Great Power 9



Sam and I went out to celebrate my new godhood one night after getting Qiang to sleep. I pretty much am by the power requirements. Vivec and Almalexia are amateurs next to me. I mean, I’m not omniscient. I have to put in an effort to examine stuff, but I can learn things. Dancing in the club there, in my little red dress, I could reach out and feel the minds of people around me. Know what they were thinking, nudge it if I wanted. Heh, I could full on control it. Learn all their secrets and desires… one guy creeping around the bar just up and disappeared. I dumped him and the stuff he was slipping into glasses off in the desert.

I was dancing all by myself while Sam lounged nearby, eyes fixed on me. Hers weren’t the only ones, but hers are the ones that I walked toward before straddling her lap. Even more people watched us after that.

I stroked her ears. “You wanted to be an elf, right?”

“Took you long enough,” she said around a smile. I lengthened her ears and ended them in points. “Thinking of picking up a third?”

I shrugged. “There’s plenty to pick from.”

“Oh yeah? I have an idea if you’re into it,” she leaned in and whispered to me. She’d been listening to a podcast about witches. “I can’t make heads or tails of the timeline, but it wouldn’t disturb it any if we brought someone forward right before they died.”

Thinking about time got my mind to wandering about all the historical wrongs I could right, though at least one issue to wonder about was the possibility of changing the past so much it undoes me gaining this power. Sam squeezed my face in her hand and shook it. “Come back to me.”

The next morning, I was interrupted from my rest by a call. I’ve used my power to recreate all of my normal connections to the world, including my internal telephone system. I didn’t have to sleep, but I can put myself into something like it to give myself a break from consciousness. Also, my arms don’t go numb now no matter how long someone sleeps on one of them.

The call was from Medusa. “Did you blow up a ship last night?”

“Yeah. I spent a little spare time over in Egypt.” My mind wandered before my rest.

“Can I ask why?” she asked, exasperated. At least she was still letting me hear the exasperation. Technolutionary’s been on eggshells after everything. Lots of fake smiles and transparent excuses for ending our partnership.

“I heard prayers to me coming from a cargo container.”

“Prayers. You’re saying someone prayed to you.” Medusa’s Catholic for some damn reason. Limited omniscience means one thing I can’t wrap my head around is her still wanting to be a part of that bunch.

“Someone prayed,” I explained. “If anyone else was listening, they didn’t do anything about it. I did. Saved some people, sent them to better places, bypassed some bureaucracies along the way. Saved you a lot of time and money. As far as those privateers are concerned, it’s a bizarre act of god.”

“You’re not God,” she said. Ah yes, the blasphemy angle.

“And you’re pretty sensitive to me having this level of power. I guess I get that you don’t trust me. I thought I was doing better.” Godlike power doesn’t mean I’m instantly better at sharing my feelings. It actually hurt me a little to see her distrust in me now.

“You have incredible power now, and you’re seeing a therapist. I have to be concerned. If something happens and you lose control, it’s going to be a lot worse for everyone. The only way to stop you might kill you and a lot of people.” She was also deeply uncomfortable with the amount of power and the god thing. I could feel that much. And unlike people who claim to have mysterious powers of empathy, I’m a damn god, goddammit.

I didn’t even change her mind. I could have and I wanted to. She could worship me instead. And I didn’t. She’d trust me even less if I told her of that internal debate, so I didn’t. “Anything else you want to ask me about?”

“No,” she sighed. “You can’t go doing this to the whole world. You aren’t a god.”

“I have the power, and I can find out everything about a situation. I’m doing more for people than yours or any other god people believe in. But you don’t like that it’s me. I’m the one fixing soils and oceans and air. In seconds, I fixed every broken bone and cured every disease. I thought you were beyond supporting the status quo just because.”

“I guess I don’t trust you with this power,” she admitted.

“Ok. And is there anything that would make you trust me with it?”

After a few seconds, she said, “Restraint.”

“Well, I guess we don’t have much else to talk about here, so bye.”

“Gecko-!” I cut her off.

She took the hint and didn’t call back. What, we’re going to talk about the weather after all that? Am I just her villain fetish? Was all of this just a lying appeasement of the crazy person? I stopped and took a deep breath before I blew something up. After all, I could just check.

I saw regret, guilt, some doubt, and some resolve. And some other complicated feelings, some of which scare me. I don’t want to talk about that everything I found there. Things about being raised in such a controlled environment, and me as the intersection of controlled and uncontrolled, but also a bunch of back and forth. But maybe I was harsh on her.

And maybe that was all making me think of all the many ways I can use my powers to do freaky sex stuff, so it was time to skip out and do something unsexy. Like manifest in various places to save assholes about to get into accidents. Nothing throws cold water over a sexual mood quite like saving someone from going off a cliff in India twice in the same day, or saving someone from getting hit by a drunk driver and hearing you’re a “godsend.” At least with the guy in India, he had a pretty hot wife in the car with him. She could have a goddess instead of a bad driver.

I decided to head back to my body and handle all of this invisibly. My intervention was still quite obvious. Didn’t want the wrong gods taking credit for my hard work. I just didn’t want to hear the two-faced praise from people who hate and fear me. And I didn’t want to keep thinking my thoughts.

This time, it wasn’t so much about destruction. Sure, I couldn’t help but look at politics going on and think it’d be better with a bit of my control or destruction involved. Why not end Congressional gridlock the old-fashioned way? Maybe don’t make it obvious. I don’t need to be empress again. A heart attack here, an overdose on cocaine there. You can hardly rely on outing a sex scandal nowadays.

And there’s the Supreme Court to think of. No reason to stop at just this country. This place could use an overhaul.

Sam rolled over and kissed me with pleasant and bad-smelling breath. “Come back to me.”

“Hey,” I said, smiling at her.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, running a hand over my face.

I grabbed and kissed it. “You don’t want to hear all that.”

“If not me, who?” she asked. “Tell me, or I’m ripping one and holding your head under the covers.”

I laughed at that one. Such poise. Such grace. I shook off the laughter and told her, “Fine.” I sighed. “They might be right. I might want to go too far. Thinking of abusing my power violently. Other things. Mind control, going into dreams, life swaps, exploring possibilities…”

“Mmm, sounds fun. Maybe you should go too far on me.” I raised an eyebrow at her statement. Sam licked her lips. “Take your evil out on me. I’m open to it.”

She and I got around to working the shop, eventually. Just a nice, boring day with the power of a god at my fingertip, occasionally letting my mind wander to save someone’s kid from tripping onto the utensil section of an open dishwasher.

And just to make things even better, that’s when an old man in his 90s walked in, supported by his cane and and a Black teenager. Magic dripped off the pair of them, and I recognized the old man at least. I nodded to them both. “Lightning and Lightning, striking twice at my shop. What brings you here?”

“I came to get your measure, Gecko,” the aged, civilian form of Captain Lightning said. “I wanted to see how you were handling your ascendancy and self-defined godhood.”

I shrugged. “I have the power. I can sure use it better than others.”

The apprentice scoffed, but Captain Lightning approached. “I have been there. Do you think you’re up to it?”

“What?” the apprentice asked.

Lightning chuckled and glanced at him. “Fighting Nazis was something I could have left up to mankind. I had great powers, those of a god on Earth, and I intended to use them to interfere in mortal affairs. The sorcerer who had gifted them to me warned me about it. He tried to mentor me that my goal was to protect the Earth from the threats of the supernatural and magical. Demons and beasts from outside the world who would seek to consume our world. The Nazis were a lot of things, but they weren’t wizards. I understand the desire, even the need, to use overwhelming power to make the world what you see as a better place.”

That wasn’t the way I expected this. I didn’t pry into his mind and history when he walked in here, though. If I wanted, I could find out what his next words were. In fact, he was going to tell me to cut that out.”

“Stop that. I do not mean to trick you. I come with sympathy and a warning. I understand where you are coming from, but I am still Captain Lightning. I still protect this Earth. With our powers, we are beyond the accountability of mere man. We are beyond controlling them as well. I have fought my share of beings who claim to be gods, some with the power to back their claim. I will put you down as well.”

After a pause, he nodded to me and Sam, saying, “Good Day.” His apprentice eyed Sam on his way out, too.

I glanced over at her. She was adjusting her leather jacket on her smaller torso. “Maybe it’s time to get my body back. I bet this woman’s wondering why she’s white and has a bunch of new piercings.”

“I made everyone oblivious to it. See?” I waved my hand and created an image in the air, letting us both watch Sam Hain walking around a house in Indian clothing, bossing around some kids in Hindi. No one seemed to think it was anything out of the ordinary.

Sam, meanwhile, fished around and pulled out a driver’s license. “That explains why this says Fatima.” She looked down at herself. “I’m a milf.” She snorted, then glanced at me. “Let’s get my body back before it ends up with a baby bump.”

I was going to do that, but things got even more interesting. A wall of flames erupted around me and I found myself in a land twisting rocks like a forest reaching up from broken chunks of pumice floating on lava. And before me stood a giant, scaled being with a crown of bone and horn and burning eyes.

“You, god-pretender,” he addressed me. My enhanced senses allowed me to detect the hyphen. “You are the one who thwarted my attempts on your plane and took my rightfully-stolen property.”

“Yeah,” I responded. I glanced down. I stood in a summoning circle. The demons had summoned me. I tried reaching out of the circle, but it resisted me. I could break it.

“Just yeah? You face a demon prince of the Legion of the Damned and Defiler of the Forsaken, and all you say is ‘yeah’?”

“What do you want? You make this quick and I promise not to hurt you yet.”

“Yet,” he growled.

“I assume you also plan to come after me.”

“I have an offer for you, an offer you should not spurn. Become my right hand. Do my bidding and pave the way for my conquest of the world, and I will leave you in place to govern it on my behalf. Do so and I shall not need to dispose of you and consume your soul.”

I pushed. The binding magic of the summoning circle strained. Just before it broke, the massive demon in front of me spoke in a hurried tone. “Think about it and get back to me. I’ll be in contact. My people will call your people, buh bye!” He waved a hand in a hurry and the wall of flames appeared again. I was back in the shop, standing in front of Sam again.

“What was that?” she asked.

I rolled my eyes. “Demons won’t get off my dick now. I’d wonder about Cthulhu, but I already got rid of that one.”

“Sounds stressful. Now, about my body? I’d rather get it back before we do any more freaky goddess sexing.”




2 thoughts on “Great Power 9

  1. Pingback: Great Power 8 | World Domination in Retrospect

  2. Pingback: Great Power 10 | World Domination in Retrospect

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