience. "I was expecting a challenge!"
I huffed. Damn macho men underestimating what a woman could do. Plus, I had powers too! Not the most... appeasing... of powers, but I had a chance to win at the very VERY least.
The timer appeared above us and started counting down.
Alright. So, I had a transformation power. I read up on all the different types on forums before trying to come to this place and that had been very... unhelpful. But they had been clear about one thing: you had to visualize or feel. It was always one of the two. So... what did I visualize for a... manticore? Gah, this was annoying. I wondered what else I...
The timer was getting low. OK, manticore it was. Win first, fix your appearance later. So.. Wings of black... Lions head... Scorpion tail... I felt pressure start to build in my back, but it went away almost instantly. Lower back... Scorpion tail.
"Sometimes," I said, quoting a thread I had read, "the power only works halfway at first. Due to the synchronization of the user it takes time to fully make use of it. Therefor, it's useful to... Bah!" I could think about it later. The timer was up.
Red Hair started towards me, smiling sadistically. Well, for my first kill, he was making it really easy for me. Just met him and I already don't hate the idea of him being dead. That was rare.
He charged, his arms becoming covered in... Were those horns!? They even curved over his fists! God, on the first enemy - the first one! - she had someone with a weird power she hadn't read about.
Enough, time to fight. No more thinking.
I intercepted my enemy, dodging his right hook by ducking and slammed my fist into his gut. Pain erupted from my hand and I realized I had hit more of the horns, only ones that covered his stomach.
"Looks like it hurt, bitch," he laughed, grabbing my arm and tossing me to the side. I screamed as my shoulder burst into agony. Out of socket? Dammit! Adrenaline helped ease the pain. The boy, however, was not so kind. "I'm not gonna give you a chance to fight back."
I rolled as he stomped where I had been, more horns stabbing into the red sand of Mars. I needed my powers! I tried thinking of that stupid beast once more, but nothing came. Just another bout of pressure on my lower back.
"Time to die," Red-hair said with a grin, walking over to me. "No hard feelings, though."
No... It wasn't supposed to be like this... I was going to get my powers and money from this place, go back home, and keep the Orphanage from going under! I couldn't just give up! I wouldn't.
Using my good arm, I pushed myself up and stepped out of the way of my enemy's attack. Come on, powers, work! He charged me, looking annoyed now instead of amused. I was only just able to move out of the way and kick him in the side.
It didn't hurt him, of course, but it did hurt my arm. Come on, power!
I froze. Time seemed to do the same.
"Who are you?" I asked.
'I can help. Just ask.'
I was desperate... "I need help."
Time resumed. The boy laughed. "You do need help, you-"
He was cut off, but I was immediately notified as to why.
Beside me, standing like a prideful warrior, was... me! At least, that's what it looked like. She had my same golden hair, same face, same toned figure... Was this a power or something? Illusions? No, that hand on my shoulder was real.
"Finally," she said, "I get some air." She looked at me, which made me want to freak out right there. It was like a mirror was in front of me. "I'll take it from here."
I just nodded. I didn't know what else to say really. And so, I watched as she walked up to the boy, dodged his punch, grabbed his head, and, finally, twisted it harshly. I would have been mortified by the death I had just saw had it not been for how beautifully my mirror image moved.
"All done, Victoria," she said, smiling a slightly evil smile.
"How do you know my name?" I asked her, ignoring the crowd above and speaker system yelling out my victory.
"Because," she said, taking my face in her hands - hands that had just killed- and grew closer, "We are two sides of the same coin." She moved closer, like she was going to kiss me or something. I wanted to tell her I didn't go that way, but soon everything went dark.
I only heard some voices.
"The hell was that!?"
"Sm isn't supposed to work like that!"
"Get her in the examination room! I want an analysis, NOW!"
Sleep blurred anything else away, and soon, I was dreaming of playing board games with my little brothers and sisters. Jori was winning and...