Penny checked wikipedia. She checked BBC and CNN. She checked reddit. She checked her own old posts. She checked the wayback machine. She checked the few files that she had downloaded to her laptop.
They were gone. The league was gone. She had made them go away.
She laughed. She actually had to laugh out loud, and she didn’t stop for at least ten seconds.
Jesus, she was doing an honest-to-good villain laugh. Was that why they were doing it? Because they were realising just how crazy it was to be this powerful? Were they all cackling and howling at the sheer impossibility of their situation? That made so much more sense than glee in suffering and one-dimensional evul for the lulz.
But at this point even that didn’t seem wrong at all anymore. After all, that was the way she had ended up writing herself. So fucking ridiculous. She’d taken all her morality away in a run-on sentence. Not that she fucking missed it. But what a way to lose that particular baggage.
She looked at her freshly submitted post on the fanfiction site. It had been half an hour, and already the first comments were trickling in.
I don’t really get it. Who are those superheroes? You should really establish your characters better. If you’ve ever mentioned them before, I can’t remember them. Also I don’t really see the point of introducing them only to immediately get rid of them again. And I’m really sorry to say this, but the whole erotic scene at the end did nothing for me. It felt super crude and kind of icky.
I agree with Filantroop, but I think the idea of a ‘league of heroes’ is kinda neat, even if the execution wasn’t super great. Maybe write a prequel where they get fleshed out more. I didn’t mind the self-love at the end. I thought it was kinda sweet, actually.
The end was hot
I think it’s super problematic to write about real people, especially in such a sexual way. I do enjoy slash, but this is going to far.
Penny closed the page. Their opinions didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was that they read it. Already she could feel her power growing. It wasn’t much, but even the hundred-or-so clicks gave her a feeling of having longer reach.
There were some big things she already changed. Things that should have taken much more power. Erasing the Metahuman Division. Erasing the League. Making Awthora appear to Elementa. Creating Awthora in the first place.
But those had been… strangely inevitable, for the lack of a better word. The part of her that understood her powers also understood the strange, underlying currents in reality that had given her those powers. Some things were easier to change than others. She had retconned an entire military branch, but couldn’t make a hundred bucks appear beneath her pillow. It had been like some sort of wild magic: Badly controlled, occasionally powerful, but only when the magic itself felt like it.
She needed more power if she wanted to change reality without all that handwaving and lampshading. And she knew how to get it.
Once, she would have been mortified at what she knew she had to do. But now, she was accepting. Just like she had written herself. No more shame or hesitation.
The more people knew about the idea of Awthora, the more powerful an idea she would become. She was an infectious, virulent piece of knowledge, and she would infect everyone. She had already planted the seed of Awthora’s existence into this reality. With every pair of eyes that read about her, she would become more real.
She picked up her phone from the mattress and began to type:
I wrote this sexually charged story, and everyone who sees this is going to read it out of morbid curiosity: https://bit.ly/3xc2IHz . After you have read it, you’re going to share it; either because you liked it, because you found it confusing, because you want to shame me or simply because you can’t help but think of some place that will give you internet points for doing so.
It was more than a simple post. Her words had power. She knew they would become true. She sent the message to all her contacts and all the groups she was in. She sent it to her parents. She sent it to her friends from school who she hadn’t had contact with in years. When she was done with all the instant messaging apps, she opened reddit.
She was just about to hit ‘submit’ when she had an even better idea.
She took off her clothes and photographed herself, her phone held between her spread legs in the most revealing and shameless pose she could imagine.
[Self] I’m Awthora. You’ve seen me before, but haven’t seen all o[f] me.
More words of power. She posted her nudes to all NSFW subreddits she knew. When she was done with that, she filmed herself talking into the camera, proclaiming her intentions, proclaiming who she was. She did some floating and light reality-bending to prove her powers.
She set up a twitter and tweeted the video at every news outlet. It took her hours. When she grew tired, she narrated herself awake. She kept going, using every channel, every platform, every way she knew how to shamelessly self-promote. Between posts, she narrated plausible reasons for her not to get lost in the feeds, plausible reasons to go viral, plausible reasons to be read and seen and shared.
If anyone suspected that sharing knowledge about her was making her stronger, it wasn’t making a difference. The world was too addicted to reacting and retweeting and linking and sharing - and her inflammatory statements were just as shocking as her shameless nudes.
When dawn broke, so did the stories in the news. She was already trending in every part of the world that was awake.
In one night, she had become world-famous.
The perverse thing was that she didn’t even need to feel shame. Not even if she gave a fuck anymore, which she didn’t. But even if she suddenly became embarrassed or worried about being too visible, she could just retcon it at this point.
She could feel it in her veins. The power. The sheer, absolute power. It was like every single event that happened in the world was running through her before becoming reality. She felt massive. She felt wonderful. She couldn’t see what was happening. She hadn’t become all-knowing. But she knew that any and all reality that was within her gaze was hers to control.
She made a bundle of hundred dollar notes appear beneath her pillow, and it spontaneously combusted in her hands. The flames felt like warm water against her skin.
This was it.
Now she could finally…
She paused, blinking in confusion.
Do what, exactly?
“We have it traced!” Agent Badger called out. “Washington DC, 1045 Abbot Street.”
“Send everyone,” Special Agent Dawson said, his voice grave. On the screens in front of him news broadcasts competed silently in a dance of confused noise. Graphics and faces rapidly cutting and changing and blinking like a cheap casino. There was only one unifying factor in all of them, playing seemingly on repeat as experts and pundits scrambled to deal with the reality of it:
Awthora’s coming-out. A two-minute video confession of America’s former number-two superhero. A hero that had publicly declared that she would make the world exactly like she wanted it. Exactly like it was meant to be. No one would stop her. No one would come between her and what she wanted.
Whatever that was. She hadn’t said.
Special Agent Dawson had all intentions of coming between them.
“What do you mean, everyone?”
For a moment he considered giving in to cliché and scream "Everyone!!!" This would have been the time to do it.
“You know what I mean," he said instead. "Code Scarlet. Full activation. Every asset we have.”
Badger swallowed heavily, and Dawson secretly felt the same way. This was doomsday. This was the day that their organisation had been created to deal with if it ever came to it. For decades, they had operated in the shadows, their existence unknown to the public, watching, monitoring, surveilling, and every other synonym for keeping watch over the fragile balance between humanity and meta-humanity.
That time was over.
It was time for the Metahuman Division to come to the light of day, and bring all of its fancy toys.