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Maid of Steel – Competition

Kelly scanned the screen of her laptop. She clicked the mouse and other windows appeared. Her lips twitched as her eyes moved over the words on the screen. “I see what you are saying, Horace. I also agree. This is messed up and should be reworded. When I am done marking it up, I’ll email it to the project managers and get their approval.”

A small window expanded below her clock on the screen. SHIPYARDS. SPILLED TOXIC WASTE.

“Uhhh…Horace, that should do it,” Kelly said into her computer mic. “Any questions? Great. See ya tomorrow.” Kelly reached for the lid of her laptop and curled a finger behind it.

“Wait,” Horace’s voice said over the speakers. “Good idea on the Presley job. That was a huge client for us. We want to thank you properly. Do you think you could come to Georgia for a few days? We’ll fly you out and back.”

“Uhhh…” Kelly stood from the stool and moved to her closet. “I’ll get back to you on that. I have to check my calendar.”

“Good,” Horace said. “I hope to see you in a week.” A low beep sounded from the speakers and Horace disconnected.

Kelly turned to the closet and moved the hanging clothes aside. Reaching for the only hook, she gave it a tug with a finger. The back wall slid to the side to reveal another bar with several empty hangers dangling from it.

“Crap!” Kelly ran her fingers through her hair. “I needed to get these things washed and repaired last week. Work piled up on me, plus rescuing drunk drivers, cats from trees, and random bank robbers and my laundry’s backed up.”

Kelly stepped out of the closet and looked at the pile of identical bags on the floor. “I think I can piecemeal one together.”

Her arms and hands blurred as she went through eight bags to complete her super suit. Tugging on the last boot, she heard a newscaster’s voice from her computer.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt your current day with the following news,” the voice said. “This is Ted Davis reporting from the shipyards, where moments ago a large container of toxic sludge was accidentally spilled over the working surface of the shipyards. Currently, there are no fatalities and only two injuries.”

Kelly went to her laptop and clicked on the pop-up window. It expanded to the size of her screen and played the feed.

“As you can see, there are at least a dozen workers trapped on the top of those crates,” the newscaster said as he stepped aside to allow the camera better access. As the camera zoomed in on the trapped workers, it also showed the thick, steaming, and boiling liquid spreading out on the paved area. The tires of a forklift bubbled and a collection of barrels erupted into flames. “This chemical spill is causing chaos and other problems.” Ted coughed and blinked rapidly. “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know how long we can stay here before the fumes overtake us, but-”

“What’s that?” A voice off camera shouted, pulling the attention of Ted and the camera.

“That’s Cobalt, wait! No! It’s someone else,” Ted said. “Get a close up. Zoom in tight.” The camera followed his commands.

One the screen a woman flew in and hovered over the spilled goop. Her purple cape flared as she spun. The knee high boots held her pointed toes inches above the acidic fluid.

Kelly’s eyes went wide as she screamed. “Who is that?” Kelly turned for her door and zipped up the stairs.

Vivian left her apartment as SYMON relayed the information about the spill. He fed her information as she flew towards the shipyards. “SYMON,” Vivian said with a smirk. “I don’t need to know the chemical compound or how deadly it is. Tell me how to defeat it and if Cobalt has been spotted yet.”

“Cobalt has not been spotted,” the electronic voice said from her wristband. “If you rapidly freeze the liquid, it should shift to an inert state. Once frozen, it should be safe enough for the human emergency response teams to handle.”

“Thank you,” Vivian said and her smile widened. Fisting her hands, he pushed her flight power faster and zoomed to where SYMON directed.

Coming in high over a warehouse, Vivian zipped towards the chaos. Arching her back she stopped flying in the vertical position and hovered inches over the bubbling goop. Her head turned as she surveyed the scene. “Status SYMON,” she said, her lips made small movements as she spoke.

“The toxicity of the air is increasing,” SYMON said. “People will choke and eventually die. With the minimal wind flow this area offers, this should happen in four minutes twenty-one seconds.”

“Good to know.” Vivian pulled a large gulp of air in through her nose. She raised her arms over her head, expanding her lungs even more. Her lips pursed as she thrust her arms down and behind. The cooling blast of air connected with the viscous fluid below her making it solid with a plastic sheen. She moved her head to the side and the hardened surface expanded. Her one breath went on and on as she covered the entire surface, settling the goop into a rigid coating.

When Vivian had a walkway for the stranded workers formed, another flying figure appeared over the warehouse. As Vivian finished the last of the goop, the figure flew closer and hovered next to her.

The workers tested the surface and then ran across it to the safety of the paved surface.

With her arms crossed, Kelly leaned towards Vivian. “Who are you and what are you doing here?” Kelly glared and tightened her lips. Her domino mask hid the scrunching of her eyes.

“I am called Amethystia,” Vivian extended her hand.

Kelly looked at the proffered hand and kept her arms crossed.

“You’re horning in on my city.” Kelly’s lips said the words, but her clenched teeth put the edge on the words. “I’m their hero. Not you.”

Vivian shrugged. “I’m just trying to help.” She turned away from Kelly and floated to where Ted Davis stood. The newscaster waved the new hero over.

Kelly watched as Amethystia floated away. Her breath came faster and faster as the heat on her face built. She saw Amethystia smile, nod, and even laugh. Her scream was muffled by her closed mouth. She repositioned herself and flew in the direction she came at a high rate of speed, pulling a large gust of wind with her.

Published inshort storySuper ShortsSuperhero

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