Taking the Bull By the Horns 1.3Mature

She had to wait until her roommate was fast asleep before she started on her very first patrol. She had to admit that she was really nervous; it would be the first time that she officially went out during the night in New York. Regardless, she had huge expectations… that had failed to be met during her first patrol! She had forgotten to take in consideration that she couldn’t fly; Tabitha had to do her patrol by foot, lurking in the shadows. The only good thing that came from her first night was that she thwarted a possible car theft; she didn’t even have to touch the guy: all he needed to run away was a quick show of what she could do to him!

It wasn’t enough to deter her, however. It actually made her more determined to discover another way to use her powers. That meant a full schedule mixed with studying, practicing lightning techniques and patrolling the streets of New York every other night. The more she stuck to it, the more she realized that she just needed to get back in shape. Before long, because of her increased speed and stamina, the patrols on foot stopped bothering her as much.

It was a Friday night and that excited Tabitha. While she had yet to see the webbed crusader, she took a little pride in knowing that she was doing her part as far as stopping crime. For some reason, criminals were prone to committing more crimes over the weekend, especially on a Friday night; it meant a good night for her as well as a well-deserved rest the next day!

That night, she finally made her way towards the docks near Central Park. She was having a decent night and had actually decided to take a small break. She had climbed on top of one of the shipping containers and studied her surroundings. Sudden footsteps made her glad that she had chosen a container where she wouldn’t be noticed. She laid down on her stomach regardless and watched the action unfold.

She was shocked to see a small group of what looked like high school teens approach another container that was closer to the docks. The fact that they were indeed attempting to go inside the container and take its contents wasn’t what shocked her; nor was it that none of them looked older than sixteen. It was their hair. Each one had a different style but they all had one thing in common: their hair was white… the exact same snow-white as hers.

She listened as the kid who was trying to cut the lock off became frustrated, stating that they just needed to wait until “Alpha” showed up; he would open the container for them. No sooner had he mentioned it, an older man appeared. He seemed to be grumbling to the youngsters as he snapped the lock off with bolt cutters. She couldn’t shake the fact that his demeanor was so familiar to her.

She shook the thought away and reminded herself that she was a superhero, now; she had to stop them from stealing whatever was in the container. She jumped down from her hiding spot, startling the group. When his hazel eyes met hers, it paralyzed her. She could see him clearly now; the distinctive, sharp features, the salt and pepper buzz cut, the way he towered over the teens and herself: “Alpha” was none other than General Gary First.

Seeing him somehow caused the familiar pins and needles feeling erupt throughout her body; she narrowed her eyes and went after him, no questions asked. Before she could get to him, the abrupt pain from being electrocuted made her stumble to the ground. When she looked up, she saw that the kids, six of them, were approaching her… charging up their own powers.

Not wanting to be caught off guard again, she quickly got up; just in time as the small group tried to attack her, yet again. She needed a plan; she needed to get to the general. Tabitha knew that in order to do that, she had to take care of the supercharged teens first. Six against one wasn’t fair however they probably had no idea who they were going against.

She quickly charged after one of the kids and landed a sharp kick to his face, making sure to put as much surge as normal. They were obviously immune to the lightning with the serum injected into them; Tabitha was hoping that the actual force of the kick would be enough to knock him out or at least stall him long enough for her to take care of the others.

She went after the next child, a female who had her snow-white hair braided down her back. She tackled her using all of her strength, natural and mutant, knocking her into another teen. The two landed hard against one of the steel containers. She gave her a quick hit across her face and while the other struggled to free himself from underneath her, Tabitha placed her hand on the girl’s stomach and sent an intense wave of lightning through her, knocking both unconscious. Three more to go, she thought to herself as she turned to face them.

He thought that she was just another rogue soldier that he had created and paid her little mind as his group went on the immediate attack. However, as he watched, it was obvious that she was very different from the others. He looked her over… and widened his eyes as he saw her outfit.

“Sgt. Lyght…” he half whispered as he continued to watch her fight off the group. She had grabbed one of the boys by his arm, shocked him and immediately delivered a quick jab to his throat. Another female came after her, charging up. He was surprised as Tabitha grabbed the girl’s arm and didn’t flinch when the teenager still shocked her. She only returned a more powerful surge and kicked her in the stomach, sending her flying across almost through another steel container.

Tabitha turned and glared at the general. She wasn’t worried about the last kid, seeing how easily she took care of the others. She almost smiled evilly as she saw a flicker of fear show in Gary’s eyes as she went after him. He was seconds from running away until the last teen stopped her short. He was behind her and delivered a potent current to her back, making her drop to her knees. Angered, she turned to retaliate only to be greeted by a punch to her face and a rapid series of shocks. All but one teen had recuperated and were attacking her all at once.

Gary silently sighed for relief but quickly put a smile to his face.

“Enough playing around; dispose of her quickly…” he made sure that he put a blatant emphasis on his words. There wasn’t anything she could really do as the pain from the continuous shocks outweighed the fact that she was also absorbing the blows.

“Yes, boss! Stupid bitch; let’s see how well you can swim!” one of the guys said and she was lifted off the ground. Regardless of how much she tried to shock the group, it was as if they had returned the shocks tenfold. To make matters worse, her heart was racing as they neared the edge of the docks and she was looking down at the black water. There was a reason why of all the branches of services, she had chosen the Army; at the time, they did not require a swim qualification: Tabitha could not swim.

No matter how hard she struggled, she was no match for six supercharged teens. Before she knew it, they had thrown her across into the water. Something overcame her as she saw herself getting closer and closer to hitting the water. She screamed in her mind; this was not how things were supposed to end. She had powers; she was stronger and faster: there was no way that this super heroine was going to go out by drowning!

She thought that she would just flail her arms and legs, luck up and doggie paddle to safety. Or better yet, try to run, she thought foolishly. She closed her eyes and before she could stop herself, her body indeed tried to run away from the water. She held her breath, braced herself to feel the icy water engulf her body. Something wasn’t right; she hadn’t heard the “swoosh” she expected to hear or even felt anything wet on her. I’m already dead; I died before I hit the water, she slightly panicked. Tabitha opened her eyes… and saw that she was on the safety of a muddy bank. She turned to look at her surroundings and saw that the docks were at least fifty feet away. The teens and Gary all looked over at her in utter surprise.

“Holy shit! Boss; did you see what she just did?!” she heard one of them exclaim. Not wanting them to follow her, she tried her luck and attempted the feat again; she concentrated and pushed all of her energy into running away… and disappeared from their sight.

“She’s not one of us, is she, boss?” another teen asked Gary. He slowly started to smile.

“Out-fucking-standing, sergeant…” he mumbled. He turned his attention back to his group, “Soldiers, we have a new mission. Unload the container and I’ll debrief you.”

She took a shaky breath as she got back to her room and quickly changed. She thought that she would be dog-tired, ready to hide deep in her covers and not come back out until Monday. The small brush of death however, had revitalized her. It had taken her fifteen minutes to walk from the dorms to the docks; with her new ability, she was back at the dorms in fifteen seconds!

It was enough to make her smile widely. Tabitha Lyght didn’t need to learn how to fly: she was literally lightning fast. It was a weird feeling, enough to make her slightly dizzy and confused. However, with practice, she knew that just as she had gotten used to the pins and needles feeling, she would get over the other feeling. She took a note of what all she had gained due to that mutant strand fighting her normal DNA strand: she could weld any metal, she could make fabrics indestructible, she could throw out lightning at will… and now she could run as fast as lightning. Maybe being a mutant isn’t as bad as I thought, she continued to smile.

It soon faded as the picture of the man who was responsible for the way she was came to mind. Gary First; no, he was Alpha, now. She wondered how he had gotten out of stockade. If he ever even went, she angrily thought. And if it wasn’t bad enough to had turned her best friend into a freak of nature, now he was injecting kids with that serum. She sadly admitted that the current batch was slightly better; they had lasted longer than Tony had and looked as though they still had more to dish out. Their lightning was more potent than his as well, she shuddered.

Maybe now she didn’t have to worry about the whole ordeal; she had escaped by using her new ability. From the looks of their faces, they weren’t able to do it; if they had, they would’ve given chase. She was safe at the moment but knew that she had to be prepared to see them again, especially seeing that she didn’t want to stop being a super heroine. She made a promise to herself as her eyelids started to get heavy: she would settle things once and for all if she ever saw Alpha again.

The End

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