A/N: Alex’s powers and new knowledge will make more sense if you go read the first story in this series: “The League of Extraordinary Women”. The disclaimers, spoilers, and other information are all in previous chapters.
Alex watched in horror.
Jo wasn’t using telekinesis. Jo had super-strength. Enough strength to throw a car.
Jo wasn’t diverting the bullets and shotgun pellets with telekinesis. She was ignoring
them. Alex could see where the bullets had hit Jo, wrecking her clothes but not scratching her skin. Jo wasn’t just really strong, she was invulnerable.
Oh God, she really didn’t want to have to fight an angry Wonder Woman.
Alex could tell that the GC-161 had already turned Jo into a slimmer, more muscular threat. Jo was wearing what looked like a navy blue wetsuit with short sleeves and calf-length legs. Jo looked like she had already gone from maybe 280 or 300 pounds down to maybe 230 or 240, and she already looked like a comic book supervillainess instead of an angry fat girl. Especially when her skin had an odd bluish cast to it, like someone had poured a blue soda all over her, and her hair was kind of a dark blue, too.
Great. So she had an angry blue
Wonder Woman. In a torn wetsuit with bullet holes.
Alex yelled, “Everyone! Move to the far end of the building! Now!” She looked at Robyn and Nicole and Louis, and they started herding everyone away from the windows. Alex could hear people were starting to panic and sprint down the halls away from the threat.
Frankly, the more people who ran like crazy, the better. As long as they didn’t run out into the parking lot to get to their cars, because Jo was out there.
Alex started giving orders, because she didn’t think anyone else would know what to do any better than she did. “Louis! Go warn the principal and get everyone out of the offices and away from this. Nicole! Keep everyone moving away from these windows before Jo throws a Honda at us! Robyn! Call the police! Ray! Come on!”
She grabbed Ray’s hand and ran, taking the north hall to the front and the tiny visitors’ parking lot just outside. She gave him her backpack and her camera bag, and pointed out where he could get up on old Mr. Warren’s roof to get pictures.
Then she just had to get past Jo, out to the car, and change into Terawatt without being spotted. As Ray ran across the street and into Mr. Warren’s yard, Alex yanked out her Terawatt phone and called Willow. Unfortunately, it took forever.
Or at least fifteen seconds, like usual, so she forwarded a message. “Burn, it’s Tera. I have Jo Baker on-site east of the school, and she has super-strength and invulnerability. As in throwing cars and taking bullets off her chest. I don’t know if I can stop her. Alert the authorities, starting with the SRI and the National Guard. Over and out.”
She hung up and shoved the phone back in her pocket. Then she ducked behind a car and went silvery, before puddling back toward the building.
When Willow had sent her that map of all the storm drains and stormwater pipes in town, she had noted the stuff for the drains off the school roof that led down into the drainage system. And she was going to need that knowledge now. As she puddled across the tiny parking lot north of the school, she used her telekinesis to punch one of the metal drainpipes where it ran into the ground. That was enough to knock a hole in the thing, and she puddled through the hole and down into the drainage pipes.
She just had to take the correct turns. Left, right, straight, straight, and left. And she came up through a grate that was maybe twenty feet from her car. She puddled up into the car, changed into her uniform – while keeping her Terawatt phone – and puddled back into the drainage pipes. Then she came out about a block east, so she could come flying in to the battlezone like she was coming from somewhere else.
Jo was just closing in on the policemen, who were out of ammunition and were going to try to stop her with nightsticks. Ooh, that would be mega-bad. If Jo could throw a car, she could crush a man’s skull with one smack.
Oh. Now the naked cellmate with the fractured skull made a ton of sense. Jo busted her cellmate’s head and took the clothes because the GC-161 was making her lose weight, so her old prison clothes were all baggy and oversized.
Alex zoomed down in a dive and called out, “Joelle Harriet Baker! Stop now and surrender to the proper authorities!”
Jo stopped and turned to look at her. The police wisely backed up a lot more.
Jo scowled, “You! Superbitch! Let’s make this easy. You go in there and get this little bitch named Alex Mack and drag her out and I take her… or else I’m gonna smash your pretty face into mush, and rip those tits off and make you eat ‘em!”
Alex stalled, because she didn’t really think she could get an easy win. This wasn’t like dealing with an invisible naked teenager who could be easily stopped in any of half a dozen different ways. She wasn’t sure she could get a win at all. “That isn’t the way this works, Miss Baker.”
Jo yelled, “It’s the way it works NOW! From now on, what I say goes! And don’t call me ‘Miss Baker’, bitch! From here on out, I call the shots! And you can call me CRUSH! ‘Cause I’m gonna crush you if you get in my way! Nobody can stop me now!”
Alex said, “It may feel that way, but there’s always someone else out there who can stop you. The superpowers that Danielle Atron gave those other criminals? That didn’t make them unstoppable. They’re all dead or in security cells now.”
Jo swore, “You fucking bitch, you’re just like everyone, telling me what to do, telling me how I’m fat and they’re pretty… Well, Alex Mack ain’t gonna be pretty anymore after today!”
Jo grabbed the front bumper of a car and pulled. She was using superstrength instead of telekinesis, so the bumper ripped loose, tearing the grill off and springing the hood. Jo spun around like she was throwing a discus, and she threw the bumper at Alex.
Alex was pretty sure what Jo was up to as soon as she saw the bumper get torn off, so she was ready. The bumper came flying through the air at her, and she simply dodged to her left. She didn’t know where the thing was going to come down, maybe out by the tennis court or the street, but she couldn’t stop and worry about it, because Jo was still going.
Jo ripped the hood off and hurled it like a frisbee, right through the big windows of the school cafeteria. But that was just a casual backhanded toss. She was busy ripping the entire engine block out of the car so she could heave that at the flying superheroine.
It had never occurred to Alex that someone might hate Terawatt because she looked really attractive. And it had never occurred to her that a supervillain might hate her a lot more because she looked something like Libby. But Alex was pretty sure that was part of what was going on with Jo Baker right that minute.
Jo threw the car engine like it was a shotput, and it went flying in a huge arc that went over Alex’s head. Alex realized that Jo didn’t know how to judge how far she could throw really heavy objects yet. That was bound to change as Jo threw more stuff.
Jo yelled, “I’m gonna crush you, and that little bitch Mack, and then I’m gonna crush every cop in this fucking town!” She turned and screamed at the policemen who had taken cover behind one of the bike sheds, “Yeah! You assholes! You shot my mom, you think I’m gonna let you get away with that? Go run away and tell ‘em all, I’m coming for all of ‘em once I’m done with this bitch!” She grabbed the frame of the car she had been tearing apart, and she spun around so she could throw the wreckage of the car.
Alex wasn’t sure where Jo was going to throw the wreckage, but there was a real possibility Jo was going to throw it at the policemen, so she let Jo have it with a hefty lightning blast. It didn’t have much effect on Jo, but the car came apart in a shower of sparks, and the chunk that Jo threw at the bike shed was only about four hundred pounds.
The chunk was a lot smaller than Jo had been planning on, so when Jo let go, it went sailing way over the bike shed, instead of crashing into the shed and crushing the policemen.
Jo turned and glared at Alex, who was still hovering a good forty feet in the air and a hundred feet away. “That hurt, you fuckhead!”
Wow, it sure didn’t look like it hurt Jo. Alex had blasted plenty of things before, and she had even zapped a few people too, and nobody ever just ignored the zap and then said ‘that hurt’. No, she was used to people being knocked out cold, or blasted through the air, or stuff like that. As far as she could tell, Jo basically acted like someone who scuffled their feet over the wool carpet and then touched the tv set.
Jo looked around on the ground. She picked up a cracked-open car battery and tore it in half. Alex spotted that the battery acid didn’t seem to bother Jo any, either. Jo took the smaller chunk of battery, and crushed it into something the size of a softball. Then she threw it right at Alex’s stomach.
This wasn’t some chunk of metal that Jo was going to heave in a big arc. This was something small enough for Jo to hurl like a baseball. It came searing at Alex way faster than she could fly. She pushed it to the left with a telekinetic guide parry, while she moved maybe a foot to the right.
It just missed hitting her right in the stomach and maybe killing her.
But that distraction was all Jo had needed, because Alex didn’t react soon enough to dodge the other half of the car battery. She went silvery, just in time, but it still punched right through her. And the battery acid burned like fire through everything that got punched through.
For a moment, she thought she was going to lose all her concentration and fall to the parking lot, but she managed to hang on, even if she dropped maybe twenty feet. She struggled to ignore the burning and the pain in her guts, and she tried to think what to do next.
But she wasn’t focusing on Jo, who was already moving again. Alex didn’t realize what Jo was doing when she heard the loud ripping crack, so it wasn’t until the tree smashed her into the ground like a tennis racket hitting an ace that she realized Jo had torn off half of one of the planted trees in the parking lot and used it to swat her out of the air.
Her silvery form hit the parking lot hard. Hard enough to make her see stars. Hard enough to stun her.
And that was why Alex still hadn’t moved away when Jo picked up that station wagon and slammed it down on top of her.
Ray was lying on the back side of Mr. Warren’s roof, using the peak of the roof as his camera base. He nearly screamed when that fat cow smashed that car on Alex. He just kept doing what he was supposed to. He just kept telling himself Alex would be fine. That Alex could handle anything.
He didn’t notice that he had just cracked the plastic bottle in his front pocket, and the contents were leaking out through his jeans, running down the shingles of the roof.
George Mack answered his phone, even though he was in a meeting with Dr. Johns and some FDA officials.
It was one of his worst nightmares.
The unmistakable voice of Danielle Atron said, “George, you need to get home. Right now. And don’t hang up or turn off your phone. I want to hear what you’re up to.”
There was the distinct sound of Barb in the background, yelling, “George, no!” He suddenly felt like someone had stabbed him in the chest with a giant icicle.
He stood up and said, “I have to go.”
Dr. Johns looked at him with worry in his eyes, but Calloway, the annoying one of the FDA team, snapped, “You can’t just walk out on a meeting like this!”
George clenched his jaw and simply said, “Call the police. Danielle Atron just kidnapped my wife.”
He thought several people gasped or cursed, but he wasn’t paying attention. He didn’t turn off his phone. He didn’t hang up. He did as he was told. But he ran as fast as he could to the parking lot, and drove off as fast as he could. He didn’t bother to wait his turn at the guard station, either. He cut around it and drove through a flower bed. Then he drove as fast as he could to his house. He was sure there were red lights and stop signs, but he wasn’t paying them any mind.
When he pulled up to his house, there was no car in the driveway. There were no cars on the street. Lars was calmly waiting in his driveway.
Lars smugly clambered into the passenger seat and said, “Let’s go, George. Barbara is waiting for you. Go that way.”
George obeyed. He backed out of the driveway and drove south. He stiffly said, “Lars, I always knew you were unprincipled about scientific research, but I didn’t realize you were willing to do something like this
Lars smirked, “Oh, you never knew me at all, George. I’ve always been willing to take that next step upward for enough money. Danielle’s just offered me enough money that I’ve taken that next step half a dozen times. Now I’m so many steps up the stairs that I’m nearly at the roof. So don’t try anything, because at this point, I think I’d enjoy shooting you through the lower intestine. I’ve read that it’s a very slow, agonizing way to die. And if you don’t show up, there’s no telling what Danielle might do to your lovely wife.”
George gritted his teeth and stepped harder on the gas pedal.