Well, this was something that's been partially written on my computer for a while and I figured I might as well finish it, even if their isn't going to be more to come out of the characters.
“Do try and be professional, will you Ted?”
“Me? You don't have to be worried about me.”
“Could you stop staring at the girls a moment then?”
“Who's staring? I'm just assessing. We need to know which of these girls are going to be the best swimmers.”
The head coach sighed a little, “That would hold more water if they were actually in the water right now.”
“Hey, don't worry about it, I promise nothing's going to happen.”
Ted did mostly mean it, he was older than the swim team of girls by enough that there could be legal trouble if things went too far with one of them, but he wasn't against admiring the young athletic bodies they had either. The girls had come from a decently wide range of territory, representing the top swimmers of their schools and organizations, looking to form a professional team. It was just a matter of seeing who would make the cut.
The trials went on for a while until one last girl walked in the door, looking rather nervously out of place. She was tall and beautiful, fair skinned without a blemish to be found physically. She was very fit, obvious but not at all bulky musculature across her entire feminine body. Ted was struck by her looks but confused that such a girl could look so out of place.
“Hey, you're on the late side, but we might fit you in.”
“I apologize for not arriving in a more timely manner, I've actually been indecisive about even showing up here.”
“As long as you don't make a habit of it. What's your name --” Ted had been about to add something at the end like “gorgeous” or “love” but the girl interrupted him with a tense, one-word reply.
The head coach was a little resistant to letting the late arrival try out because they only had one last run to do, but they didn't fight too hard. The late arrival actually fought harder to watch everyone else do a lap first, but when it was made clear it was this one time or nothing she relented. The girls were lined up for a long run and when the signal was given everyone was shocked to see the new girl initially pulled out to an easy lead. She choked quickly though and ended up tying for fourth.
“If you can keep that start speed up you might just be a new champion, girl! Welcome on the team, that is until you want an Olympic career..”
The girl blushed a little and turned her head away, “I think I may have pulled something...I don't think I should move like that again. Not right away at least.”
“Don't be ridiculous, you're a natural. I'm sure we'll improve on your performance in no time Victoria.”
“I should go...”
“Why? If you didn't want to join the team, why did you come here? Come on, give it a little while.”
“Very well...” she looked at the floor to her side, “you're not wrong... I shall continue for a while.”
Ted gave her an off grin he hoped was charming, “You might want to work on the fact you talk like an old lady though. Teenagers shouldn't do that.”
Victoria turned to face him with a surprised expression and deepened blush, “I've been home-schooled my whole life. The majority of my interactions have been with old people... I suppose it's only natural.”
The final swim team was chosen as 9 girls including Victoria in spite of her solo run.
“She only swam one lap! The rest of us have been here all day.”
“Yeah, she only did so well because she came in fresh.”
“Sorry, but I disagree. Victoria's on the team.”
“I understand you're frustrated, but I haven't had much opportunity to interact with social groups of my own age. I hope you'll show me some patience while I learn.”
“Whatever. You really do sound like an old lady.”
A girl named Samantha tried walking so her shoulder slammed into Victoria in an aggressive move, but she spun more than Victoria did, clearly to her surprise. Victoria shifted away from her too, but the reaction somehow seemed delayed.
However she never displayed the same amazing speed she'd started her tryout with. In fact it was rare for her to do better than third or fourth place in a race. The head coach got frustrated with her for a while wanting to see that performance again but they gradually sort of forgot she'd ever displayed such speed. One day after a competition Ted took some time to visit Victoria during her cool down, somewhat pleased to find her massaging the muscles in her legs.
“You have some really killer legs there Vicky, do you do anything other than the swimming?”
“I do run track and field a little. Then there's...oh, what would explain it?” Victoria gave him a somewhat fiendish grin a moment before she continued, “Maybe I play futball, or I dance. Perhaps I ride or do gymnastics, or kickboxing. Oh you like that last one,” Vicky's smile widened, “how fortunate for you, that's indeed it. I swim and run and kick things, and that's why my legs just so well muscled.”
Ted was sometimes baffled at just how accurately it seemed the girl could read him, but he wasnt going to complain this time around, “What can I say? I love a gal that can kick my ass.”
Vicky's smile was small as she poked him, “Do you think that's a healthy attitude? Do you like the idea of being physically beaten or just the idea that a woman could do it? I'm not getting involved with anything too strange.”
“It's just kind of a saying, don't read too much into it.”
“If you say so.”
Victoria continued to perform well but never really led another race or competition again until the coach gave up on her altogether, feeling like she wasn't really trying for her full potential. Still she was certainly usable and was kept on as a back up competitor. Nothing too much strange happened regarding her until one of Ted's classmates came to visit.
Ted gave her a look that lasted a little too long as she dried out her hair with a towel. He'd seen a lot of all the girls, but none of them seemed as lovely and flawless as Victoria. Then he caught something as she moved her hair.
“What's this?” he asked as he touched below the base of her neck, tracing down nearly to her shoulder blades.
She didn't answer other than to pull away and look at him from the corner of her eye.
“I've got an aunt that does foster care stuff...this kind of looks like the kind of scar that happens to little kids, then it grows faint but big along with them.”
“I heal better now...” she seemed to say, but he was sure he must have misheard.
“What was that now? There's a few of them here...”
Victoria flinched away and stood up, first dropping her hair down her back and then trying to pull up the back of her swimsuit, “Fine. You've deduced that I didn't have the most pleasant of childhoods. Are you proud of yourself?”
“Sorry if you're sensitive about it. No one should do that to a kid, really, but if you don't...”
“I do not wish to discuss it,” she folded her arms under her admittedly sizable breasts, it unfortunately just made her look rather sexily angry.
“Hey, dude. Sorry to interrupt if you're having girl troubles here,” Alex, a classmate announced his arrival as he held up a book and some notebooks, “but I've got some of our math stuff.”
“Right, sorry Vicky. I won't push and I hope you'll forgive me if I was nosy. OK Alex, what's the damage here?”
“We've got a few problems on matter and antimatter conversion.”
“We have to use the old e equals mc squared formula to find out just how much energy would be created in a matter and antimatter reaction. For starters 350 milligrams of ea---”
“Sixty three trillion joules. Approximately,” Victoria interrupted though she sounded distant.”
“Uh...did you just do that in your head?”
“I'm...good at math.”
Alex stared at Victoria a moment before turning back to his notes, “there's also 25 microgra--”
“Forty five billion joules of energy, which is about that found in a ton of TNT if you want a reference point.”
“Uh-huh... can we just write down what she says?”
“Nah, we gotta show our work.”
“I'm rounding anyway because I don't want to be spouting numbers off into decimals, but if your math gets you in that neighborhood you'll know it's likely correct.”
“And there's also 3.5 kilograms...” both Alex and Ted turned to look at Victoria.
She gave them a blank look for a while as they stared at her until she said, “That's merely 10,000 times the size of the first example, therefore the final energy output is just 10,000 times larger. I didn't think I'd need to say anything.”
Alex shook his head, “Look some of this over, maybe wonder girl over there can help with the bonus question. I'm off for the bathroom.”
Ted looked over the book's questions for a while as Victoria stepped into the next room to change. He found the bonus question and frowned as he read it, “Find the significance of... I'm not entirely sure how to read that number, umn.... 7,815,361,098,838,094,241,990,551...”
“198,449,351 to the third power,” Victoria said as she stepped out in street clothes exactly as he finished reciting the massive number.
“Uh... 198,449,351 to the third power equals 7,815,361,098,838,094,241,990,551... was that unclear somehow?”
Ted just stared at the girl for a while and she started to fidget and blush.
“198,449,351 is a prime number, and there aren't many 21 digit numbers that are the third power of a prime number, so that's probably what the question is asking for...” Victoria started to mumble towards the end.
“HOW...how the HELL did you figure that out? Did you take the class already or something?”
“I got it by prime factor decomposition...it's simple, easy math...”
Victoria's green eyes went wide and her hands went up to her heart as she took a step back, “Uh...I'm just good at math. Really, that's all it is.”
“NO. No, that is not just 'good at math'...that is...holy shit how could you do that in your head? And god damn instantly at that!”
Victoria took a shaky breath and backed up into the wall, “It's...easy for me... I don't know what to tell you.”
“Hey, what's going on out here?” Alex looked back and forth between Victoria backed into the wall and Ted's angry body language, “seriously dude. No means no and all that.”
Ted blushed and stepped back, “Nothing, there's nothing going on. She's just going home.”
“She should do the assignment for us, last I heard.”
“You'd have to pay me well, Alex wasn't it? I doubt you'd afford it,” Victoria seemed to regain her more usual confidence as she stepped out, “It was nice to meet you.”
Alex reached out and took her hand, but he didn't manage to shake it any. It was actually about all he could do to keep the pain out of his expression as Victoria took his hand for a second before letting go. She left in a hurry and Alex shook his hand out as casually as he could manage.
“Damn dude... strong ass girls here I guess.”
Things went on without further incident until bulk of the swimming season was coming to a close with the cooling weather. They had a fairly successful competition with Victoria coming in second in a few races. It was easy to notice just how much the girl was getting hit on, and actually by both genders and that the attention made her uncomfortable.
“You're just lucky enough to be gorgeous Vicky, you should abuse your gift a bit. Revel in it anyway, no need to be so shy.”
“I just dislike the attention. I'd rather go unnoticed... I'm not always fond of being considered especially attractive.”
“Well that's a shame.”
“You want to go out with me.”
“That's kind of matter-of-fact, anyway you're...”
“Legally too young, but...your pupils dilate more when you look at me than anyone else. Your skin flushes as your heart rate rises... Ted, you are really rather infatuated with me aren't you?”
“I... really don't want to go to jail...”
Victoria smiled broadly at that, displaying as perfect a set of teeth as ever existed in life or photoshop, “I shall not tell on you, you have my word.”
“Uh...are you...doing what...”
“Meet me outside the indoor training pool at 9pm and we'll have dinner somewhere we agree on.”
“Shush, I'm open to experimenting with a more experienced partner and there's no guarantee it'll go that far,” Victoria smirked a little and posed in a way to display her body more than usual, “Anyway I can pass for 20 if I want to, I've tried it.”
“I'll see you there then.”
There was some training being done by other teams in the big indoor pool for a while, and Ted showed up what he knew was just way too early but he was a bundle of nervous energy. He was about to do something punishable by the law and he wasn't about to argue with the law on its morality, but the girl's looks and talents just made her far too interesting. He entered the building as some of the last others were leaving. The meeting place was outside so he'd just spend the time inside for a bit before going out to meet her.
Ted stopped short of the pool room when he saw Vicky to his surprise, he could tell she thought she was alone. She looked around and pulled off her towel and replaced her swimming cap. She dove into the pool and surged forward with a speed he couldn't believe. She hit one end and shot back the other way so fast it was nearly a blur. It was clear she wasn't just holding back when she swam for the team, she was holding back an easy majority of her speed, looking at how fast she shot by distance markers she must have been going something close to three times the world's record. He watched her for a while and she swam with unbelievable grace. Why was she holding back so much on the team? No, wrong question, how could she possibly swim so fast?
He pulled back a little as she exited the pool and to his awe simply jumped up to the high dive board and sprung off it immediately, turning about in a series of flips before she hit the water and resumed her impossible speed swimming.
Vicky stopped at one end of the pool and pulled herself out and started drying off her hair and arms, “I know you're there. You may as well come out.”
There didn't seem a point to denying it so he stepped out into the main area and Vicky looked saddened to see him, “What was that Vicky? That's amazing, we could win the whole thing with you performing like that. Hell, you could shatter the world records! We'd be on top in the world! You could be set with Olympic gold for life! Just imagine...”
Vicky looked back and forth with wide eyes, “No, No! It would attract too much attention. Please don't tell any one. Can I count on you keep a secret? Damn it why are you here now?!”
“Why would you keep it a secret? This is great, sure maybe someone calls you a mutant or something, but using that talent could get you set for life,” Vicky walked towards him as he talked, “The championship and then some is going to be ours for sure.”
“No! I don't want it! Please, please just listen to me!”
“Actually, thinking back to that math thing...are you an alien or something? Robot maybe? Well we'll just have to keep that bit quiet as you become the world's all-time champion,” Ted was admittedly kind of ignoring her as he started dreaming of being a manager or assistant or something to the world's fastest swimmer, sure she'd get all the fame but he'd likely get a good deal or two from it.
“Ted, really, stop it.”
“We'll start by...”
It surprised him to see tears welling in her eyes when he turned to look at her, in fact she looked really desperate.
“Why? What's so upsetting?”
“You don't understand... I can't be in the public eye... you have to keep my secret! Never tell anyone! I'm quitting the team tomorrow.”
“You can't do that. Vicky, the public needs to see you. Hell, science should give you a look-- oof!”
Ted didn't even register Victoria was moving before he was flat on his back looking up at her as she held his arms down.
“Vicky, what's so...ow, ow! You're hurting me here...”
“Do you have any idea how long I spent in a cage being poked and prodded?” her face twisted up in rage and the pressure she was putting on his wrists started to skyrocket as she put her face up to his, “I'm never going back to that.”
He tried to push her off of himself every which way but it was clear she was just monstrously stronger than him and he swore he could feel the bones in his wrists start to grind together, “Victoria please, no one's talking about you getting dissected or anything.”
She let up on him some and pulled back to let him sit up some, “You're not. Can you speak for everyone though?”
“Maybe not technically...”
“Promise me! Never tell anyone a thing about me!”
“It's a bit late for that... I've talked about you a little, including that math thing.”
“Damn it,” Victoria clenched her eyes shut and clenched her fists so hard her knuckles turned white, “just promise me you won't try to expose me.”
“Alright,” he said as Victoria opened her eyes and looked him in the eyes, “I won't bring this up ever. Your secret is safe.”
“Liar,” Victoria clenched her eyes shut, “you just don't want me to hurt you...”
“I'm not lying...”
“You are!” she was on him again, shoving him back to the ground and he flinched as chunks of tiles hit him in the face. He looked at her hands one after the other with wide eyes realizing she'd just spashed miniature craters into the flooring. “You intend to keep quiet now, until you think it's safe. Then you'll talk and you think I won't know. Don't you?”
“DON'T YOU?!” Victoria screamed with no control in her composure and then she clutched at her heart with one hand as her breathing became irregular and rough.
“Maybe we could work something out. My silence for...”
“You really won't change your mind?” Vicky looked to the side, avoiding eye contact as her hand clenched around the flesh of her chest, “you're going to insist on talking about this? Showing people? If I don't comply with black mail anyway.”
“That's a poor way to look at it.”
Victoria sniffled and rubbed at her eyes, after she forced herself to level out her breathing, “There's only one way to be sure. I...have to be safe right? You understand that?”
“Well... I guess?”
“I hope you know I really am sorry about this...I really was thinking about humoring you...” Victoria stood up and then bent over to take one of his wrists in her hand, pulling him up to his feet like he weighed nothing at all.
“What are you...OW!” Vicky's arm shot forward and her hand latched around his wrist with stunning strength.
She glared coldly into his eyes, her look was so intense and something in her stance shifted, she didn't look like the Vicky he knew any more, she turned and started to walk towards the pool, dragging him along.
“For whatever it's worth, I didn't want this. I'm honestly sorry,” her voice was as cold as her look and Ted wanted to shiver.
She drug him along easily even as he fought and squirmed, like he had no more strength than a toddler, “Whoah! What are you doing Vi...Victoria?” Somehow it didn't seem right to call this woman by a friendly pet name, in fact he nearly wondered what she'd done with Vicky.
“Killing you is simple, but making it look like you had an accident takes some care,” she answered sounding if anything colder than before, like some kind of robot with no feelings at all.
“Killing? Victoria...Vicky, please, I thought we got along, why are you doing this?”
“We did Ted, hell I was going to give you an honest shot at an illegal activity” Victoria stopped as she reached the pool's edge and looked down at the water, “I'm not sure why I should tell you that. Perhaps I want you to imagine happier possibilities in your last moments.”
“Wait, wait! Please, I'm sorry, there must be something I can do. I promise I won't say a thing.”
Victoria made a point of not looking at him as she held him locked in place, “Stop making this harder please... have you ever heard the saying that two people can keep a secret only if one is dead?”
Ted didn't get a chance to respond, finding himself flipping through the air and then struck with a blinding pain along his head. His vision went black and when it came back it was blurry. His limbs didn't want to respond and he was vaguely aware of unusually warm wetness at the back of his head and spreading to his shoulders and down his back. The blonde woman above him stared at him for a moment and then suddenly Vicky was back. She looked at him with tears in her eyes and started screaming for help, that there'd been an accident. Maybe she hadn't done that, maybe it was just a hallucination, she looked so distraught. How could Vicky have killed him? Well, it didn't matter. Nothing mattered. The world was fading away.
Victoria felt warm wetness on her cheeks before she'd decided to cry. Maybe she was anticipating, or maybe she was sadder about this deep down than she realized. It didn't matter now, the deed was done and her secret protected. The police came and talked with everyone. She knew that police watched for snot since many people could fake tears, but the nose also ran when someone really and truly cried. She'd faked it, and knew that the police believed her, after all no one could fake snotty crying. It was a dire indignity, but somehow it failed to matter in that moment.
Walking home she felt disgusted with herself. She was so sloppy to be caught like that. She should have measures in place to avoid having to kill people to cover her tracks. There were so many shoulds in the whole situation. Worst of all she just kept crying as she replayed her first murder in her mind over and over. He was so excited and happy, then scared and confused, then afraid and alone and finally dully accepting... she actually registered all of those emotions and felt them way more than it seemed like she should have.
Learning to socialize and empathize had been a challenge she'd been going through for a few years now but now that she knew it could make her feel like this over something she had to do she saw empathy and caring for what they were. Weakness. She was weak because she'd been physically and mentally stifled and controlled for much of her life and weaker still because she started to let her barriers drop once she got out of that awful situation. She'd have to bury that weakness, find herself the right reasons and justifications and bury these hideous feeling so deep she'd never have to feel them again.
'I had to, I can't be a lab experiment again.'
'I had to, it was the only way to stay safe.'
'It's ok I did that, I'm superior anyway.'
'He couldn't have ever beaten me at anything so of course my right to live exceeds his.'
Usually time crawled by for Victoria, having to wait for far too long for even the next word to come out of someone's mouth, but now it seemed to whiz by her as she repeated her reasons and excuses to herself over and over again. She barely noticed when she walked into her own home.
“Are you ok Victoria? I thought you were going to be out late. You've been crying...” Elizabeth seemed stunned to realize that.
“I suppose I have... I'm going to retire for the evening...”
“Can I do something for you?”
“No you can't,” Victoria snapped at first but she softened when Elizabeth flinched away from her, “but thank you for asking...just...let me be for tonight.”
Victoria had used rather drastic means to figure out when she had the best chance of meeting Lisa but she'd only come to talk the girl, to offer a proposal to unite their talents. Something about the girl's existence had annoyed her but she didn't have to reveal herself or anything. She just wanted someone to help her carry out her goals.
She watched Lisa come in and start working out in ways that the rest of the population would consider impossible, lifting heavier weights than any man alive and putting olympian gymnasts to shame – sometimes at the same time. While she found it beautiful to watch someone else who could do the sorts of things she could at long last she was somewhat puzzled by the growing rage in her.
</i>'She just shows off out in the open! She's a fool! Doesn't she realize it's dangerous? She'll pay for it!'
'She hasn't yet.'
'That's a dumb thought to have! Maybe not yet, but she will someday! The rest of the population will never accept the likes of us.'
'Maybe not. Maybe I've been wr---'</i>
“LISA! I want to spar with you.”