Weapons with Hearts (Chapter five added 7/3/2018)

It’s been a while since I posted anything on here, huh? Hasn’t happened since before the big site change, actually. But I told myself that if I ever got around to rewriting this piece (I guarantee you none of you have ever read the original, which is a very good thing because it was an abomination), I’d post the ABDL version here. So here’s the first part of the prologue. For those wondering, the prologue will have three separate parts. After that and a short time skip, the main story will start.

[I]That being said, there are a few warnings that I feel I ought to give you before you start reading. First of all, this story will, at times, have excessive amounts of violence, gore (poorly described, I’m sure, but still there), murder, human rights abuses, profanity of all kinds from all kinds of sources and a few other occasional dark things that not all of you will be comfortable with. Second, though one of the eventual genres of this story is romance, most of the pairings that get significant attention will be all female, and most of the male characters in the story won’t be paired with anyone. Third, though this story will have ABDL elements, they are not at all the focus of the work itself, and diapers won’t even be mentioned once in the first several chapters. Fourth and finally, a good portion of the main characters in this story have powers beyond normal human comprehension (scientifically achieved, however, as opposed to magically/psychically) - they are the reason behind the title of the story.

If you find any of these things, especially the dark things list/lesbianism to not be to your liking, I suggest not reading this, because it probably won’t be good enough to make you read it in spite of that (although this does depend on your reading standards). If none of those things bother you, then congratulations! You should be fine, and I encourage you to read on and give me some feedback.[/I] [HR][/HR]
Weapons with Hearts
Prologue Part One: Project Uninhibited

“Drain the tank on number 735. She has a practice match with numbers 528, 360 and 146 in an hour.”

The girl whose number had been called for shuddered involuntarily. The event where her lungs switched from extracting the oxygen out of the water that inhabited them back to breathing and processing air was violently unpleasant. The man sitting at the computer a few yards in front of her had ordered for her tank to be drained, so she knew that she would have to experience that event again in the immediate future.

The emotionless twenty-four-year-old blond man had spoken in a quiet voice from the other side of the room, but even with her whole body submerged in water and barricaded by a glass encasing, she’d had no trouble hearing what he had to say. If she were using her ears to physically listen to him, it might have posed a challenge. But she’d picked up on the words because she had been monitoring his brain waves when he was forming the sentence in his mind. Distance was the only thing that could have made his thoughts harder to discern, and it would take much more than this to pose a challenge.

The Asian woman in her thirties to the right of the girl in the tank nodded in response to her boss’s command. She didn’t even bother responding to him verbally before pulling the lever down that would begin the draining process – as an immigrant who’d only been in the country a short time, her spoken English was limited at best. Though this man had never mistreated her, many of the other employees around the base would mock her accent, or deliberately make her say words that she couldn’t pronounce properly and then laugh or smile condescendingly when she inevitably messed up. In her mind, the less she spoke here, the better off she would be.

The girl in the tank had read through this woman’s thoughts and memories before a small number of times, usually to distract herself from the experiences that she knew awaited her when the tank drained. Originally, she’d done it to see what country she came from – the girl’s parents were also Asian immigrants, or so she’d been told by her foster parents whenever she asked about them. But this woman hailed from South Korea, whereas the girl’s parents were both Japanese. She found she had very little common ground with this woman once she started looking for it, and they didn’t even really look alike.

The water in the tank dipped below her forehead, the air feeling chilly on the exposed skin that wasn’t being clung to by her black hair which normally came down to her mid-back. They always kept the water calibrated to match the exact temperature of the subject’s skin to make it easier for them to fall asleep in it, but the air in the room was always very cold for the opposite reason.

It was supposed to be an automatic process, where the subject would lose consciousness when fully submerged in water of a similar temperature to their body and would only wake up when they detected a temperature change. But that process no longer affected her in particular – she’d electrically manipulated her brain so that she never slept unless she personally induced it as soon as she’d figured out how to do it precisely enough that she didn’t affect anything else in her brain throughout the process.

The water level fell below her eyes. If they had been open, she knew the sudden difference in temperature and pressure would have really bothered her, enough that her tear ducts would have started working on overdrive. But she’d had them closed the whole time she’d been submerged specifically to prevent that unpleasant feeling.

Desperate to delay the impending vile sensation for even a few moments longer, the girl bent her knees and re-submerged her whole head into the ever lowering water. Since her lungs and stomach were both filled with only liquid, she sank to the gray, grated bottom of the tank much faster than a normal human with air in those organs would have. But then, a normal person with air in their lungs would have floated to the top of the tank when it was filling with water because the oxygen gave them buoyancy and then drowned when it filled to capacity and their breath expired. Looking at it that way, the comparison seemed meaningless to her – because the other end of the comparison wouldn’t have even survived until the draining order.

The girl curled up into a ball and hunched her head over her knees, getting as low to the ground as she could. She knew that, at best, she only got a few extra seconds from the gesture, and that she’d still have to go through the awful experience again in mere moments regardless, but as far as she was concerned, the later into the draining process it happened, the better. If it had started when the water level was almost as high as her entire body… she helplessly shuddered again at the disgusting thought.

In an effort to distract herself again, the girl thought back to the command given that put her in this position – or more specifically, the explanation he gave right after the order. He said that she would be fighting against three other subjects at once: numbers 528, 360 and 146. The way he’d phrased it made it sound like they would all be teaming up against her.

She’d fought all of them separately before in other ‘practice matches,’ but never all of them at once. She knew from personal experience that only one of them was really a threat individually… but the three of them together might be a little more difficult. The whole point of the exercise would likely be to help the three of them work on their teamwork – their abilities did have an impressive level of synergy, so it made sense for the people in charge to want them working together.

When the girl felt the air once again make contact with the top of her head, she knew her time was almost up. In a few moments, the experience she’d avoided as long as possible would be upon her. And this time, there was nothing she could do to put it off any longer – she just had to deal with it now. And if the past three months were anything to judge by, she would be given next to no time to recover from it before they sent her to do the next thing on their agenda for her.

It began when the water dipped below her nose and the water in her sinuses drained. The moment the inside of her nostrils were exposed to the frigid air being pumped into the tank from the room outside it, they began to tingle for a moment. It was a sensory experience that would tell her brain it was time to expel all the water in her lungs and stomach. She could feel the all too familiar intense waves of nausea growing stronger and stronger, coming closer to overtaking her by the second.

But she wouldn’t let her body win just yet. The water level in the tank was barely below her chest at this point – if she were to give in and vomit up all the contents of her lungs and stomach now, her stomach acid would be thrown into the water and would probably get all over her. Even though she knew she’d be taken to a shower right after this, the thought of having bile on her skin for even a few moments, no matter how diluted, was just too disgusting for her to bear.

So she fought back against the biological urges which she had been modified to have using the only weapon she possessed. Using the same asset she used to read the minds of the other people in the room, she clamped down on the electrical signals her brain was sending to her body, preventing them from causing any more havoc for the few seconds it took for the rest of the water to drain from the tank.

Once her whole body felt the cold breeze of the air-conditioned room, she released her grip on her brain, and allowed her body’s genetic programming to take over. She violently retched, the mix of water and bile in her stomach and lungs spilling out of her mouth as if it were a running faucet. The pale, clear yellow liquid cascaded through the gap between her two feet, splashing against the grate beneath them but ultimately falling through it into the piping below.

Even after there was no water left to expel, she continued to gag and cough uncontrollably for a good long while. The experience had felt just as vile and repulsive as it always did. And as per the usual, some of the diluted stomach acid had splashed off the grate and onto her feet and lower legs. It wasn’t much, but she still made a mental note to give them special attention in the shower that she knew would come right after this.

“Good. Now lower the glass casing. Our supervisor should be on his way to take her already.”

The man sitting at the computer said this in an equally quiet tone to that of his first command. Like with every command he ever gave, he offered an explanation for it, because in his mind, orders were generally easier to follow if you knew the reason why they needed to be carried out. He always seemed to be somewhat muted and generally never displayed outward emotion, but the girl knew that it was just the way he’d chosen to cope with the human rights abuses he had to watch and facilitate on a daily basis. When he’d chosen to work for the government, he’d never wanted to be a part of a project like this one. But because he now knew about its existence, he couldn’t quit or transfer out to a different department, so he’d chosen to deal with his unwanted position by numbing his emotions as much as he possibly could.

In fact, quite a few of the people working here had a similar mindset, and chose to cope with their situations in a similar way. The girl known to them as number 735 bore the likes of them no ill will – they didn’t ask to be put in this position, and none of them liked it, so there was no reason to harbor any resentment towards them. They knew what they were doing was wrong, and they did, to varying levels, regret the things they were forced to do to keep their jobs and, by extension, their freedom. That was enough for her.

But the ‘supervisor’ he mentioned… that man was different. The supervisors of this project knew full well what they were getting into when they transferred into their current positions, and they typically felt no remorse for the horrendous acts that they watched and enforced. They had little to no moral objection to the abductions, the genetic experiments, the ‘practice matches’ where they made teenagers fight with the intent to kill each other, or any of the other wrongdoings that went on in this facility.

In a few seconds, after the glass of the tank was fully lowered, this team’s supervisor would probably come strolling in with a gentle smile on his face that, combined with his thoughts, showed how completely vile and disingenuous he really was. He would offer her a hand to help her stand up, a towel for the trip to the nearby shower room, and he would ask her what she wanted to eat for her meal before the match.

And no matter how much she hated the false kindness he displayed and the darker thoughts she read in his mind, all she could really do was just accept the fake gestures and continue to go along with the fate she’d been unfortunate enough to become trapped in. Because the moment they detected a hint of resistance from her, she knew they would decide she was not worth the risk of keeping around… and they would order her dead.

And after the things they’d done to her, there was no place left on earth where she could escape to that wouldn’t fear, hate and rise up against the inhuman powers that she commanded. [HR][/HR]
I know. It’s terrible. What little editing I tried didn’t help things much, so I’ve made peace with that already. The ending paragraph was especially bad, though the initial version of that was even worse and this edit was the most powerful finish I could think of without changing the intended message.[I] In general, I was trying to make this perspective sound a little less human, and so I screwed around with the narration to try and make it sound colder and less emotional. Can’t quite tell if it worked or not because it ended up sounding a lot like like how I think (which makes me lean towards thinking I succeeded), but I can tell that the narration in general leaves much to be desired.

That being said, if you guys could tell me what specific parts bothered you, I can go back and attempt to fix those. I’d like to get as much feedback as possible, because unfortunately I seem to have become really bad at adjusting my writing style based on the desirable parts of other people’s work (a solid year of reading only manga/doujins and zero written stories seems to have damaged my ability to deconstruct literary works), so getting critique is the only way I can really improve at a decent pace at this point.

Thanks in advance and see you in the second part of the prologue![/I]

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Started 4/11/17)

OK. First of all, stop with the self-derogation, already!!! Seriously, there is nothing about this that is “terrible.” The writing is pretty solid, the plot is unusual and intriguing, the main character is instantly likable and sympathetic, and by the time this part of your prologue is complete there are already clear conflict lines drawn. I’d say you have a really good imagination and a great start to a story here.

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Started 4/11/17)

I think you might be overthinking things too much. I’ll give it a more thorough read through when I’ve got some more time, but you’ve got some good stuff here. Very general comment, I know. You’re being way too hard on yourself. It’s an interesting premise. You start off with a solid grounding in the setting, with action. so you’ve got a nice hook to pull the readers in right away.

Really, this is far from terrible. You put effort into your story. You thought about it, you’ve got plot. You even edit it. That right there puts you in the far from terrible category. :slight_smile: Sometimes writers are their own worst enemies in terms of the inner critic/ inner editor. It’s not like you just slopped up a big wall o’ text with no effort made to even proofread it.

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Started 4/11/17)

Hey Xenonvoid! I never read theprologue and epilogue you put for the chapters, but stop bashing yourself! This story is AWESOME, I’d like to see where you’re going with this!

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Started 4/11/17)

Thank you all for your compliments. You’ve reassured me that it was just my own skewed perception that made it seem so bad. You know the phrase, “A writer is their own harshest critic?” Typically, that is very true for me, and that critical voice inside me is very difficult to ignore.

As a general progress update: the next part of the prologue is already underway. I’m seven hundred words into the first of two planned scenes. I won’t spoil the first scene, but as for the second… prepare to see what the MC can really do with her power!

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Started 4/11/17)

First scene of prologue part two is complete. I decided to switch it to first person midway into writing it, so there might be a few remnants of that in sentence structure in the first eight hundred words or so. I mainly decided to write it in first person because there were two prominent female characters (the MC and her best friend) in it, and anyone who writes in third person knows exactly how much of a pain having a scene with two plus people of the same gender can be…

I’m expecting to finish the second scene by Sunday morning. Would be sooner, but recently in spite of having days composed of almost 100% free time, I seem to only be able to write in decent quantities in the last few hours of my waking day. I get into that rut every once in a while, and there’s typically no way to get out of it aside from stopping writing altogether for days to weeks on end and hoping that once I start again, the circumstances will be substantially different enough to stop the rut from forming again. And since I don’t feel like doing that, I’ve just got to deal with the last few hours restriction for a while…

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Started 4/11/17)

After reading quickly through this I’d have to say that this isn’t bad at all. As a prologue, it does a very good job of making me curious about the people and situations that are only partly revealed or hinted at. In the beginning, the language seemed a little dense and impersonal, but as the text progressed, I saw how that fit the content. All in all, I’d say that this makes me very interested in what comes next.

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Started 4/11/17)

Welp, Sunday came and went with me working on my game all morning and then sleeping all day. I would have spent time writing if I thought I could produce anything, but I couldn’t figure out how to start the second scene.

However, I broke past my block this morning, so that’s no longer getting in the way. I’ll say this, though: the next part is already longer than the first one, and the second scene is just getting started. It is also in first person, but it kind of has to be - I’ve never written fights in third person from the perspective of the protagonist, so doing it that way could lead to some manner of quality loss. Yep, you read right: there’s gonna be a fight in the next part. Fair warning: it’s gonna be pretty brutal.

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Started 4/11/17)

It took staying up over four hours past my bedtime, but I managed to finish the initial draft of the second part of the prologue. It needs to be edited before I can release it, especially near the end… but it’s done. And it is almost exactly 2.75x longer than part one was. My thoughts on it in this exhausted state: “… I said this fight would be brutal, but it’s actually not that bad. At the very least, there’s no blood…”

Anyway, there’s no way in hell I’m trusting my inner editor when I’m this tired. I’m signing off to sleep. I’ll have an update ready by tomorrow morning… probably. Good night (even though it’s one fifteen PM where I live, damn sleep disorder of mine)!

Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Two Released 4/18/2017)

[LEFT][I]I can’t help but feel as if this part is significantly more lighthearted than the one that came before it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s there. But I never fully intended to make this story totally dark all the time, so I guess it’s fine.

Anyway, this part is 5600 words. Compared to the 2100 word first part, that’s an increase of over two and a half times. But that makes sense, given that this part has two scenes, whereas the first one only had one. It’s a little bit higher of a words per scene average, but that’s just because one scene has a fight in it, and my fight scenes typically make a few minutes last thousands of words.

Well, I’ve said enough for now. Go ahead and read 'n review.
[/I]
[/LEFT]
[HR][/HR]
Weapons with Hearts
Prologue Part Two: “Practice Match”

“Hey there, Sparks! Over here!” a bright, peppy, almost chirpy voice called out the moment its owner took note me entering the cafeteria.

I had been given a white t-shirt to wear after I got out of her shower, and I’d felt somewhat self-conscious about it ever since I put it on, with that feeling hitting its peak just as I rounded the corner and walked into this massive dining hall. The dark gray baggy shorts I could handle, but I normally avoided all association with the color white in clothing. This was true to such a degree that the only reason I’d been presented with a white garment at all was because someone messed up with the laundry – because I didn’t even have anything white in my entire wardrobe.

But the violet-haired girl who’d called out to me by the nickname I’d long since gotten used to didn’t seem to care, or even notice it. And seeing that put me at ease, made me think that it would be fine to wear the shirt after all. There were five or so other people sitting at the table which I’d been invited to, but I really only cared about the opinion of the person who, judging by her brainwaves, didn’t even realize anything was different about me. None of the others’ opinions mattered.

Which was totally normal, given that the table they were seated at was the table unofficially dubbed the “Top Twenty” table by the subjects, for the fact that the strongest twenty numbers at the facility seemed hell bent on keeping anyone outside themselves from ever sitting there, exactly like a high school social clique. It made sense for them to do that, given that every single subject in the facility was of high school age, but it still disgusted me that I allowed it to happen, especially since it was well within my power to stop it by simply electrically manipulating the minds of the people who kept it that way. But doing that would just be cruel, because then I’d be allowing these prideful assholes to mingle with people they were not afraid to voice how they felt superior to.

I only sat with these pretentious, stuck up, arrogant elitists this time because the closest friend I made early on happened to become one of the strongest twenty with me. Said friend sat here at this table for the sake of socializing with people that she might not otherwise get to see in an average day since the higher ups almost never orchestrated practice matches or training exercises that involved more than one of the best fighters.

After a few more seconds of walking, I reached the table and sat my lunch tray down across from my purple-haired friend, who had apparently been given a magenta V-neck to wear that seemed of a notably less pinkish strain than the color of her irises. Both her hair and eye colors were actually natural, to some extent – they were genetically modified to look like that at her request. It was the government’s way of keeping most of the kids complacent through the initial two rounds of genetic experiments: the first time they offered to change their natural hair color, and the second time they offered to change the eye color.

I had always liked my straight black hair that never tangled, so I declined their offer with the first round under the fear that changing the color might change other properties I liked. But come the second round, I’d become somewhat jealous of all the other kids I’d seen with hair colors that would normally be physically impossible without dye, so I decided to change my eyes to something that no normal human could possess. And since I didn’t have any better ideas that I hadn’t already seen in the hair I’d seen on the kids, I chose the color white.

“Sit down, sit down!” the my friend chirped hyperactively, bouncing around in her seat like a five year old.

I readily complied, a small smile coming to my face as I mused to myself. It always struck me as amusingly ironic that one of the most childish subjects in the whole facility ended up developing space-time manipulation as her unique power. Nobody chose the powers that they got to use after the single gene preventing their development was turned off, but it still seemed like the strongest powers should go to the people who were actually smart enough to know how the science behind them worked. However, that almost never seemed to be the case in reality.

I nodded to her, my smile fading as I thought of something to say. “Looks like we have overlapping lunch periods today, Yulia.”

It would be easier to pretend I didn’t already know we would be eating together. Technically, she knew about the facet of my ability that allowed me to find out – that is, my ability to monitor computer activity for all the computers in the facility simultaneously – so if she were to really think about it, she could probably figure it out on her own. She was actually really smart, no matter how her maturity level made her come across to others.

“Somebody must have really fucked up with the laundry,” the blond boy sitting next to Yulia commented on my shirt, giving me an acknowledging nod.
Normally I wouldn’t have minded his commentary, but he’d said it right next to the person I’d been hoping would have gone the whole period not noticing. Now she would inevitably begin to wonder why he made that comment, and being as smart as she was, she’d figure it out right away.

“Oh, wow! I’ve never seen you wear a white shirt before!” the violet-haired teen exclaimed, her voice full of wonder. “You look great in it! It matches your eyes!”

My face flushed, but I otherwise gave no visible reaction. I most certainly had not been expecting to hear that… suddenly, wearing white didn’t seem so bad after all. It was such a strange experience – did one single person’s opinion really matter that much to me? Even if she was my friend, it still seemed a little… odd. Maybe it was just because she’d made a good point about my eyes matching the shirt…

“So who do they have you fighting today, 7-35?” the blond boy asked, saying my number as if reading aloud the time of day. “If they’re treating you the same as the rest of us, then they’ll be sicking two of the lowbies at once on you. Which two did you get?”

The top twenty tended to refer to everyone else as ‘lowbies.’ It was just another way that they tried to separate themselves from everyone else to make them feel like they were the best of the best. Their entire self valuation seemed to come from putting everyone else down so that they looked better by comparison. It was utterly disgusting and completely without logic.

The only way in which these self-centered jerks were actually superior to the other subjects was in combat potential. In just about everything else, they were no better than the people they so deprecated. They weren’t much smarter if any at all, they weren’t better looking, and they certainly didn’t have better personalities. They were just better at fighting. That was it, yet they acted like they were wholly superior.

But starting a conflict with this guy right in front of my friend would be a bad idea, so I couldn’t tell him that I had no interest in making conversation with him. I didn’t want Yulia to be forced into the position of having to choose a side, no matter which one she would actually pick. As far as she was concerned, we were both her friends, and to make anyone have to choose one friend over another would just be mean.

“Looks like they’re singling me out, then,” I answered his question with a neutral tone as I grabbed my knife and fork and began to cut into the steak prepared by one of the chefs the facility hired with some of the excess money they got from the government by lying about the costs. “Because they have me facing three at once, not two.”

I just had to go along with it and pretend I actually cared enough to make conversation with him. It wouldn’t be too hard, either, at least compared to how he acted up until a week ago. He used to be exceedingly irritating and prideful of his ability to move precisely at the speed of light, thinking he could only lose to Yulia’s space-time manipulation. But after I defeated him so utterly that the fight seemed one-sided whilst criticizing his pride at every exchange of blows, he became a lot more mellow. If his short-lived mental breakdown immediately following regaining consciousness in the healing ward was anything to go by, I might have broken his pride altogether.

“Even I’m only fighting two today, and I can stop time!” Yulia interjected, eyes wide with shock. After her initial reaction gave way, she smiled brightly, giving me a thumbs-up. “Way to be number one, Sparks!”

That last line, spoken from anyone else who sat at this table, would surely have been sarcastic – they were all bitter over the fact that I was the only member of the top twenty who had never lost a match to anyone else in the top twenty. Especially because they all knew that I only allowed my violet-haired friend to call me by that nickname. But from her, it was a genuine praise, and one that made me feel somewhat proud of myself.

“You didn’t answer the second part of my question,” my friend’s friend said, drawing my attention back to him. “Who are they making you fight?”

Don’t you think that there might have been a reason I didn’t answer that part the first time? Whatever…

I brought one of the bites of steak I’d carved up into my mouth with my fork and began to chew. The fact that I did that before answering him instead of waiting was meant to tell him that I didn’t really value him enough to give him a speedy answer, but given how subtle a message that actually was without anything else added in to give it away, I didn’t expect him to get it. Suffice to say, even without reading his mind, I could tell I had predicted right by the fact that he gave no indication that he even noticed that I’d given him a negative priority.

After swallowing, I nodded in his direction and pretended I’d just forgotten. “Right, that part. I’m fighting with numbers 528, 360 and 146. Powers wise, in order, those are the ones with duplication, vector redirection and speed manipulation.”

[HR][/HR]
By the time I leisurely strolled out onto my designated battleground, my three opponents were already all huddled together in a small triangle near the center, presumably discussing strategy. I was in no hurry to let them know I was here – in fact, I’d deliberately sent out electric signals that interfered with their senses and cognition so that they wouldn’t take notice of me until I spoke. However, I wasted not even a single second getting right to work with monitoring their brainwaves so I could see what they were planning to take me on with.

Hmm… not a bad plan… but nothing I can’t handle. I’ll keep monitoring for variances, though.

“Hey, you three!” I called out to them, my voice making them all disengage from each other and snap their heads around to face me. “I should hope that you all remember how I defeated you individually. If you haven’t taken your past losses into account, you won’t last very long this time either.”

The one on the far right, a sea green-haired boy in a blue tank top and indigo running shorts that I knew as number 146, was the first to snap out of his initial startled state enough to formulate a response. “How could any of us forget our fights with you? They literally showed all of us the video feeds of each of our massacres before lunch to prepare us for this rematch!”

This came as news to me. Had I bothered reading their memories, I would have known, but I didn’t think I needed to. However, it was not a total surprise, either – I’d heard of similar things through reading the minds of many of the other kids who had lost a battle against someone in the top twenty and were scheduled to fight them again.

“Don’t worry, Sparky, we’ve taken a good, long look at our past failures, and we’re ready to try again,” the one on the far left said in a voice thick with disdain. In his mind, he equated the name sparky with being the name of a dog, so he was basically calling me a bitch, and he knew it.

That’s it. If I can help it, I’m taking him out first.

This boy, with hair and eyes of a blazing orange that matched his fiery temperament, a red muscle shirt that showed off his somewhat impressively toned arms and a dark gray pair of jeans was number 360, the one who could redirect vectors. In laymen’s terms, he could freely manipulate the direction in which objects and people moved. There was a certain humoristic irony in the fact that his number was associated with what his power could do, if you thought of the number as a number of degrees.

He addressed me with such bile because of my status as a member of the top twenty. As far as battle records go, at the time the rankings were first established, he was ranked number twenty-two out of the full thousand subjects, and he had a huge amount of resentment for the people he’d lost to that had made his ranking slip. Specifically me, Yulia and number 847, the light speed guy with whom I’d been conversing at lunch. The two of them both beat him before he could react properly to their first actions, but in my battle with him, I’d deliberately allowed him to use every move he could think of on me before I ended the match in a single attack. So as far as his hatred went, I knew I bore the brunt of it just because he knew that nothing he did could stop me.

The person in the middle, number 528, said nothing in response. She was a very pensive girl about my height with somewhat short, bright turquoise hair kept out of her face with two gray square hairpins, blue eyes that reflected the light to have a greenish rainbow effect, and a blank, completely emotionless resting expression which betrayed years upon years of being abused and mistreated. The last time we fought, she didn’t say anything throughout the whole match from meeting until defeat, so I only knew what her voice sounded like from reading her memories.

She wore a sky blue hoodie shirt with a large frontal pocket that I already knew from listening in on their strategy contained a black combat knife with gleaming silver edges. The shirt was so big on her that I almost couldn’t see the green short shorts underneath it, if not for the very bottom of them just barely peaking out. Just like in our last battle, she seemed to have no fashion sense whatsoever, not like I could be much of a critic at the moment with my white t-shirt and black jeans combo.

There was no need to comment on their footwear because they were all wearing the same thing – gray Nike running shoes issued by the facility. As a member of the top twenty, more money was spent on me, so I’d gotten the chance to get a different pair to wear instead. Thus, unlike the three of them, the shoes on my feet were a pair of black and silver Adidas running shoes. I’d always favored functionality over fashion, so I made sure to get a pair I could really move around in, and the two primary colors at play were just my favorite ones to wear. The fact that I got the option at all was a clear sign of the favor I’d gained through consistently producing good results.

Just one more reason for the other subjects to dislike me, I guess.

I turned back to the orange-haired boy and responded to his anger with an even keel. “I hope so. Give it your best shot, you three. It’d just be sad if you lost a three on one as easily as you did your singles with me.”

I could see the fire in his eyes as I read an intense anger building in his mind. However, he wouldn’t get the chance to make a retort. The people in charge, whom I’d been monitoring since before I entered the little arena, had finally decided to move on and start the actual battle.

“All right, that’s enough conversation!” a male voice blared enthusiastically out of the loudspeakers affixed to the wall behind me at using a bad microphone which distorted any identifying qualities it could have had beyond simply belonging to a guy. “You can settle the rest through battle! On the count of three, you may begin. One…”

As their strategy dictated, the vector redirector didn’t even take his hands out of his pockets. They had agreed that he should give as little indication of his actions as possible so as to be able to take me by surprise. Not that they had any idea that I could just read his mind to figure out all of his moves before he made them.

Meanwhile, the green-haired speed manipulator put up his dukes in a very literal sense while hopping from one foot to the other as if trying to energize himself. They’d agreed to keep him constantly moving so as to make his actions harder to follow, not that it made much of a difference when one considered that I could discern and react to his movements through his thoughts.

“Two…”

And finally, the girl in the middle reached her hands inside her shirt pocket, and from her mind I knew that she’d grabbed hold of her knife’s handle and sheath. Aside from that, she gave no cues that she’d even been listening to the guy currently sounding out numbers over the loudspeakers. Her face still remained as blank as ever, and she still seemed to be just as relaxed as before the countdown.

It made sense, given that her sole purpose in their strategy was to toss the knife into the air, wait for it to be redirected, and then create a thousand duplicates of it as it flew towards me at breakneck speeds. Like the vector redirector, she wouldn’t be actively involved in this battle – the only one to directly engage me in hand to hand would be the speed manipulator.

“Three! Begin!”

Like clockwork, their plan unfolded before my eyes. The girl moved as quickly as she could, unsheathing her knife and throwing it skyward. It spun around and around as it climbed higher and higher into the air. However, before it became a danger to the lighting fixtures on the ceiling, its course dramatically altered, and it sailed straight at me from above, the vector guy making sure that the tip of the blade stayed pointed towards me.

As it neared me, its speed increased at a rapid pace thanks to the speed manipulator’s handiwork. By the time it reached the halfway point, it was travelling so quickly that the blade itself began to glow red, signifying intense heat. Despite it moving at such a frightening speed, I could actually follow its movements, as they were almost in slow motion compared to the speed of my thoughts, eyes and reflexes, all exponentially enhanced by electricity.

However, despite being more than fast enough to dodge it, I knew I didn’t have to bother. Because that knife… it was made out of metal. And before the match began, I’d gone to the trouble of setting up an electromagnetic field with my body as the center so strong that it would prevent the weapon from even getting within two feet of me. If there were any metal in the flooring beneath me, I suspected that it all would have been forced out of place by my action, but I knew they’d removed all the metal from the flooring of my personal fighting arena a long time ago for that exact reason.

Even after the knife multiplied a thousand fold and completely skewered my view of the lights above, I didn’t so much as flinch – the quantity didn’t make a difference in the result. Two seconds after the girl first threw the original knife, it and every single copy of it stopped dead in their tracks, quickly surrounding me on all sides, from all angles, but not a single one of them able to penetrate my barrier.

Now none of them could see me through the cover of thwarted blades that were still pressing desperately against the electromagnetic current which repelled them. I couldn’t see my opponents either, of course, but I didn’t need to see them in order to react to them, so that hardly mattered. I knew from their brainwaves that none of them were currently readying a move, so I decided to use this time to make a comment.

“I should hope that your studies of your past failures would have provoked you to account for this scenario,” I quipped, using number 360’s own words just to ensure that I pissed him off. Admittedly, I was still a little mad that he called me Sparky and called me a bitch in his head. “Because guess what? I did this at the end of my singles battle with 528, so you can’t pretend you didn’t see it coming.”

At best, this was all just a tactic to get the guy I didn’t like mad at me. I already knew the answer before I asked from reading their memories – they hadn’t taken this part of my one on one battle with the duplicator into account. When they’d been analyzing the video, they’d noticed that the knife flew out of her hand as I made a quick gesture with my hand, and they’d assumed I’d been moving fast enough to create a strong gust of wind because her clothes had ruffled a lot at the same time. None of them had stopped to consider that there might have been a different force at play there.

Which meant, of course, that in stopping this one attack the way I did, I’d effectively destroyed their entire strategy for taking me on. They couldn’t try to hit me with a barrier of knives whose heated blades were quickly melding together in the way of their attacks. They would have to improvise if they wanted a shot at winning, and they’d have to think of something before the blades completely joined together and cut them off from me.

Number 360’s reaction was swift, severe and exactly what I was hoping for. “Eat shit, cocky bitch! 146, attack her through the knives! They’ll move for you!”
The speed manipulator didn’t even bother responding with words. Instead, he chose to circle around behind me at a speed that none of my other opponents could process and throw a punch at my head that would have been able to rip a normal person’s head clean off and send it flying into a brick wall ten yards away before the poor, unsuspecting fellow had the chance to blink. The knives, to their credit, did part way to make room for his arm in spite of being partly joined together.

But by the time it was within range to strike me, I’d already turned around, stepped back, grabbed his wrist and completely neutralized his momentum with a speed of over twice what he’d thrown at me.

That was the secret to defeating this guy which I’d discovered in our singles battle. If he was moving, he could freely adjust his movement speed by using a multiplier that he determined in his head, which made him difficult to deal with past a certain point. But if you could stop his movement dead in its tracks, well… having a speed multiplier is useless when it’s multiplied by zero.

And as I knew he remembered, the fact that we were touching put him in a fatally dangerous situation. With my power, I could generate an infinite amount of electricity. If I were to generate a few million volts of electricity within my body with his arm in my grip, he would suffer cardiac arrest, third degree burns, and if the first was left untreated, death would inevitably follow.

And considering that was how I beat him the first time, and the healers and medical equipment restored him to perfect health before he died, he should still vividly remember how the experience felt. If I’d actually killed him, they’d have had to use the corporeal time rewinder to restore him, and he wouldn’t have remembered the event, but he survived, so that wasn’t necessary.

He seemed to understand what he’d gotten himself into, though, because he ripped his arm from my grasp at a speed so high that it nearly dislocated my shoulder before I let go. He’d withdrawn his arm at over twice the speed I’d grabbed it at, which itself was over twice the speed he initially attacked at. He clearly did not want to relive the experience of getting struck by lightning.

He threw me a second punch from the other hand, this one even faster than his first one’s withdrawal. He seemed to be increasing the speed with every action he took. But I wouldn’t be playing games with him this time, though. I’d figured out that this was going to be the height of the challenge a long time ago, and I’d already fought these exact tactics once. I knew I had to shut him down before he started moving faster than I could neutralize.

And so, the moment before I blocked his second punch with my other hand, I charged it with just enough electricity to immediately cause him a heart attack. The result: a few nanoseconds later, he defeated himself by making contact with me.

I made sure to disperse the charge of electricity right after I noticed his body jolt, so as to not unintentionally cause collateral damage in the room outside this cage of knives. His body went limp soon afterwards, and I knew that I’d managed to get the job done when his arm limply fell outside of the knife barrier.

I turned back around to face the other two opponents that I couldn’t see. “I seem to have taken out your only viable attacker. What’s up next, 360 degree jackoff?”

His response told me exactly how well he knew what position he was in. “You have got to be fucking kidding me! Even with three of us at once, it doesn’t make a difference! We’re so fucked!”

Even though I knew he couldn’t see it, I nodded my head in agreement with his sentiment. “That’s all I needed to hear.”

If it weren’t for the solid shield of conductors all around me, I could have finished things with my lightning storm technique, but I knew that the knives would have just rerouted the whole thing right to them. So in order to actually hit him, I’d have to employ a different tactic… the same one I used to defeat number 847, in fact.

Or more specifically, the tactic of converting my body to a wireless signal, moving outwards a specific distance, then converting myself back at a specific location on the edge of the wave to attack. It allowed me to move at the speed of light in a vacuum. Against number 847, who could move at the speed of light but was slowed slightly by the atmospheric conditions as well as the normal human speed of the thoughts governing his actions, this resulted in my speed handily outclassing his.

But this time, my use of this tactic had nothing to do with needing to be faster – I just needed to escape the barrier of knives. And it only took an instant, too – I converted and unconverted myself to be positioned directly behind number 360 before he’d even had time to process what I’d just said to him.

I made sure to convert myself back to matter at rest this time, however – if I’d done it in motion, my body still would have been moving at the speed of light immediately following my materialization. While those speeds were handy for attacking 847, whose light speed power included environmental neutralization, they were absolutely horrifying in terms of collateral damage if and when I hit anyone or anything else. The entire facility would have been blown away by an explosion stronger than even nuclear bombs.

I tapped number 360 on the shoulder from behind. “I’m over here. But you won’t be aware of that in a second.”

The second time I tapped on his shoulder, my hand had an electric charge. He convulsed for a second, then dropped like a sack of bricks. After dispersing the charge in my hand, without even so much as acknowledging my last opponent’s presence, I turned around to face the rubber-coated security camera which adorned one corner of the arena room walls.

“If she surrenders, can we just call the match here?” I asked while pointing towards my female foe. “She can’t do anything to me without the knives anyway, and I feel bad picking on helpless people who didn’t provoke me.”

For a few seconds, the room went dead silent. But I knew this hardly had anything to do with them considering my request. In all likelihood, they just took that long to say anything because nobody was near the microphone when I asked. I allowed them some time to get someone in the position to respond, knowing that worrying about the delay unnecessarily would be pointless.

The same voice that originally counted down to the start of the match blared out again after a small pause. “Sure, that’s fine! You functionally won when you defeated number 146, anyway.”

I turned around to face the turquoise-haired girl who’d had the stroke of luck of having me as an opponent today. I’d justified my request with a noble excuse, but in truth, I really just didn’t like to hurt people I found aesthetically appealing… and though this girl did need to make better fashion choices, I couldn’t deny that I found her a little cute. At least, enough that I didn’t want to have to hurt her again when I’d already proven the difference in our strengths once before.

“What do you say? Do you want to accept my offer?” I asked her, giving her what I hoped looked like a kind smile but inside knew something must have been off with. “Or would you prefer to actually play the rest of this fight out and find out what a lightning strike feels like? They tend to cause third degree burns on contact areas and heart attacks, so choose wisely.”

She stared into my eyes for a good few seconds, almost enough to make me wonder if she actually still wanted to fight. But then, she simply nodded her head, and spoke in a low-pitched mumble.

“I yield… thank you.”

Her face didn’t even change when she said it. I couldn’t see traces of any emotion in her eyes, same as before. But her brainwaves told me that she was, in fact, relieved to have been spared the pain of this encounter, if a little confused about why I offered in the first place.

“Don’t sweat it, it’s fine,” I replied, turning towards the my exit and holding a hand up as if to wave. I stopped monitoring her brainwaves just before what came next. “Your face is too cute to be burnt to a crisp by my electricity, anyway.”

I made sure that I couldn’t read her mind as I said it so that I would be spared the potential blow of her mental reaction. Because in situations like these, being able to know what the other person is thinking could make it so much more painful. It was almost always better to not let myself find the truth.

With that as my parting message, I walked off the stage – I could let the healers take care of the two that I’d incapacitated. With today’s practice match out of the way, the next thing on the day’s agenda would be field training. After that would be stealth training, followed by recreational exercise, then dinner, then recreational relaxation time, and then I’d be returned to my tank to sleep.

I won again today, as always. And as always, I knew that the people in charge would never be satisfied with this result. They would continue to push me harder and harder until they either ran out of strength to push with, ran out of time to test with or found my breaking point. Today it was three opponents at once, but eventually it might be the entire rest of the top twenty.

It was enough to make me wonder… when would I finally be allowed to rest?

[HR][/HR]
I think I’m going to make the post icons on new content releases denote what will take place in the installment. Exclamation marks will mean fight scenes, question marks will mean mystery elements, light bulbs will mean introspection and heavy thinking, and a thumbs up will mean shipping moments of some variety. I’ll think of more icon significations as I go along, I’m sure.[I]

Anyway, I don’t particularly mind this chapter. It’s not my best work, but it’s not terrible either. But my best work has always come at the end of an arc during climactic battles… so it’s not something I can typically recreate on demand. I’m somewhat of a fight scene enthusiast, especially for fights where the outcome is very important… but this fight’s outcome was not just obvious, but also completely pointless in that not much was at stake if she did the impossible thing and lost. Meh, I’m sure I’ll have some more interesting fights later on that I’ll be able to feel proud of. No big deal, no big deal.

So! Questions, comments, concerns, critiques! If you have any of these, I encourage you to share them with me! Especially the questions and critiques! Was this installment as compelling/enjoyable as the first one or not? I’d love to hear your thoughts on that!

And finally… next part will be told partially from someone else’s perspective. Look forward to seeing part of the story through the eyes of someone who actually works in the facility! Please stick around for the third and final part of the prologue!

See you next time![/I]

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Two Posted 4/18/2017)

Personally, I doubt that anyone will keep the post icon thing straight, but have fun.

Once again, I love what you are doing here: the whole thing is so completely original and unusual as to separate it from pretty much everything else on the site (including everything of mine). I have no clue whatsoever where this is all heading, but I am fascinated to find out. Her voice is so wonderful, and the little details like the genetically manipulated hair and eye coloring (which she chooses to make black and white: perfect!) and the way she reacts to girl in the battle, as well as how bored she seems with the whole things even while she is doing it, knowing she will win, knowing in advance what her opponents will do: it’s like she’s several X-Men rolled into one but it just really doesn’t faze her or make her happy. And the reason for that has, apparently, everything to do with the facility.

Color me fascinated.

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Two Posted 4/18/2017)

[QUOTE=kerry;68786]Personally, I doubt that anyone will keep the post icon thing straight, but have fun.

Once again, I love what you are doing here: the whole thing is so completely original and unusual as to separate it from pretty much everything else on the site (including everything of mine). I have no clue whatsoever where this is all heading, but I am fascinated to find out. Her voice is so wonderful, and the little details like the genetically manipulated hair and eye coloring (which she chooses to make black and white: perfect!) and the way she reacts to girl in the battle, as well as how bored she seems with the whole things even while she is doing it, knowing she will win, knowing in advance what her opponents will do: it’s like she’s several X-Men rolled into one but it just really doesn’t faze her or make her happy. And the reason for that has, apparently, everything to do with the facility.

Color me fascinated.[/QUOTE]

Coming up with original story ideas is kind of my thing, actually. I’m an idea guy, and I’m pretty sure that I’ve posted over a hundred separate stories on the internet, forty to sixty of which had original premises that I hadn’t seen done before I took my own shot at them (and eighty to ninety of which are total crap compared to what I can produce now). I can tell you right now, however, that as far as where this story is headed in the immediate future (it’s not a spoiler because the narration skips over this part): uh, well, the government invested in creating teens with super powers for a reason. That’s all I’ll say on the matter because the rest will be gradually unveiled retrospectively after the prologue concludes.

I gotta say, I wasn’t expecting to have the voice of this MC praised. It’s basically just one of my standard fanfic characters but with a brain that functions like a supercomputer (the brain does run on the thing she can generate infinite amounts of, after all). Granted, said fanfic character was a character that I literally invented from scratch (well, she’s a genderbend of the fandom’s MC but every time I include her in another story I redesign the personality in a new way as if her canon counterpart doesn’t exist) and then proceeded to accidentally popularize within the fanfiction community until I got to the point where everyone and their dog wanted to copy me for a few months, so I guess there’s something appealing about her that survives even through transferring her out of the fanfic world and into original stories like this rewrite.

It’s worth noting that she’s not particularly bored with the fact that she has incredibly overpowered super powers and is literally the number one fighter of all one thousand subjects. It’s that she never really cared in the first place. Like I said, her brain functions like a supercomputer - there’s little to no room for her emotions to come into play under normal circumstances. The emotions you’ve seen in her so far are mostly apparent because they’re things she feels so strongly about that her opinions overcome her emotional numbing which she does to herself.

The clearest example of this is her abhorrence of the top twenty. If her emotions actually significantly swayed her thought processes, she’d be insulting them at every chance she got, consequences be damned. She knows that pretty much everyone in the top twenty was excluded in school pre-abduction and they all resented it, and therefore their exclusion tactics of the rest of the numbers is pure hypocritical BS, which is something that she hates with a burning passion. But because her brain is actively limiting her emotional involvement in everything, including this, she’s detached enough to perform a cost benefit analysis of potential courses of action regarding them and alter her actions accordingly.

I’m still finding out how best to convey things, but that’s how it comes across in my head.

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Two Posted 4/18/2017)

From your description, I’m not sure how long I’ll stick around, but this has some interest, and I’m liking the quality of the writing well enough to stick around for the time being. Thanks for posting it.

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Two Posted 4/18/2017)

Which parts of the description lead you to believe you won’t be around long? I’m curious. Which parts don’t you like?

Also, the way you said you liked the writing leads me to believe you have a distinct opinion of it. Might I ask what you think of my writing in this work?

Now, to all of my readers: the third and final part of the prologue is 2300 words in as we speak. There have been four scenes so far, but two of them were really short, so they hardly even count. The scene total for the completed installment is looking like it’ll be five. The fourth and fifth scenes will comprise the bulk of the length, with the fourth already being just over a thousand words despite not even being done introducing the characters yet.

I’m expecting the total word count to be over five thousand, but beyond that, I’m not sure exactly how long it’ll be or how long it’ll take to finish (though it should be done before the end of the coming week). I gotta go to bed for now so I can make a morning appointment tomorrow, but I expect I’ll have more time to work on this tomorrow night.

Until then!

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Two Posted 4/18/2017)

As for the first question, it’s mostly the first section of the warnings that have me thinking I’ll disappear at some point. It’s also not what I usually read, but trying new things is worthwhile.

In liking the writing, it’s that you clearly see what is happening in your mind, so that you can then write it down in such a way that I can then generate a picture of what is happening. You also just plain write well enough that I’m not distracted by errors.

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Three Posted 4/24/2017)

I originally planned for this to be the final part of the prologue. However, I realized that the end of the last scene I wrote here was the perfect cliffhanger. And then I realized that what I thought was going to be one final scene after that would actually have to be at least two separate scenes, possibly three or four. Eventually, it just made no sense to not separate the full installment into two parts. Thus, after this one, there will be a prologue part four before I get to the main story!
[I]
I know some of you are waiting patiently for the introduction of the ABDL content, so I figured I’d tell you now: it will be alluded to in prologue part four, and officially introduced in chapter one of the main story. Warning everybody now, more than one character will be diapered throughout the course of this work… and when I say more than one, I mean a LOT more than one.

[/I]Anyway, that’s enough out of me! Go ahead and read!

[HR][/HR]
Weapons with Hearts
Prologue Part Three: Boss’s Orders

“She’s asking us to finish the match before she’s incapacitated her last opponent,” a brown-haired young man with angular features and a white lab coat assessed the situation in a somewhat uncertain tone. “Mister Klein, what should we do, sir?”

A redheaded man standing nearby wearing what could only be described as crimson casual street clothes just shrugged his shoulders, the red and black wind breaker over his back rustling as it moved with his body. “Her last opponent can’t even touch her without getting burnt to a crisp from the voltage. She’s just offering to spare the poor girl some pain. I say let her do as she pleases – the impulse she had is good as long as it’s not directed at an enemy.”

The Latino operating the mic spoke down to the arena, echoing his higher up’s sentiments. After that, the two female subjects exchanged a few kind words before walking out of the arena in different directions. Soon after they were both gone, men in military uniforms rushed in to pick up the bodies of the two fighters the match’s victor had effortlessly felled. They would be taken to the healing ward, where the numbers who developed powers that could be used to undo combat damages would return them back to full health just in time for field training.

Speaking of which…

“Well, I’m gonna jet,” Klein said, running a hand through his the back of his short, unruly auburn hair. “I’m supposed to watch number 735 all day since she’s the strongest, but also the most unusual in how she acts. Apparently it’s my job today is to find out exactly what makes her so different. President’s orders and all.”

As he started walking out, the man in charge of the arena monitoring equipment spoke up. “I apologize for my curiosity, but… this facility doesn’t have a president, sir.”

“No need for an apology, what I said was a little too ambiguous anyway,” the redheaded young man said with a slight chuckle. “There’s only one person I take orders from at the moment. And that’s the president of the United States of America.”

[HR][/HR]
Another electromagnetic field, another volley of bullets redirected into the wall behind me. This one had come from directly in front of me, like it always did at this stage in the drill. This was exercise number twenty two out of a total of fifty that they would alternate on me, performing one complete drill per day.

Next came a volley of shots from all sides. My magnetic field was still going strong, but this time, I made it just a little bit larger and changed its shape slightly right before its current affected the bullets. This redirected every single shot so that the bullets hit and destroyed the electrical wires that told all the guns to fire. I’d long since figured out that in this kind of situation, I could take out multiple people or weapons at the same time using their own attacks without so much as moving my own body a single inch.

With those guns down for the count for this training exercise and the original guns that shot me from the front out of ammunition, they would have no choice but to switch tactics – now it was time for the bombs to start dropping.

The first one game from directly above me, right through an open shaft in the ceiling. But I’d already been preparing to evade it since before the shaft even opened. I’d been ionizing the air in the entire room since the first volley of bullets, and now it was complete – by converting myself into electricity, I could now freely travel to anywhere in the room that I wanted at several thousands of times faster than the speed of sound.

In an instant, I was on the complete other side of the room, and the air smelled like it was burning from the intense heat that I had generated as a living lightning bolt. I watched the bomb drop to the floor and detonate from afar, the explosion much too far away for me to even feel the blast. Some shrapnel from the shell of the explosive flew my way, but a quick electromagnetic current sent most of it around me – the non-conductor pieces, I simply dodged.

The next bomb would be from my left. This one would have a rocket to propel itself towards me. But I still had plenty of room left to jump around to, and my ionizing of the air would continue indefinitely until they called the exercise off, so even in the areas where a bomb detonated, I would be able to travel through them again shortly thereafter.

As this bomb evasion process repeated over and over, I couldn’t help but feel a little annoyed. I’d read their minds to figure out the logic behind their decision to make this room specifically for my “field training,” but none of it made practical sense. It was all just crap like “she’s the strongest, we need to see exactly how much danger she can tolerate.”

At this point, they were one step shy of taking me out to a deserted area and firing a nuclear missile at me to see how I reacted. The fact that no matter what they threw at me, none of it even fazed me… it excited them, because they felt like my inhuman, “incredible” power was a masterpiece of art that they all had a hand in making. And they wanted to make it better and better, until no more improvements could be made.

After ten bombs, I knew they’d run out of things to hit me with. They could use the guns on the security cameras, but they knew that those bullets would meet the same fate as all the others. The training exercise had effectively ended already. I still didn’t know how this room challenge counted as “field training,” but I had to admit it was a mite more dangerous than what they’d had me doing before.

I turned around and looked up at the security camera in the southwest corner of the room. “Can I switch out my shift in stealth training for a shift in the healing ward again? There’s no point in making me do something so utterly unnecessary to my move set, so I’d rather heal some people instead so my power is put to good use.”

[HR][/HR]
“What are your orders, Mister Klein?” yet another man in a white lab coat asked after hearing her request, turning to his new boss with an expectant gaze. However, the employee’s glasses reflected the light from the computer screens across from him, completely obscuring any view of his actual eyes in the dimly-lit room they were all sitting in, thus preventing his boss from making out the details in his expression.

The man whose appearance suggested was a college going, red-loving hipster merely shrugged his shoulders. “Let her do what she wants. My reason for focusing on her today makes it imperative that I figure out just what it is she actually wants… and where her allegiances are. This is easier to observe when she is engaged in activities of interest to her.”

“Understood, sir. I’ll inform her supervisor of the route change.”

The redhead nodded, stood up and began walking off towards the healing ward. Observing from a camera was one thing, but seeing it in person would be infinitely better. He smiled to himself as he reached in his pocket and switched the iPhone in it to silent mode. He knew that by the end of the day, he’d have results he could report to the White House. One way or another, he’d find out exactly what made her tick.

[HR][/HR]
As soon as I entered the ward full of beds, I immediately projected my voice to greet the three healers on shift. “Hey there, you three! Did you miss me?”

The three subjects currently tending to injured patients all looked at me with fierce stares, even the shy one off to the left side of the room. It was generally accepted that this room be a quiet environment so as not to disturb the unconscious subjects who’d been healed until it was time to wake them up for their next activities.

Yes, this white-themed room filled wall to wall with beds was the healers’ ward. Unlike a hospital ward, there was no medical equipment here, no smell of disinfectant, or any of the other things typically associated with medical establishments. The closest this room got to sterilization was a bottle of hand sanitizer kept in the bottom of the bay window on the far side of the room.

“You did that on purpose!” the one in the middle of the room shot back, her cracking pubescent voice just as loud as mine was.

Her form-fitting red sleeveless shirt went with her pink hair and magenta eyes quite nicely. She wasn’t particularly well-endowed, but she tended to always wear things that managed to draw a lot of eyes towards her, both male and female, regardless of her less than perfect figure. She seemed to be of Irish descent, what with the large amount of freckles on her face and arms.

She, like everyone else on shift today, was one of the friends I made in the early testing days when we were allowed to associate with each other freely and without the prejudice born from different people getting different results. Whether her real name was Elizabeth or not, she always insisted that every other subject call her Liz, and some of us didn’t even know her project number because of it.

Interestingly enough, she had a crush on someone in the top twenty whom she’d befriended early on, but whom I had never gotten close to. I hardly ever spoke with the girl she liked before the top twenty status divide, but afterwards, I never had any interest in doing so. That girl may not have ever openly supported the top twenty’s collective superiority complex, but she made no attempts to bring them back down to earth, either, so she was no better than them, no matter what Liz would tell me on the matter.

“Got your attention, didn’t it?” I responded, flashing her a thumbs-up. “By the way, maybe don’t criticize my volume in a voice just as loud as mine was.”

To the pinkette’s right, a short girl with light brown pigtails and russet eyes, a red and white striped T-shirt and a very unique creature perched atop her shoulder had a face ready to spontaneously combust as she stared at me. She was the youngest subject in the facility, at twelve years old, and back in the early testing days, she’d initially been the victim of a lot of bullying. But once the bullies realized that they’d wind up in critical care for electrocution wounds the moment I read their minds and found out they did it, well, let’s just say that the abuse figures very quickly dropped off.

And because I’d personally come to her aid during the events themselves one too many times, she seemed to have developed a thing for me. In her head, I was her knight in shining armor, who always swooped in to save the day whenever she was in trouble. Because she was so young, it was difficult to discern whether this was just a phase for her or whether she genuinely held some romantic interest in me, but either way, she seemed more like a little sister to me than anything else.

However, the most interesting thing about her had nothing to do with that. Her number was 777, and her ability actually conjured up the idea that the number’s associated good luck was not wasted. She actually had the power to resurrect the dead. No time limits for the corpse and no body condition requirements – if it was dead, she could bring it back to life. When this ability was applied to humans, nothing abnormal happened other than that their body is restored to the state it was in right before the event that got them killed, thereby undoing any damage dying and decaying had given their bodies. However, when she used the ability on animals, it tended to cause the animals to mutate in strange yet fascinating ways.

Take the creature on her shoulder, the only pet the facility had ever allowed any of the subjects to keep. When the girl had just been brought in post-abduction, she’d been carrying a dead kitten in her arms. Apparently she’d found it on the roadside before she was abducted and took pity on it, taking it with her into the facility. After she awoke from her first round of genetic testing – the one that gave her powers – she accidentally triggered her resurrection ability while cradling the dead kitten in her arms. It came back to life immediately, but with a very strange alteration – its bones became lighter, its lungs grew bigger and more efficient, and it obtained a set of fully functional, feathered wings that actually allowed it to fly. The two had been inseparable ever since.

It hadn’t been long enough to say for sure, but it did seem like the kitten’s growth rate had also been changed when he resurrected, because despite supposedly being a kitten, he’d hardly grown at all in a full three months of being here. Also, in addition to gaining wings, an interesting cosmetic change occurred over time – its fur started growing a greenish turquoise instead of its original black color.

“Nice to see you girls again,” I commented, moving through the sea of hospital beds, past Liz and number 777 and then over to the left, where the last of the three people on shift stood over the person she was healing.

This girl around my age with a slightly lower height had the ability to heal people on a cellular level. Even if your whole arm had been chopped off, not only could she reattach it for you, she could even regenerate you an entirely new one. Her healing ability had the widest variety of uses out of all the healers in the thousand subjects by far.

However, she was also one of the most timid people I’d ever met. It took a lot of time and effort just to get her to feel comfortable enough around me to speak. Her midnight blue hair used to always get brushed over her emerald eyes so she could hide them from view, but the last time she’d gotten a haircut, I’d encouraged her to get her bangs cut so she could properly face the world. She got them cut like I asked, but in the end, she just developed an inability to look people in the eyes.

Her figure wasn’t even as curvy as Liz’s, but for me, that never really mattered. Her personality always just made me want to embrace her and keep her safe from all of life’s problems. I wanted to protect her, no matter what. She’d evoked such feelings in me ever since I got to know her, and not once had they ever died down. She was the only person on the entire planet whose presence could sometimes make me abandon logic.

“Hey there, Sashi,” I called her by her real name, which it took me weeks of warming up to her for her to tell me. “How are you doing today?”

The question seemed to make her feel tired thinking about it, because she yawned right after I asked. “I’ve been better. I get a new patient every few minutes. The ones I got a little while ago who were struck by lightning were hard work in particular.”

She may have been shy, but she did have a habit of letting you know exactly how she felt, one way or another. Just there, she really got the point across that she didn’t like having to deal with the kind of damage I’d dealt to my opponents. She knew full well that I was the one who beat them, and this was her roundabout way of scolding my methodology.

“Sorry about that,” I offered, giving her a warm smile. “Anything I can help you with?”

She turned down to the bed in front of her and pointed with her free hand to a gaping wound in the young male patient’s chest that showed several broken ribs and a pierced lung that seemed to be filled with blood. This guy had clearly been beaten up something fierce… was it another one of the top twenty who did it? Maybe number 847… his light speed punches could go right through someone who didn’t have a massive defensive ability.

“If you could restore his lungs, skeletal structure, skin and veins and relocate his blood back into the latter, I’ll be able to take it from there with no trouble,” Sashi suggested in a quiet voice.

The one drawback of her cellular healing ability was that it was very slow. Guys like this didn’t have a whole lot of time left to be saved with to begin with, making her power rather disadvantageous in this situation. However, with my power…

I nodded my head and stepped forward, peering down at the job I’d been given. For a few brief shining moments, I could feel my midnight-haired friend’s breath tickling the side of my neck at its base, sending shivers down my spine. My mind began racing so fast that the world seemed to be moving in slow motion as I repeated a mantra of celibacy in my head over and over just to keep myself from going insane.

“All right, step aside and don’t look in my general direction, that goes for all three of you,” I told her in a collected voice that betrayed none of my inner turmoil. I was mainly giving the warning for the two behind me, the girl right next to me had seen me do this before numerous times. “There’s gonna be a bright flash of light, and looking directly at it will damage your eyes severely.”

I waited until I no longer felt the breath of Sashi on my neck before beginning the process which would reverse all this damage. I touched his bare chest, just over his heart, and for a few seconds, his entire body converted into electricity. The light it emitted made the whole room look white for a few brief moments.

And then, his body converted back into normal matter. The lights faded, and in their wake, they left the body of the patient whose chest had been punched clean through until just a second ago. Now, his tanned chest had no holes, his ribcage was intact, his lungs were unpierced, and all his blood was back in its rightful place: his veins. The amount that he’d lost on the way here had even been replenished by some excess electricity which I’d thrown in before reconverting him back to his physical form.

I lifted my hand from his chest, and with a relieved sigh, I turned around to smile at Sashi. Everything had gone just fine. “Okay, done. Any others who could benefit from a little bit of electroconvertive therapy?”

It was meant to be a joke name, but nobody ever laughed when they heard it – everyone seemed to take it seriously. Probably had something to do with the fact that I only ever said it in the presence of severely injured people, so everyone typically geared up to not be in a joking mood.

“Heh. I like the name you came up with for that technique of yours,” the voice of a man in his early twenties said in a laid back tone rich with amusement.

Which prompted me to nearly jump out of my skin in surprise as my head whipped around the room to look at the man that I hadn’t sensed coming. The young man with crimson hair, a red and black jacket and black jeans faded at the knees somehow managed to sneak up on me, despite the fact that I monitored the brainwaves of everyone within a fifty meter radius of me automatically. And… even when I tried to narrow my focus…

I can’t read his mind! There’s something blocking me out! It’s like something’s jamming the signals before I can read them!

He met my wild eyes with a dashing smile. “Oh, don’t mind me. Continue helping them out until all the really big jobs are over. But after you’re done with that, you’re gonna have to come with me, number 735.”

I froze at his request, then carefully measured out a response. “Who are you?”

“Chief Replacement,” he told me, his eyes glowing with amusement. He seemed to really be enjoying having thrown me off my game. “Or in other words, the person who’s in charge of this facility now that the old boss lost his job.”

[HR][/HR][I]
Yup! We’ve got someone who can cockblock the MC’s mind reading! Want to know how he does it? There’s a clue hidden somewhere in this installment…

Anyway, questions, comments, concerns, critiques! If you have any of the above, especially questions or critiques, I encourage you to share them with me on this thread! You guys do seem to like this story as it is, but I’m looking to make it better than this, as much so as is possible for its premise. But since my ability to deconstruct other people’s works is compromised, the only way I can really improve at a decent rate is through digesting critiques!

Man, it’s been a long day for me… so I think I’m just gonna rest after this. Hopefully by the time I wake up tomorrow, I’ll have some critiques to read through.

Until next time, catch you later![/I]

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Three Posted 4/24/2017)

Another wonderful segment. As to your puzzle…the only thing I keep coming back to is the glasses: we can’t see his eyes. Why is that? Is he human?

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Three Posted 4/24/2017)

You’re in the right chapter section. Hint: It’s not something about him, but instead something that he did which prevented her from being able to read his mind. But it’s also not an action you would typically associate with power blocking, and the fact that it does this at all means that the mechanism itself is not as it’s supposed to be.

You’ve actually got good timing, because you posted on the thread at the same time that I was writing the next part’s final scene - or, at least, the start of it. Apparently I wasn’t specific enough in my wording though (yeah, I was way too vague there), because Klein wasn’t the person in that scene in part three who was wearing glasses - it was the guy who was looking up at him expectantly. The glasses bit was supposed to detract from anyone’s ability to make out the details of his gaze. I’ll go back and edit that real quick…

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Three Posted 4/24/2017)

So he has some kind of blocking app on his iPhone?

Re: Weapons with Hearts (Prologue Part Three Posted 4/24/2017)

Well, not an app store app, but… by some stretches of the definition, it would be an app. If it’s running in the background, he can switch to silent mode to make his mind unreadable by his phone sending out electronic signals that scramble his brainwaves until they’re no longer recognizable, and thus, the MC can’t pick up on them.

Anyway, just a heads up, the final part of the prologue is coming up soon. I just have to finish editing, then transfer it into a post on this thread.