Sunday, July 29, 2018

17 : Hitchhiker


I’d never done any field work with the Fantasmas. My powers were simply never strong enough, no matter who I possessed, so I was never there for the actual fights. My work had always been to hide among the cartels and chip away at their networks from within. But it was my information that led the others to strike. Ghostwalker and his acolytes, in their righteous fury, held nothing back as they tried to cleanse the scum from our country. By the time I realized just how exacting our vengeance was going to be, I was in too deep to turn back.

And all the while, my constant tampering with drug and slave shipments, redirecting product, blowing up cargo, sending the kidnapped off into the wilderness to try and make their way back home, all that had its own consequences. I wouldn’t realize until much later just how bad the gang violence and cartel infighting had gotten, as they killed each other over their disrupted business, and didn’t care how many innocents were gunned down in the crossfire.

Ghostwalker may have been our leader, his supposedly god-given mission might have been what set us on the path, but in many ways, I was the one most responsible. They held the guns, I pulled the triggers. I kept pulling until finally, the United States couldn’t stand by any longer, and sent their hero teams to put us back in our place.

First they sent their team of goody-two-shoes pin-up models. We beat their asses into ground, with only their leader still putting up a fight. Then they sent in their real hero team, their Stiletto hit squad. They kicked the shit out of us, but we managed to get one over on them.

Nobody was supposed to know about the Stilleto. All their missions had been in secret. But the Fantasmas was a large a group and the fight was of such a large scale, that they couldn’t stop it from breaking out into the public. From behind the scenes, despite their best efforts at a media blackout, I ensured that their fight was broadcasted across the world. I shined the spotlight on America’s little assassin’s guild and took away their plausible deniability of too many shady incidents.

The US’s vengeance was swift. They managed to turn the tide of the battle, and forced the Fantasmas who could still run to scatter. Afterwards, they declared that they disbanded their Stiletto unit. In truth, their hit squad had tracked down every remaining Fantasmas and put them in the ground. My status as a secret member was the only thing that saved me.

Then when America was done sating their vengeance on us, they and their Canadian bootlickers swept in and just took our country. Our countrymen blamed us for it. Mexico had to bend the knee to America, our own President had said. Our countries had existed in a state of symbiosis for so long, he said, that our merger was inevitable. That when the Fantasmas de Medianoches tore its way across the country, leveling towns and cutting swathes through city slums to cleanse it of the cartel filth, we left so much damage in our wake that Mexico would never recover without America’s help.

Such words were to be expected of politicians bought and sold with drug money. When we took their bribes away from them, they didn’t know how to cope without a puppeteer pulling the strings. America was more than happy to pick those dangling strings up.

And then Central America followed. And then the islands in the Caribbean. I’m certain they’d have just kept on pushing onward, if the Ten Queens hadn’t stolen South America away from them.

The worst part was that we didn’t even really win. Maybe, if America hadn’t interfered, we could have wiped the cartels out entirely. Maybe all the devastation might have been worth it if we had at least achieved our goal. But we’d been stopped half-way, and while the new American States and Provinces cracked down hard on further drug crime and human trafficking, there really wasn’t any stopping it fully. Scum would always be around to peddle their wares, and for all they claimed to want to eliminate it, America was too in love with its vices to ever do what truly needed to be done. I just wish I’d realized sooner that what needed to be done just wasn’t really feasible, even with superhuman power applied to the problem.


Well, this is where my life choices had gotten me. A brief stint as a glorious revolutionary, followed by six years of slinking through the shadows. From bringing down entire networks of some of the worst criminals on Earth, to picking off random thugs on the street to sate my sad little delusions of justice. I guess I always expected this sort of ending, I just didn’t expect it to come this suddenly, in this particular form, on this particular night.

I eyed the group around me. They formed a nearly-complete ring around the end of the hotel, broken only by the building itself. They were all at least a hundred feet away, but stood close enough that there were no gaps I could take advantage of. I could make out at least sixty men just in the front, knowing there were at least three times more curved around the side and back of the building. Most of them that I could see had the UV tattoo glinting on their arms. Every one had a gun aimed at me. For a moment, I considered that I should have at least stayed in Stocky’s body, but with that many high powered rifles and machine guns, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

They waited for a moment. I almost wondered why they didn’t open fire. Maybe they weren’t quite sure what I could do. They knew I could possess people, but maybe they didn’t know how. Perhaps they knew I was strong and tough, but not to what degree. They’d clearly heard the gunshots and saw that I was unhurt. They might have figured I was actually bullet proof.

I still expected them to at least try. Most people did when they first fought a super. On average, most supers either weren’t bullet proof at all, or were only resistant like me. If you had anything stronger than a 9 mm pistol, chances are you’d still have good odds of injuring, if not killing one of us. That was probably one big reason so many supers opted not to go into a life of heroics.

Instead, to my surprise, a short guy stopped out from the ring of people. He was the only unarmed man and by short, I mean he was a dwarf. I was only five feet tall without the heels, which I’d lost when I was carried over here, and the top of his barely reached my breasts. However, what he lacked in physical stature, he more than made up for with how his inner aura glowed in my vision. All the other men around us, they were merely candles, soft flickers to my mystic sense. This man, he was a spotlight in the darkness, which meant only one thing: he was a Super.

He came up to within ten feet of me and crossed his arms like he was tough. A cocky grin spread across his face and he eyed me up and down. I cocked an eyebrow at him, but before I got the chance to speak, he suddenly changed.

There was a flash of light and a low booming sound, and then the dwarf was replaced by a giant. I leaned back and both eyebrows raised as a twelve foot mass of hulking muscle now towered over me. He was grey, with leathery skin like an elephants, and each tooth was a yellowed slab the size of my hand. His eyes glowed yellow, and a mane of wild, wiry hair flowed down his back and shoulders.

He loomed over me, arms still crossed. I must have seemed like a kitten at his feet. I let my eyes wander over him a moment, then looked up at him and gave him a sultry smile. “You’re a big guy.”

He sneered. “Not for you.” His voice was gravely, but I thought I heard a bit of Creole accent. They pulled guys from all over for this, apparently.

“Hey, that’s not how that line goes! I’m hurt!” I pouted and tilted my head, giving him the puppy dog eyes.

Look, I may have deserved the firing squad, but I wasn’t ready to die, nor was I going to wallow in depression over it. However greatly diminished, my mission against the criminal element of the land was still ongoing. I had figured a long time ago that I may as well have fun with it until karma finally caught up to me.

“Emilia Carnel,” the man growled. “The Hidden One. Last of the Fanta—”

I cut him off with an impatient wave. “Yes, yes, I know who I am. Can we skip to the fun part?”

He let out a short grunt of a laugh that sounded like a car misfiring. “Don’t even pretend at bravado. This is your last night on Earth. And I shall have the pleasure of ending you.”

I frowned and scratched my head in mock confusion. “Gee, you really think so?” I waved at the guns. “I mean, you could have splattered me across the side of the building by now, if you’d wanted.” Of course, I didn’t want them to actually do that, but a good stalling tactic against men was to goad them to stroke their own ego.

He laughed again. “No need, devil. It is more fitting that a super should end another super. A champion against a champion. You Fantasmas were supposedly the vengeance of the people. You can consider me the vengeance of your victims.” He punched a fist the size of my whole torso into his palm, making a noise like a battering ram against a stone wall.

“Okay, then,” I said, shaking my head and raising my arms in an exaggerated shrug. “I’m just not sure why you thought this was a good idea.”

I felt the ground tremble as he took a step toward me and leaned down until his massive face filled my vision. I tensed, but he didn’t attack. Instead he opted to posture some more. His breath was hot as he grinned and snorted in my face. “Because we know your little weakness. There was always a chance you’d survive and jump into one of these other men. But your power doesn’t work with Superhumans. That’s why you never joined your fellows against the Americans.”

I almost burst out laughing, but managed to contain it down to a grin. “Oh. Right. That little detail. Funny thing about that, though.”

He either didn’t have any super speed or had been so sure of his theory that he wasn’t remotely ready for my next move. I snapped my head forward and head butted his nose. In that instant, I slipped myself inside him.

The men with the guns who could see what had happened let out a gasp, several uttering various curse words. Immediately, some of the started shooting, and then all the rest joined in. My new body was tall enough, even kneeling down, that they managed to not just shoot each other across the way just by dint of trying to aim for my upper torso and head. The bullets bounced off me like raindrops.

I grinned and stood tall, gazing down at the little men with their useless little weapons. Some were smart enough to start running immediately, others kept firing until they emptied their clips.

I did laugh out loud, a rapid burst of deafening roars coming from my thick throat. The man had been right about one thing: during our war against the cartel and then later against America’s empowered task forces, I’d never possessed any superhumans. That wasn’t because I couldn’t, though, it was because over 99% of all supers were women, including most members of the FdM, and all of the SFF and Stiletto. For whatever reason, my possession power was limited to men.

Superhuman men included.



  1. It's interesting how so many powers are based on gender, and Emilia's is no exception. I had the strangest feeling she had an advantage she was hiding, but it's great to see it in action.

    I sense some people are going to die pretty horribly next chapter. Never mess with a hitchhiker.

  2. I feel like it's gonna turn out we were following the villains all along; all the characters here have such evil pasts, and some of them even have stereotypically villainous superpowers, like Hitchhiker here. Can people with as evil pasts as Strider redeem themselves? Do any of them want to?