This was Thunderfist’s favorite part of the job.
Not to say she didn’t enjoy fighting crime; she was given plenty of options after her training at the post-human academy, and peacekeeping wasn’t even in the top five on the list they gave her. She could’ve easily moved into construction, or engineering, even disaster relief if she still wanted some action. But she’d wanted to be a superhero all her life, long before her powers kicked in, and she was damned if she wouldn’t pursue that dream. But, once she got the job, she quickly found a new aspect of it that she never even considered, one that made her role as the city’s protector all the sweeter.
Sure, stopping bad guys is fun, she thought to herself as she flexed for the adoring crowd. But nothing beats a gaggle of horny fangirls.
As if on cue, a dozen squeals of delight erupted from the group, the horde of college-age women fawning over Thunderfist like she was a rock star. She was ostensibly there to promote some sort of charity event, but she barely even skimmed the email she got explaining it. She couldn’t care less what she was there for, as long as she got to show off and see her fans.
“Oh my gawd, she’s so hot!” one voice rang out, clearer than the rest. Thunderfist grinned. She recognized that voice; she’d been following her around almost religiously, hitting nearly every event she came to. She even spotted the fangirl behind police barricades when she was stopping a supervillain, that same dreamy, love-struck look in her eyes whether Thunderfist was posing for the cameras or beating a guy to a pulp.
Thunderfist pointed at the woman and beckoned her forward. “C’mon, don’t be shy! You can get closer if you like!”
The woman’s eyes went wide as dinner plates. She pointed at herself and mouthed, “Me?” Thunderfist nodded and waved her over, and the woman seemed to float towards the superhero, disbelieving that this was really happening.
“You come here often?” Thunderfist chuckled, drinking in the woman’s flustered reactions.
“I-I- um, y-yeah!” the fangirl stammered, her cheeks almost as red as Thunderfist’s costume was blue. “A-Always hanging around, the, th-the, uh… the place!”
“Oh?” Thunderfist raised an eyebrow, intentionally playing dumb just to make the other woman squirm. “So you just happened to be here right when I–”
“I’m not a stalker!” the woman blurted out, instantly covering her mouth as soon as sha said it. “I-I mean, uh, I…”
“It’s ok!” Thunderfist laughed, patting the woman on the shoulder. “There’s no need to be embarrassed! I love knowing I have fans out there!”
“Y-You… you do?”
“Of course! Helps me know I’m doing a good job!” Thunderfist gave the woman’s shoulder a playful squeeze, and smirked as she shuddered.
“Holy shit…” the woman gasped. “You’re, um… I think you’re really hot.” She paused. “Oh, god, I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have said–”
Thunderfist shushed the woman, her grin growing even wider. “What’s your name?”
“Um! It’s, uh…” The woman furrowed her brow, then lit up like a lightbulb flicked on above her head. “Stacey! It’s Stacey, I’m… Stacey.”
“Bit of a blonde moment, huh?” Thunderfist chuckled, running a hand through her own blonde hair. “I get those from time to time.”
“But… I’m not blonde?” Stacey cocked her head to the side. “Oh, wait, you meant…” She buried her head in her hands and groaned. “Ugh, I’m blowing it, aren’t I?”
“Honestly?” Thunderfist cupped Stacey’s chin and tilted her head up. “I think you’re adorable.”
Stacey nearly fainted on the spot. “You… think I’m…?”
Thunderfist nodded. Then she got a funny look in her eye. “Wanna see something really cool?”
“Um… s-sure?” Stacey shook her head, trying to snap herself out of her daze. “I mean, yes! Absolutely, yes!”
“Great!” In one fluid motion, Thunderfist hooked one arm under Stacey’s legs and another around her torso, picking her up bridal-style. “So, an average woman can deadlift about twice her weight. Someone who weights 170 pounds, like I do, can lift 340 pounds. But my strength? Well, that’s about ten times that of a normal human. Maybe twelve on a good day.”
“Ohmygodohmygodyou’rereallycarryingmeholyshitholyfuckingshitI’msogay–” Stacey was muttering rapidly, clearly not paying any attention to what Thunderfist was saying.
“So, let’s say I can deadlift about 3500 pounds,” Thunderfist continued. “You know what that means?”
“I… um…” Stacey blinked. “No, wha–”
And then Stacey was screaming. Thunderfist tossed her high in the air, a good twelve feet above the sidewalk, and caught her as she fell back to the ground, barely even registering the woman’s weight as she landed in her arms. Thunderfist grinned manically. Ah, that never gets old.
“Oh god, oh god–!” Stacey panted for breath, her eyes darting around like crazy. They finally settled on Thunderfist, and she broke out into wild giggles. “P-Please warn me next time!”
“Aw, but that’s no fun!” Thunderfist chuckled. She set Stacey down and bowed to the crowd of people as they applauded. “So, who wants to go next?”
“Hey, what’s that?” Stacey asked, pointing across the street. Thunderfist turned and looked, her smile fading into an annoyed frown. There was a bank across the street, and people seemed to be running out of it in a hurry. Through the tall glass doors, she could see flashes of an unnatural pink light.
“Crap,” Thunderfist muttered. “Way to ruin my fun, asshole.” She turned back to the crowd and cracked her knuckles. “Sorry, folks,” she said confidently, “but duty calls!” She turned to Stacey and kissed the other woman’s cheek. “I’ll try not to take too long.”
Stacey swooned, a dreamy, dumbstruck grin spreading across her face. “Stay safe…” she murmured, but by then Thunderfist was already sprinting across the street.
She hopped off the hood of a taxi, leaving a solid dent in its surface, before balling herself up and crashing through the entrance, a pile of stone and shattered glass falling to the floor behind her. “Stop!” Thunderfist shouted. “In the name of the fist!”
“Oh, I hate that catchphrase,” came a voice from further down the lobby. “It’s just so… blunt.”
Thunderfist took a moment to take in her surroundings, trying to determine where the voice was coming from. It was quiet, eerily so. All the bank patrons had seemingly left, but the tellers were still standing behind their desks as if nothing had happened. Wonder why the robber let those people go. Wouldn’t they need hostages in the event of a standoff? She looked a little more closely at the tellers, and noticed something very strange about them. Why do they all look so calm? Never mind about being robbed, I just crashed through their front door. She stepped closer to one of them, a young-looking man. He seemed to register her presence, barely, but his eyes were glassy and unfocused, and he had a sleepy, kinda stupid-looking grin on his face.
She waved her hand in front of him, and he didn’t react at all. “Uh, hello?” she whispered. “Are you ok?”
“You’re… pretty…” the man giggled. Thunderfist noticed a thin line of drool creeping out of the corner of his mouth. What the hell happened to these people?
“Down here,” said the voice from earlier. “I wouldn’t try to make conversation with them, I’m afraid they’re far too daft for such things.”
Thunderfist snapped her head towards where she thought the sound was coming from. “Oh?” she said loudly, hoping to draw the robber out where she could see them. “You’re one to talk about being ‘daft.’ I mean, what kind of moron robs a bank across the street from a superhero doing a press event?”
“Moron?” the voice said angrily. “You call me a moron? You insolent little–!”
“Ooh, that struck a nerve!” Thunderfist chuckled. “Let me guess, you think you’re some kind of genius?”
“Not just think, I am a genius. I’m the greatest scientific mind that’s ever lived!” The voice was getting louder now; Thunderfist was closing in. “And I’ll have you know… no two-bit weightlifter is going to get the better of Dr. Zephara Lovelace, M.D!”
Suddenly, Thunderfist felt something hit her in the back. She staggered forward; it wasn’t enough to knock her over, and it didn’t even hurt all that much. In fact, it felt strangely… nice? She shook her head and turned around, raising her fists and preparing for combat.
She wasn’t quite sure what she expected her opponent to look like, but it definitely wasn’t this. The robber – this Zephara Lovelace, whoever that was – had messy black hair that fell loosely around their dark brown face. They wore a green duster over a dark dress shirt, tucked into… sweatpants? And… were they wearing Crocs? “What, did you decide to rob a bank on laundry day?” Thunderfist smirked.
“Silence!” Zephara shouted, raising their weapon, a surprisingly sleek, futuristic-looking handgun with a solid metal frame. “Or you’ll meet the same fate as these idiotic employees!”
“Oh, please,” Thunderfist replied, rolling her eyes. “You know, I could vaporize you with a single punch if I felt like it. So why don’t you put the gun down and we can just chill until the cops come?”
Zephara fought for a moment, then hopped over the desk and grabbed one of the tellers, holding her close and pointing their gun at her head. “N-Not so fast! If you come any closer, I’ll blast her brains away!”
“What, and add a murder charge on top of armed robbery? Doesn’t sound like a great plan, o ‘greatest scientific mind that’s ever lived.’”
“Who said anything about murder?” Zephara chuckled. They turned to the teller, who seemed more lucid than the man Thunderfist tried to talk to earlier. “Now, one of you has to know the combination to the vault,” they said, pressing the weapon into her cheek. “And you’re the last one who I haven’t completely brain-drained, so please, if you’d be so kind, tell me what it is?”
“L-Let me… go…” the teller murmured, squirming in Zephara’s grip. “Where… Who’re you…”
“I’ve already introduced myself,” Zephara smirked. “Twice, technically. Don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten?”
“Um… I dunno…” The teller’s eyes seemed unfocused and dim. She looked over at Thunderfist, her jaw going a little slack. “Wow… you’re, like, a… superhero…”
Thunderfist raised an eyebrow and gave a small, awkward wave. “Don’t worry, ma’am. I’ll make sure no harm comes to you.”
She stepped closer, but Zephara held the woman tighter. “Stay back!” they shouted. “If you take even a single step forward, I swear I’ll–”
Before they could finish their sentence, Thunderfist surged forward. She didn’t have super-speed, but her enhanced strength meant she could easily sprint faster than any Olympian. She grabbed Zephara’s wrist gently, turning the gun away from the teller’s head with ease.
But as soon as the teller was free of danger, Thunderfist saw a bright pink flash of light and felt another impact, this time hitting her square in the face. She staggered back, a wave of dizziness passing over her, and fell down on her butt. She saw Zephara let the teller go and zap her one more time, and heard the teller… moan? That didn’t seem right. Thunderfist blinked slowly; her head felt so fuzzy all of a sudden. She couldn’t think straight.
“Silly girl,” Zephara sneered, looking down at the superhero. “Only an idiot would think that stupid plan of yours would work.”
Silly girl… Thunderfist shook her head, most of her lucidity returning to her, only to find Zephara gone. They couldn’t have gone far… gotta check on the hostage first. She stumbled over to the teller, still feeling off-balance. “You okay?”
“Ummm…” The teller’s eyes were glassy and blank. There wasn’t a speck of intelligence or recognition in them, and combined with her slack, drool-slathered jaw, it was clear her mind had taken the day off.
“What the hell did they do to you?” Thunderfist muttered, balling her hand into a fist. “Look, just sit tight, alright? I’ll make sure this… whatever it is gets reversed.”
Thunderfist stood up and held on to a nearby pillar to steady herself. “Alright, asshole!” she shouted. “Show yourself!”
“Oh, do I have to?” Zephara’s voice echoed off the high ceilings, seeming to come from everywhere at once. “I’m afraid I’m quite comfortable where I am.”
“I don’t have time to play hide-and-seek, and neither do you.” Thunderfist scanned the room, looking for any sign of where they could be. “The police will be here in just a few minutes–”
Another flash of pink nearly knocked Thunderfist over. She swung around wildly. Where’d that… come from…? Her thoughts felt like they were wading through molasses; everything seemed slow and sticky.
“I’m well aware of that, my simple-minded friend,” Zephara continued. Thunderfist heard footsteps coming from… somewhere. “Assuming one of the tellers tripped the silent alarm before I emptied their mind, the police should take approximately 20 minutes from when I first arrived. And it’s only been… oh, six and a half, by my count. So we have plenty of time to play.”
Thunderfist blinked heavily. “Where… where are you?” she shouted, walking towards where she thought the footsteps were coming from. “And what the hell are you doing to me?”
“Well, there’s a long-winded, very detailed explanation I could give you,” Zephara replied. The voice is getting louder… getting closer… “But, well…”
Suddenly Zephara jumped out from behind a table and sent another blast in Thunderfist’s direction. It hit her square in the face, and she fell onto her back with a moan. The fuzzy, lethargic feeling grew even stronger, and despite herself, Thunderfist almost started to enjoy it.
“I’m afraid it’s just too complicated for a stupid super-slut like yourself,” Zephara cackled.
“Stupid super-slut…” Thunderfist mumbled. The mad scientist’s words bounced around her head, clearer than her own thoughts. “I’m… no…” She rolled over onto her side, struggling to stand up. “That’s not… me…”
“Are you sure about that?” Zephara asked. “You seem awfully stupid right now. Tell me, girl, do you even remember why you’re here? What you plan to do if you catch me?”
“You’re a… bad… guy?” Thunderfist wasn’t quite sure herself. She tried to think back to even just a few minutes ago, but everything seemed lost in a pink haze.
The haze grew stronger as another blast of energy hit her. She fell back, giggling to herself.
“You’re mistaken, my dear.” Zephara stepped closer, their smug grin growing wider by the second. “I’m not a bad guy. After all, if I were bad, why would I make you feel so good?”
Feel good… Thunderfist smiled, a wide, guileless grin. They did feel good. “B-Buh… this is… wrong…”
“Still struggling, are you?” Zephara rolled their eyes. “Well, let’s hope this doesn’t completely fry you. Say bye-bye to your brain, Thunderfist.”
One final, blissful blast of pink hit Thunderfist, and her eyes rolled back into her head. “Bye-bye…” she sighed, relaxing completely.
Zephara walked over and tapped the superheroine with her foot. “How do you feel?”
“Mmm…” Thunderfist giggled and turned her head towards Zephara. “Gooood!”
“Wonderful.” Zephara knelt down and stroked their chin. “Say, you’re a superhero, right?”
“I… am?” Thunderfist asked.
“Of course you are! You’re Thunderfist! Strong, tough, and always ready to help anyone in need.”
Thunderfist nodded vigorously. “Oh, yeah! I’m a big hero, I help lots!” Her voice was slurred, and seemed almost an octave higher than usual.
“That’s great!” Zephara chuckled. “Because I need your help!”
“You can count on me!” Thunderfist exclaimed, slowly rising to her feet. She swayed drunkenly, her idiotic grin plastered across her face, her eyes unfocused and lacking in any sign of intelligence.
Zephara pointed at the vault door. “You see that? I need to get in there, but I don’t have the combination.”
Thunderfist cocked their head to the side. “What’s a… comb-in-nayshon?”
“…Just open the door, please.”
“Oh! Yeah, yeah, I can do that!” Thunderfist stumbled over to the door and knocked. “Hello-o! Open says-a-me!” She waited for a few seconds before turning back to Zephara. “No one’s, um, home!”
“You’re telling me.” Zephara sighed and rubbed their temple. “I mean, I’d like you to open it. As in, pull the door off the hinges?”
“Ah, okay!” Thunderfist nodded and grabbed the vault handles. She planted her feet firmly on the ground and pulled with all her might. It took considerable effort, but soon, she felt the door start to give. “I’m doing it!”
Zephara checked their watch and tapped their foot nervously. “That’s great, but could you speed it–”
Suddenly, the wall around the vault door cracked and split apart. Thunderfist pulled the entire chunk several feet back before she tumbled to the ground, the door falling just in front of her. She quickly bounced up and dusted herself off, turning to Zephara with an expectant look on her face. “Did I do good?”
“…Uh, yeah. Yeah, you did really good.” Zephara stared at the hole where the door used to be before shaking their head and snapping themselves out of their awe. “Gotta make this quick,” they muttered, “the pigs will be here soon.” They ran over to the vault, pulling something out of their pocket. They pressed a button, and it expanded into a large duffel bag, almost bigger than they were.
Zephara quickly began shoving cash into the bag, cackling with glee. “Damn, this is gonna be an even better haul than I expected! And it’s all thanks to that idiotic superhero!”
“There’s a superhero here?” Thunderfist gasped, looking around the empty lobby. “Where?” She scanned the room, finding only the brain-zapped tellers, until she spotted movement. “Hey! Who’s that?”
“Shit!” squeaked the figure. She poked her head cautiously around a pillar, and Thunderfist had a moment of dim recollection.
“Oh, you’re, um… ‘S’-something! The cute girl!”
Stacey stared, mouth agape, at what was left of Thunderfist. “What… happened to you?” she whispered, stepping out and walking towards her slowly.
“Um… I dunno!” Thunderfist giggled. “There was, uh, a pink thingy, and… and now I feel suuuuuuper good!”
“What the hell…” Stacey bit her lip and rubbed her thighs together. “Damn, you actually look really hot like this. Like, more than usual.”
“Aw, thanks!” Thunderfist beamed. “You’re, like, really hot too!”
Stacey blushed and stammered “thanks” before grabbing Thunderfist’s hand. “We should get out of here, you need help and the robber–”
“The robber can definitely hear you,” Zephara interrupted, blasting Stacey with pink several times in quick succession. Thunderfist’s would-be rescuer dropped to her knees, her eyes quickly losing their nervous, wiry alertness as her mind emptied out.
“Huh?” Thunderfist blinked. “Robber? But… the only other person here is…” She gasped and pointed at Zephara. “You tricked me! You’re the bank robber!”
“Wow, you figured that all out by yourself?” Zephara asked mockingly. They zapped Thunderfist a couple more times, chuckling to themselves as the superhero’s jaw went completely slack and she let out a dim-witted moan. “Well, sorry, ladies, but I’m afraid our time here is at an end,” Zephara said, clutching their duffel bag tightly. “I’ve got what I came for, and you two are too stupid to do anything about it.”
“Ssstupid,” Thunderfist mumbled, giggling vapidly at nothing in particular.
“That’s right. You came here so confident, so assured that you would win, but look at you now. You’ve lost, utterly and completely, and you’re too dumb to even realize it. Hell, you even feel happy that you lost.”
“Duuuuuuuumb,” Stacey drooled, idly swaying back and forth and staring lovestruck at Thunderfist.
“But, if it’s any consolation,” Zephara continued, slicking their hair back, “the effects of my Intelligence Nullifier – patent pending – are only temporary. You and those tellers will be back to normal in due course.” They paused. “Well, you should be, anyway. All the simulations showed it would wear off, but this is the first field trial, so…” Zephara shrugged and walked off towards the back exit. “You two have fun until the cops get here. I dunno, make out or fuck or something.”
Zephara stepped through the back door, which closed with a loud noise that echoed through the empty lobby.
Thunderfist and Stacey stared at each other, the gears slowly turning in their pink-soaked brains.
Stacey woke up on something cold and metallic. She tried to open her eyes, only to immediately slam them shut as a piercing headache cracked through her skull. She groaned and rolled over onto her side. God, what the hell happened? she thought to herself. I think… I saw Thunderfist at that thing, then…
“Hey, you,” a voice said. “You're finally awake.”
“Huh?” Stacey tried to prop herself up, but the headache came back in full force and she was forced to stay down. “Who’s that?”
“Don’t try and get up,” the voice continued. “It’ll take you a while to stop feeling like shit. Whatever that psycho hit us with leaves behind a real bitch of a hangover.”
The voice sounded familiar to Stacey. But, who…? Wait, holy shit. “Thunderfist?” Stacey cautiously cracked an eyelid open, and saw the superhero across from her, in a… jail cell? “Why’re you in jail?”
“Same reason you’re in jail,” Thunderfist chuckled bitterly. “Gotta admit, I never thought I’d get thrown in here for public indecency of all things. Would’ve suspected property damage, maybe.”
“I’m in… jail?” Stacey looked around, wincing as her eyes struggled to stay open under the bright fluorescent lights. It certainly looked like she was in a jail cell; she was laying on a steel bench bolted to a concrete wall. The bars were solid, definitely too small for her to fit through. “Oh, god, what happened?”
“Don’t remember, huh?” Thunderfist sighed. “You came into the bank for some reason, then we both got zapped with that pink thing?”
“Bank…” Stacey furrowed her brow. Right… Thunderfist was stopping a bank robber. I wanted to see her in action, so I ran in, and… She gasped and felt her cheeks burn. “O-Oh. Oh.”
“Aaaaaand there it is,” Thunderfist smirked.
Stacey buried her face in her hands. “I’m so sorry,” she murmured.
Thunderfist leaned back and rested her hands behind her head. “Hey, if anything, I should be apologizing to you. I’m the one who rushed in and got tricked into helping that crazy doctor.”
“No, I mean, uh… sorry for, um…” Stacey’s cheeks turned even redder. “Not… finishing you.”
“…Oh.” Now it was Thunderfist’s turn to blush. “D-Don’t worry about it. Uh, I kinda have, um, trouble with that. Might be a side-effect of my durability or something.”
The two women stayed in an awkward, seemingly-endless silence, until a guard came in and opened their cells. “Ok, you’re free to go,” he muttered, keeping his head low and avoiding eye contact.
“Wait, what?” Thunderfist said, standing up and walking towards the guard. “Who paid our bail?”
“They didn’t want to leave a name. But they said to give you this.” The guard handed Thunderfist a slip of paper and walked back to where he came.
Stacey, by now somewhat recovered, walked out of her cell and stretched. “What’s it say?”
Thunderfist bit her lip. “‘Thank you for your assistance. From Z.’” She crumpled up the paper and sighed. “That conniving little…”
“Hey, it wasn’t your fault,” Stacey said. “You weren’t yourself. You literally couldn’t have known what was happening.”
“The weird part is, I’m not even mad.” Thunderfist scratched the back of her head. “In fact, I’m kinda turned on? Ugh, maybe there’s still some weird side effects from that thing they blasted me with…” She shrugged and gaze Stacey a dazzling smile. “Well, I guess there’s nothing left to do but head home and wait for my court date. I hope the Bureau’s lawyers can get me out of this.”
“Well, if they’re not, I’ll work pro bono,” Stacey chuckled.
“Oh, you’re a lawyer? Heh, guess they’re not all bad.” Thunderfist laughed and wrapped an arm around Stacey’s shoulder.
Stacey squeaked in surprise. “U-Um! Anyway! I should, uh, probably go home. A-And call me boss to explain why I’m not at work.” She paused. “And… hope I don’t get fired.” She started walking briskly towards the exit, when Thunderfist ran past her.
“Hold on!” Thunderfist shouted. “Lemme get something real quick!” She went up to the guard post and started talking to the guard.
Stacey raised an eyebrow and kept walking towards them. What the hell is she doing? As she got closer, she saw that Thunderfist was writing something on the back of Zephara’s crumpled note.
When Stacey finally caught up with Thunderfist, the superhero gave her the note. “Thought you might want to keep this,” Thunderfist said. “A souvenir of the time you had a run-in with a superhero!” She gave Stacey a wink before turning around and bolting off.
“Uh, thanks.” Stacey didn’t bother trying to call out to her; in a matter of seconds, Thunderfist was already halfway to the street. She looked down at the paper and, out of curiosity, flipped it over.
(202) 555-0168You’ve got a job to finish (me!)XOXO Holly
Stacey gasped and pressed the paper close to her chest. Her heart pounded and reverberated throughout her whole body. She felt a wide, silly grin spreading across her face. Never thought I’d say this, but… thank god for supervillains.