Erin blinked her eyes open for a while, never having been the type to wake up right away. She stretched out one arm out of old habit and just happened to smash it through one of the last two remaining supports for her headboard. It teetered over and crashed across her face, she pushed it off quickly and felt at her face but quickly realized it hadn't done any damage. She stretched out again, arcing her back and squeaked in surprise as the bed gave way beneath her. She stood up and looked at the pitiful shamble of wood. She wasn't the most restless sleeper, but her involuntary movements didn't display restraint and simple tossing and turning with her transformed strength had destroyed her bed in a few nights along with a lot of the wall.
One of the first things she'd done after her transformation by miraculous meteorite impact was buy new clothes, but here and there she'd misjudged sizes a bit. Stretching and probably the tossing and turning of the night before had torn a few holes into her newest pajamas. She removed them carelessly and threw the torn up pile of clothes onto a pile of similarly damaged garments. She went over to her closet to pick out an outfit for the day but found herself stopping to look herself over. Before her mysterious change she'd been a short little hobgoblin of a woman so she was still getting used to her new looks. Tall and extremely leggy her frame held some serious muscle now but she kept a cute, feminine face and a super full bust. She shifted her posture a little to watch the muscles in her legs and midriff shift before deliberately flexing her arms and then bouncing her pecs a bit. She made herself stop after that, she knew she could waste a couple hours on that because she had the other day...
After getting her clothes for the day put on Erin went back to her poor demolished bed and bent over to try to scrape up as much of it as she could into her now much longer and stronger arms She managed to get each end of the wreck and fold the bed in half, crushing it against her nearly impervious body and turned to head outside. All along the way she could see reminders of her klutzy nature, a series of craters and holes left in the walls and sometimes the upper part of the door frame when she forgot to stoop down. She stepped out and dropped the shattered remains of the bed onto a pile of random assorted things she'd broken over the past few days.
'You would expect a strange power transforming a short, homely woman with bad eyes into a super tall power goddess to do something about her hand-eye coordination too, wouldn't you?'
Erin had accidentally crushed most of her cookware but not all of it just yet, so she pulled out a frying pan that was still intact and set it on her stove. She turned around to pull open her refrigerator door and remembered all too late that she'd pulled it off its hinges the other day. It swung around in her hand and spilled its contents onto the floor. After cleaning that up and carefully setting the door back, noticing that it wasn't sealing right, and pulling out her egg carton she realized she still had a problem.
“FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!” Erin screamed in dismay as her last egg shattered in her fingers.
She hadn't even managed to get a single one into the pan, her new super strength accidentally crushing them as soon as she got her fingers around them no matter how gentle she tried to be. Sighing in defeat She pulled out a pot and filled it with water and set it on the stove. She pulled out another carton with just a couple eggs in it and dropped them into the water. She didn't care much for hard-boiled but she was out of options. She went about doing other things and was checking her e-mail on her tablet when she came back over to the stove and the eggs, now sitting in boiling water. She set it down in a stand and leaned against the stove.
Erin continued to flip through her cluttered e-mail inbox for a couple of seconds before she realized she'd goofed up again. Looking down at her other hand she gasped in shock and jumped back, smashing into the 'island' counter in the middle of the kitchen and snapping the granite tabletop in two. Somehow she'd stuck her other hand into the pot of boiling water and smashed a few of the eggs again, some of which were still clinging to her hand. Realizing she wasn't hurt at all she walked back to the stove and looked at her hand in surprise and stuck it back in deliberately. No pain at all, the water bubbled and churned around her hand but it wasn't painful at all.
A curious sensation came over her then, a little like just before she'd run at supersonic speeds or just before she'd first healed someone. She narrowed her eyes in concentration as she thought about heat. Her body started to glow, focusing most brightly on her hand. Mere moments later the water boiled and splashed with wildly increased intensity. The eggs shattered apart in explosions of partially cooked yolk and shell as the water visibly vanished before her eyes. When it was all gone she dropped out the ruined egg remains into her sink and held the pot from underneath, balancing it on her fingertips. She thought about heat again, putting as much focus and effort into it as she could. Her body's glow intensified and after a while the pot started to sink against her fingertips as it started to glow red itself. A little more time and the metal started to sag and run, dribbling down her hand and arm in molten form.The handle melted and vaporized against her and she stopped once the pot had completely melted, trickling down her arm in rivers and globs of metal.
“Ok, that's pretty cool.”
Erin pushed the cold water on as carefully as she could and moved the plug into position to clog it up. The metal had cooled a lot and started to solidify once again by the time the sink filled but there was still a powerful explosion of steam when she stuck her arm into it. She pulled her arm out carefully and looked it over for a few seconds before she moved it any more than strictly necessary. She closed her fingers into a fist and then stretched them out, shattering the metal coating they had. She flexed her arm muscles and they did the same to the metal, breaking it aside like there wasn't any resistance at all. Her wrist dislodged the least of the metal and she had to scrape it off, but the matter seemed nearly effortless to her.
'Well, makes sense given how soft tank armor seems now, right?'
That night she'd volunteered to try and combat the other dimensional invaders was a long one even though she seemed to be physically tireless now, doing the same thing all night and most of the next day was still mentally taxing. She'd killed way too many giant violent bugs to hope to count them all without taking so much as a scratch herself. She'd also been able to heal a large number of soldiers that might have died there to such an extent they were able to keep fighting, however she was feeling guilty that some of those life-threatening injuries had happened because of her in the first place...
Her stomach rumbled and her thought turned to focus on finding food. She could theoretically heat anything herself with her newly realized power, but she was pretty sure she'd over do it and turn whatever she picked to a cinder. She'd ripped off the oven door handle and cracked the door by pulling a bit too hard the other day – and shortly afterwards tripping and clanging her head into it...
She checked around for money and found herself lacking, she'd used most of her meager savings pretty quickly and she knew the cost of replacing even some of what she'd broken since then was way more than she could afford. She was about to give up and just eat some straight vegetables when she heard the door ring. She spun around quickly and forgot about some of her altered proportions. She effectively slapped the nearest doorway with the side of her tit and blew out a chunk of the frame creating a rapid flying cloud of splinters and larger debris. It took an annoyingly long moment for her chest to settle down in its jiggling bouncing reaction to the impact and she groaned in exasperation as the wall seemed to creak and distort.
The doorbell sounded again and she heard a familiar voice cal out her name. Resisting the urge to run over in a hurry fearing what might happen if her power went out of control again she forced herself to walk slowly and stiffly to the door. She'd crushed the door handle into a useless lump of disfigured metal on each end so she wasn't closing the door all the way but she still didn't want just anyone walking in so she'd pushed a steel bar through the wall and the door and tied it together to hold the door shut. She yelled that she was coming and struggled to undo the knot, eventually just giving in to frustration and tearing the pipe through the house's materials. She almost laughed and the stunned face on the other side.
“Who the heck are you?”
“It's like I said on the phone Tommy, it's good to see you though!”
She'd been the shortest of the family even when they'd had more living siblings but now she towered over him like she did most people. In a moment of happy enthusiasm she picked her older brother up in a bear hug and swung him around her once, not even registering his weight in any real way. She laughed a moment but stopped when she saw his blue complexion and barely uttered gasp. It seemed she'd crushed him rather too hard and she felt a bit embarrassed when she realized he'd kind of gone in between her boobs some and dropped him all at once.
“Sorry, you ok?”
He held up his hand for a moment and gasped, “I might have a cracked rib or three...”
“I can fix that!” Erin leaned down and used her new healing power on him until he looked alright.
“Are you really Erin? You don't look much like her...”
“I know, it's great, but look closely at my ears, you can see they still stick out a bit though the angle isn't quite as silly. My nose is still a bit off, see? It's not as severe but it's in the same way. Even still have those moles on the back of my neck, see?”
“That's superficial. You'll have to try to tell me something only Erin would know.”
Erin sat back and thought for a moment, eventually she was overcome with an evil grin and she leaned over to whisper into Tommy's ear. He flushed beet red and stared at the floor before muttering assent that she was his sister.
“The question is, how the hell did that happen? Did some lab play brain transplant or something?”
“Nah, I got hit by some weird meteor. I thought I was going die, but instead I changed! It must have been infused with some weird cosmic power or something.”
“A...magic meteor? That's the story you're going with?”
“Hey, I said mysterious cosmic power!”
“One, you didn't, two, what's the difference? I know your comic books like to pretend otherwise but that sort of thing is really magic in all but name.”
“It sounds cooler is the difference.”
“Sure...anyway what's with your place? The landlord will have a shit fit over this.”
“I...I'm strong enough to crush tank armor like play dough but I'm still just as clumsy as ever. It even fixed my looks, I went from 'oh god, pretend she's not here' to 'hey baby, you usually wouldn't be my type but damn' and yet I still have no coordination? Where's the justice in that?”
“You've always been too sensitive about your looks Erin, you were never anything worse than a four and yet you always talk about yourself like you're some kind of deformed troll.”
“Used to be! Now I'm hot and stuff,” she pulled up her pant leg for a moment and dropped it before pulling up her shirt, “see, no eczema or patchy bits or anything!”
Tommy turned his head away and coughed before talking, “What did you want me for anyway? You were a bit vague on the phone.”
“You have friends in real estate right, I need a different place...somewhere that I won't break everything quite so easily.”
“I could also use some help trying to find a new job? I went back to work and I may have accidentally punched straight through a few keyboards when I tried to type... what? My fingers are almost twice as long as they used to be, it's not easy to adjust.”
“Are you really that strong? I mean I saw the doorway, and this, but it's a bit hard to believe...”
Erin got up, went to the kitchen and pulled out one of her last cast iron skillets. She grabbed each end in a loose grip and then put her hands together as she closed her hands. The metal screamed and creaked under the force but it didn't slow her hands and the materials bubbled out, smashed together and fell out of her fingers in lumbs like she'd just crushed a mound of clay or play dough.
“Not even trying, believe me yet? I jumped a few hundred feet carrying a tank, accidentally smashed the transmission of another pushing myself back up on it, and smashed a few others with the head of a giant monster... I don't think there's a material that could stop me as I am now.”
“You smashed them?”
“Accident, accident! I threw it off them right away and most of the crews got out alright, but there was one where the driver was pinned by the collapsing... chamber? Cockpit? Whatever you'd call it, he was pinched in by the metal caving and I had to rip it apart and heal him.”
“I hate to say it, but maybe you should enlist for your new job? I'm sure you'd blow the physical requirements out of the water.”
“Hmm, I won't say I hadn't thought about it but...” Erin went quiet for a moment as she thought about the two siblings she'd lost in the military after they'd joined to avenge their late sister and parents. The whole family was down to just the two now.
“I am, if not actually invulnerable, then awfully close to it,” Erin said as she went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife out of the drawer. She set the blade against her skin and pushed on the handle gently, causing the knife to collapse and crumple against her skin without inflicting any injury, “I suppose I'm not likely to die, but it's still not an easy choice to make.”
“I get that. I'll look around ok, I'll call you when I find anything on either the house or job, alright?”
A few weeks went by and Erin found herself sleeping on the couch and then floor of an increasingly unstable ruin. Her landlord came and screamed bloody murder at her for a while. At first she cringed and cowed and pleaded but then something in her head clicked. She grabbed her fridge, lifted it overhead with one and and then threw it as close to straight up as she could manage. It sailed right through the ceiling and roof and just kept on going, disappearing in the distance.
“When will that come back down?”
“Hell if I know,” Erin said with a shrug she tried to make look as cavalier as possible.
“Point made, but come on, I can't just take this sort of loss. I can't afford to completely refurbish a place any more than you can.”
“Eh, wait until I move out and burn it down for the insurance money.”
“Hah, nice thought, but they're pretty savvy with the forensics nowadays.”
“Hmm, point. If you want, I'll do it. They probably won't be able to determine the cause if it's me.”
Erin held her hand straight out and summoned heat to the palm of her hand again. The air around her open palm shimmered with distortion and she could tell the landlord felt it, backing away in a sudden sweat.
“That might work...but what are you?”
“Hah, a superhero maybe? At any rate, really awesome and...quite hot.”
Erin applied for all manner of jobs she would have never considered before. She tried out for prison guard but flunked out when she accidentally tore a cell's bars out of the wall. She made an appointment to try out for emergency medical services but backed out at the last minute filled with doubts and imagining how things could go wrong. She tried out for construction but wasn't taken too seriously at first. She worked the job for a while, and even got a moment to shine when she used her body to shield someone from a cluster of falling I-beams, which bounced off her powerful body with a harmless clang. Harmless to her anyway, the two she was shielding apparently both suffered from hearing damage. One guy was thankful to her but the other was a jerk who tried to sue her. His truck ended up impaled on the highest point of a skyscraper somehow or other, the only clue being a series of smashed out bits of building up the side and a crater underneath them.
“That was probably going too far...”
“Uh! Nothing! Nothing, sorry, just talking nonsense out loud...”
“You're a terrible liar Erin, but if you don't want to talk about it that's fine.”
“How's the house hunt going? I'm not having much luck on my end.”
“I have something that might be able to endure your...being you, but the aesthetics aren't nice. It has some downsides.”
“I'm open to anything, what is it?”
“It's an old nuclear bunker... the previous owner had a heart attack and died, and my friend tipped me off about it. If you want we can have a look at it before it's officially on the market.”
“Like... under the ground? That sort of bunker?”
“It's heavy duty, meant to take a missile in the general area. It might be tough enough for your rather unique needs.”
“I can't keep houseplants in a bunker.”
“You can't keep them alive anyway.”
“I can now.”
“Using a super power is kind of cheating isn't it?”
“Maybe so, but I can do it now and that's what counts.”
“I don't think you want to pass it up Erin, you might not like the look but heavily armored places like that are in high demand with a certain group. It'll be crazy expensive on the market. My friend would be taking a risk on letting you have it for anything you and I can afford.”
“It's not that I don't appreciate the gesture, but I really don't like the idea...”
“It can't hurt to look.”
Erin agreed and they went out to the bunker the next day. It was more than a little off the beaten path, but that was the sort of thing survivalists tended to like. She knew she could get lost trying to find the place again pretty easily. When they found it they found Tommy's realtor friend already waiting for them and he led them down a path to a pair of heavy doors.
“Part of the reason we're even considering letting this go cheaply to you is the fact that the mechanism behind this door here's busted, it'll take work to fix it and until then it's about five tons of steel that might crush you at any time.”
Erin walked up to the heavy blast door, worked her finger into it and shoved it to the side with a casual flick of the wrist. The ground shook with the impact and Erin gave the men a little grin and a shrug.
“I thought that might not matter to you, but the mechanism is completely trashed for sure now.”
“Hmm? Did you know about Erin's...transformation?”
The realtor pulled out his phone and turned on a video, “my nephew was deployed to the latest rift when it opened. I shouldn't have this, but he shared anyway.”
The video was a few minutes of simply gunning down the giant insects from the latest rift for a while which the realtor fast forwarded through. Eventually Erin could be seen charging into the scene and hitting bugs with such force that the exploded against buildings, disappeared into the air, or bowled through the waves behind them. After a while she waved to the soldiers, disappeared down an alley for a moment and threw one of the big ones into the larger clearing in sight. The military gunned it down and Erin walked back out and into tank fire. She spun around from the impact but was so unharmed she didn't respond other than to shoot them a bit of a 'What the hell?' sort of look.
“Somehow I kind of thought that looked like your sister, especially this part...”
Erin on the screen turned around and went to run away but tripped on something unseen, crashed into a light pole, ripping the thing out of the ground and bouncing down the street and into a manhole. The video cut out abruptly as the patch of street around it exploded into a mass of asphalt shrapnel.
“Yeah, that it does.”
Erin blushed furiously and looked away. She remembered that moment, she'd had to heal a few people after she'd jumped out of the sewer with too much eagerness to be away. The whole incident was embarrassing and the biggest reason she'd had to clean up after the surge of monsters had finally died down.
“The main reason I want to help you get this place though is that you might have just saved my nephew's life by jumping in like you did. Also there's the fact I'd really kind of like to help the world's first super heroine establish her hideout. It's a bit silly, but who wouldn't?”
“I don't deserve any special thanks for that... who wouldn't do it if they could? I'm just sorry I had to heal so many of the people I was trying to help...”
They took a tour and Erin tried tapping the walls here and there. She left a notable dent wherever she rapped her knuckles but the wall stayed structurally sound. She huffed after a while and crossed her arms.
“If I was really trying I'd still tear this place apart no problem.”
“Maybe so, but it'll take the beating better than your house right?”
“I batted the washing machine through most of the floor with less force than I tapped the wall with last time, so yeah, it might just survive if I remember to be careful enough.”
“Huh...makes me wonder just how strong you actually are.”
“Does it matter? I'm strong enough to break right through anything that's not made of me, what does an exact number mean in that context?”
Seeing little choice in the matter given the state of her current place and the difficulty of finding anywhere remotely suitable for her new body and power Erin agreed to start making the effort to move in. She would still need a steady income though so she kept looking around. She tried to get something in demolition but the field needed precision and her...inexact methods weren't suitable. She even tried to get into modeling but they told her she was much too old to start and her clumsy, awkward nature came through no matter how hard the photographer tried to pose her. Eventually she didn't see much choice but to try the military, but she felt she'd be a bit wasted as standard infantry.
“Or something like that. I don't know if you'd have an exact job that would describe what I'd do for you, but come on! I have this power and I want to use it for good! If you could help me get to the places where the incursions are worst I know I could help!”
“You mean get on site without a miles-long trail of destruction behind you, right?”
Erin blushed and sunk in her seat, letting out a nervous laugh.
“Your powers are certainly interesting, but I feel you're probably a little too...random to rely on. Honestly I have no idea what we'd file you under either if we were so desperate as to take you up on your offer. I'm not sure you have enough to offer with what we've seen in the field so far as to make the risk worth it.”
“I've since found another power, let me show you!”
Erin gradually convinced the higher officer to drive her out to the scrap yard where retired vehicles were left out to rot.
“Pick out a least favorite.”
“Going to do something to it I suppose?”
“That's the idea, I don't know exactly how destructive this new power is so I'll be learning almost as much as you when I try it.”
They walked around in the circle and the military officer listed off some model numbers and some guesses at how long specific vehicles had been there before settling on one just about a dozen feet ahead of where they'd parked to begin with. Erin held out her hand and willed that heat and power to her palm once again, instigating her faint glow of power with the act of will. She carefully lined up the chosen vehicle in between her middle and ring fingers and took the next step. With a shout she imagined the heat and power condensing into a ball and shooting out like an anime character's attack. It quickly took the form of a glowing yellow ball and shot forward. The officer's vehicle exploded into a plume of gaseous vapor, only a few pieces surviving as metal and a bit more as liquid or semi-liquid and flew out in every direction.
“You know, in hindsight I don't see how I ever thought anything else was going to happen firing from this angle...” Erin said before slouching forward and groaning, “I really, really, truly, am sorry about that. I missed.”