AN/ This is part of a continuation of some stories @batkevin74 and I submitted to the character creation contest. Some of this was part of my submission before I cut it out. A more direct continuation of my main character, The Impossible man is coming.
My submission can be found here.
From the first spontaneous fire that made her an orphan at fourteen to being stronger and faster than any male when she joined the army, Carla White knew she was different. What she loved about the military was that not one person cared. Carla could score perfect in all events during physical training evaluations and would only get a pat on the back from her First Sergeant and a, “you did alright for a spoon” as cooks like her were called. She could qualify with every weapon perfectly and wasn’t fawned over. It was expected that you meet the Army’s standard. Not like the goal posts that civilians shift to meet the needs of everyone to be `inclusive’. Carla wasn’t special and belonged to something bigger.
Carla did her duty and deployed. When her outpost was overrun by extremists, one hundred soldiers died and the bullets they peppered her with shattered on her skin, explosions were as if a breeze had blown in her face and their knives would not cut her. They could do nothing but watch as Carla ripped them apart with her bare hands. Carla flew above them and as if reenacting the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah, fire shot from her eyes and everyone burst into smoldering heaps.
Carla gave her account of the event. It sounded impossible and even after a demonstration her commander said, “The Army has no place for an individual. Your… abilities are a distraction to good order and discipline.” Carla excepted it and went on her way after being chaptered out of the military. Carla had been forced to be a civilian when all she wanted to do was serve. It was devastating.
Years later, Carla was homeless and worked for her boarding in a soup kitchen, her country had called on her to serve again. Carla was glad to. Carla didn’t know how to live as a civilian. The Army gave her a barracks to live in, she worked at the dining facility and had food available. Without direction or a base support system she didn’t know how to live as a civilian. Carla was constantly told, “you should feel like this because you’re a woman”, “you’re privileged” and that she was somehow “oppressed” all at the same time. How? None of that meshed with Carla’s way of thinking. The Army did not have these little boxes civilians force themselves into either. Everyone was green. Everyone served the greater purpose of being a part of something bigger than them. When her country called for her to serve again, Carla dropped everything and went.
Her account of what happened during her deployment was reviewed and they wanted another demonstration. So, in America where soldiers aren’t supposed to conduct missions Carla was briefed by the flight chief of a long-range bomber, “You’ve got a body camera that will capture footage of the enemy. We want to see what you got. Once the objective is completed call in for pick up.”
Carla listened as she looked around the inside of the plane. A light in the corner hued everything red as the doors opened for her to make her jump. Carla stood up and walked to the door, “You need a parachute!”
She looked over at her crew chief and said, “I don’t actually, Sir.”
Carla took a step before the chief could stop her, the wind had dragged her out as she plummeted through the air she focused on her body being light as a feather and as she practiced on her own it was like she was. Carla was levitating in midair. Carla did not know how she had these powers. She never spent anytime really thinking about them. It was just something unique to her. Something that had a use in her serving the country again.
When she focused she could hear something wheels screeching and then a huge crash. The civilians she could hear cheer and applaud. When she faced that direction, and focused her eyes there, passed the buildings and people and right on to her target. “This is Apollo,” Carla called over her radio, “I have eyes on target. The Impossible Man is in sight.”
Carla would not have to wait long, “Eliminate him.”
Carla flew down and engaged the Impossible man. It wasn’t much of a fight and the energy she projected from her eyes roasted him. There were witnesses. Everyone had a cell phone. Everyone had a camera. Carla followed standard operating procedure, she had to burn them all. It was only a few people in service to a much larger one. Their sacrifice was acceptable to her.
“Next!” It was three days later. Carla while always on call had usually a tremendous amount of time on her hands. She had impressed them with the ease at which she defeated the hero. Carla on her spare time volunteered at the soup kitchen that took her in when she had nothing. Carla didn’t cook for the military anymore, but she did for the homeless shelter she lived near.
It was again her being a part of something that was bigger than her. To Carla this was helping. Not like show boating on the internet for the views. She wouldn’t be the one on tv making a fool of herself in a dumb costume. It was one thing that made her feel human when she wasn’t feeling like she belonged to the condition and it made everyone else think she was. It was like a mask.
“Next!” Carla called again as she took another plate for another shuffling body coming through the line. Carla quickly scooped food in and passed it on, “Have a great day!”
Carla felt her cell phone vibrate. “I need a break.” Carla said as she removed herself from the serving line as the person next to her scrambled to pick up her slack. “Need a body on line! Time Now!” She announced as she swung open the doors to the kitchen behind her.
Carla grabbed her cell phone as she shoved passed everyone, the number was of her handler as she thought. Carla stood to the side and answered, “This is call sign, Apollo.”
Carla listened and immediately her body tense and great anger had started to boil under her skin, “What do you mean he’s alive?”
The Impossible man had lived. His body healed and at this moment he was being questioned. Howard Leach was alive and should not be, “I’m on my way to the hospital now. I apologize for the failure.”
Carla hung up and made her way out of the kitchen. Carla ignored something about excessiveness. Carla didn’t have time for it. Someone else could make up a lie. Her job was to simply to seek and destroy the enemies of this country.
This most recent battle was an actual fight. A woman and child had died that set Howard Leach into a rage. He cut loose and both super beings were pushed to limits they didn’t know they had with their powers. But the Impossible Man was dead. He had torn her arm off, gouged an eye out and broken her face. In just a few hours she had healed. In a day her arm had completely regrown. A power Carla had no idea she had.
The data the government collected from the fight was more than enough to make the fact that she ignored an order to not engage him at the hospital go away. Everything she did always went away. Now she waited. Carla waited for when she could be useful again. She didn’t need to wait long.
It was seven in the morning. Good Morning America was on and Mark Metcalf was on TV. Allegedly he too was a super being. Like the rest of the country she saw the actor on TV survive an explosion that killed everyone around it, except him. Carla watched his movies, dug into his past and even shadowed him to his family residence. She developed a profile on him. Like the Impossible Man was. Carla called her chain of command immediately. Carla studied Mark and his personality just wasn’t conducive to being cooperative.
Her cellphone stopped ringing as soon and Carla quickly said, “Call sign, Apollo.” There was a pause. Then the voice of her handler appeared.
“Received. What is it, Apollo?” Her handler asked,
“Are you watching, GMA sir?” Carla asked as she watched Mark evade the police and flee the building, “Whoever you have on Metcalf is an idiot. I can take care of it.”
There was another pause. “Make your case, Apollo.”
Carla smiled at that. Her opinion was never asked before. Carla’s fight with the Impossible Man had showed her that they need to be more proactive. That they should strike immediately when dealing with super beings. Howard was the start. Now Mark Metcalf. Carla answered, “I’m glad you asked, sir.”