Jill Farmer was loitering at the back of her class. She doesn’t stand out like the other kids. Her hair is medium length, down onto her shoulders and back colored a deep red. Glasses with semi thick frames were on her nose and her body was in a simple skirt and blouse, she was labeled a smart kid and a dork. Jill was smart, with an IQ up near 160. Clutched next to her chest were some books on Anderson University. Her science class was touring the new wing of Anderson University that housed its science department. Jill was already well acquainted with the building since her Dad worked in it, and her Mom managed the campus.
Standing next to Jill was her good friend Steven Lane. He was the second smartest kid in school. The two had been friends ever since Jill had moved in. She had a few friends but was largely shunned by the rest of the school, her family had a little money and weren’t from the small college town. It didn’t work out well for Jill, but she rolled with the punches given to her by other students. Most ignored her but others went out of their way to pick on her. Popular kids, the cheerleaders, some jerks all of them tried to get under Jill and Steve’s skin. Nothing really worked, except one.
Jack Mitchell tall blonde haired, brown eyed man of her dreams, and he was near the front of the class. Except she wasn’t the one he had his arm around, that was Lauren Neil. She was the head cheerleader and Jack a star basketball player. Although he didn’t participate in the humiliation the elites put others through, he was Lauren’s boyfriend and prize. She routinely rubbed it in to the other girls, Jack was hers. Poor Jill could only dream about the basketball star. Jill was in one of her staring sessions when she was nudged by Steve, “Hey earth to Jill?”
“Yeah…what?” she asked.
“Dreaming again.” He said pointing a finger at Jack.
“What? No, of course not.”
Steve rolled his eyes, “Denial surely a first sign of obsession.”
“Hey how many times have you checked out Lisa West’s legs?” Jill shot back. Steve smiled and pulled at his collar, he had spent a long time looking at the runner’s long tights encased legs. She was however open and Steve was trying to get closer to the track star.
“Now, now, let’s get back on subject.” Steve said pointing up front. Talking ahead of them was a university tour guide showing them the science wing. The guide pointed at the closed doors they were walking by.
“This is Dr. Elise Harris’s lab, right now she is working on providing a solution to foreign energy dependency with nuclear fusion.” Jill took a look at the closed doors and tinted windows. She could hear the charging of machinery and noticed her necklace being pulled towards the door. She is messing with Fusion alright; those must be some pretty strong magnetic fields to affect us out here, the student thought.
Moving along they made a full tour of each wing, they were back on the first floor. Their teacher Ms. Henderson informed them it was time to go.
“Ms. Henderson…” Jill indicated.
“Oh right, go ahead Jill and head off to your parent’s office. Let’s go class.” She answered.
Jill and Steve parted ways and she headed off to her dad’s office. She had planned to take her dad’s car home from field trip. The walk took her past the lab where Dr. Harris was working. She heard lots of strange noises and the magnetic pull was incredible. For a moment, Jill wondered if anything was wrong. Since no one else in the hallway seemed worried she didn’t think twice about it. A short while later she was in her father’s office.
“Hey Dad.” She said entering. Franklin Farmer was working on his computer, papers strew about his office, which Jill was careful to step around.
“Hi baby, how was the tour of everything you already know?” he joked. Her dad was working on some calculations of a new way to stop nuclear fission. She went for his desk.
“Can I have the keys?” she asked reaching for the metal instrument.
“I want to head over to the Grill get some food.” Jill explained. Her father pushed a few more numbers on the computer. Without taking his head away he answered, “Okay drive safe hon.”
“Sure dad.” She left the room shaking her head. Jill loved her parents but sometimes they were so detached.
Slowly she made her way towards the car. Walking she thought about her life. Jill was happy with what she had but she still wished for more. The hallway outside the doctor’s lab was deserted, but the noises coming from it was huge. Heading to the door she felt heat coming from it.
“A fire?” she asked. Coming up to the door she heard a final roar and the door exploded with a blast of orange yellow energy. Jill was hit by the full blast of the energy and it entered deep into her body. The blast also propelled her out towards a window. Crashing through the glass she fell as the explosion shook the upper floors. Falling she hit the ground hard and blacked out.
Steve was one of the students who saw the explosion and without thinking he ran towards the blast site, ignoring the yells from his teacher. Reaching the science building he saw people running out to escape. Smoke and flames were coming from some of the windows.
“Oh my god!” he screamed when he saw Jill. She was lying on her side unconscious. Steve flipped her onto her back and checked for any broken bones or bleeding. Finding nothing he tried to wake her up.
“Jill! Jill wake up!” he cried.
“Oh…Steve?” she asked weakly. He helped her sit up.
“How are you? Everything okay nothing broken?” Steve kept demanding. She stood up feeling strange, like she was warm.
“I’m fine Steve.”
“Good, I thought you might have been hurt when I found you by the front steps.”
She was surprised, “Front steps?”
“Yeah you where lying right there when I found you.” He pointed to where she landed, even though Steve didn’t know what happened.
I fell two stories without a scratch? Jill wondered.
“It looks like the entire floor will be out for a week including your office Frank, sorry.” Dr. Alice Farmer explained to her husband. They were sitting at dinner. Jill was sitting opposite her brother who was pushing his mash potatoes around avoiding eating his vegetables. Her dad’s office had been far from the explosion, so he wasn’t in any danger. However it looked like Dr. Harris had been killed in the explosion.
Jill was drinking her soda listening to the dinner chat, she still felt hot.
“Damn I was close to fixing that solution; I was ready to test it in the lab too!” Jill’s Dad answered his wife shot him a disapproving look. “Sorry dear.” He smiled.
Alice smiled and looked at her daughter, “So Jill how was your trip?”
“It was okay.” She answered then felt her forehead.
“Jill, are you feeling alright?” Alice asked. Her daughter shook her head.
“No…I feel kind of hot.” Jill answered. Alice took her chair over to Jill’s. Placing a hand on her daughter’s forehead she waited only a moment before withdrawing in pain.
“Ow! Jill you are hot!”
“Mom that’s gross.” Her brother Dan joked.
“Shut up pee brain.” She said, Jill could really feel the heat now, but she wasn’t sweating. Her Dad was next touching her only a second before withdrawing his fingers.
“That’s impossible.” He said.
“Dad…Mom…what’s happening…” Jill asked, she fell to the floor and her parents tried to help her, only to be forced away by the extreme heat coming off her body. Suddenly it felt like she couldn’t hold it in anymore. Jill screamed and opened her eyes twin orange beams shot from her eyes and melted the window over the sink. Her brother screamed and Alice ran for the fire extinguisher. As she went to battle the fiery drapes, Franklin went over to his daughter.
Jill didn’t know what was going on; she had just shot lasers from her eyes! As her dad came closer she was terrified, “No! Don’t come over here, I’ll hurt you!”
“Jill wait.” He called. Running with her eyes shut, Jill headed for the door. Coming up to it she pulled on it, the door came off in her hands! Holding it she opened her eyes again, not knowing what to do. This gave time for her father to come up to her.
“Honey…please its okay.” He said.
“Dad? What’s going on?” Jill asked in tears, she dropped the door.
Later that night, after cleaning up, Jill and her parents snuck back to the University. Using some equipment in the building they discovered an amazing fact, Jill was now a living Fusion reaction. Inside her body tritium and deuterium were being combined to make heat and energy. This process seemed to be controlled by a magnetic field that ran through Jill’s body. Problem was that she couldn’t control the reaction all that well, power would build up in her body till it reached a critical point. Forcing Jill to expel it somehow, whether through her eyes, or another power her Dad was worried that the uncontrolled increase in heat could hurt his daughter.
As a result her Dad built her a special watch. It looked like a normal watch and could even tell time, but in reality it was a special control watch. When she reached her critical temperature a magnetic field would activate and dampen her powers, shutting them down to minimum levels. It was similar to the SCRAM system in a nuclear reactor. Since her body could generate untold amounts of energy, Jill was blessed with super powers. In testing they learned their daughter had been gifted with super strength the ability to fly, shoot heat beams from her eyes, and could release a magnetic force from her hands.
Jill had learned how to control her powers for the most part in a couple weeks. So she could walk around school without setting the place on fire. There were pricks like it did make her brother listen to her more, she would flash her heat vision and he’d defiantly get out of her room. Although she didn’t know how to deal with this change, what am I going to do with these powers? For the time being her Dad was working on a way to remove them, while he did Jill could debate what to do.
A few week later Jill was walking down Main Street in Anderson, hands in the pockets of her skirt she was deep in thought. Checking her watch she made her noon check on her temperature. She was okay, sighing she put her hands back in her pockets and looked around.
Main Street was busy as ever. As she walked Jill was thinking about getting some food from the Grill, the local dinner, when the accident happened. A woman was driving down the street and leaned over at the last minute to take care of her kid who was crying. This caused her to miss the oncoming tanker truck and head into the other lane. Honking his horn the tanker driver tried to get the lady’s attention. Not noticing it till the last minute, she swerved too late. Both car and truck hit, the tanker knocking the smaller car into a light pole. Smashed, the car stopped and was stuck to the front of the truck.
People were screaming and no one went forwards get at the trapped drivers. Jill didn’t think about it long, she rushed forwards. Turning into a blur she got close to the damaged tanker truck. Once she had stopped Jill could smell the gas leaking from the smaller car. Great leaking gas, next to a giant gas tanker…great combination! Jill thought. She went up to the tanker’s cab. The driver was stunned and disoriented; she helped him out and managed to send him towards the crowd forming to watch the spectacle. Next she went up to the smaller car. Both the passengers were out cold, the lady and her son. The mom had a cut on her forehead and blood coming out of it. Squirming, Jill took out her handkerchief and put it against the wound.
She needed to get them out of there, but the door was jammed. Looking around making sure she wasn’t being watched, Jill pulled hard on the door. Ripping it off she careful pulled the woman out. The mom was slowly coming to, so she quickly brought her over to sidewalk. Police were coming but she could hear that they were still far away. Jill then went over to the boy. He was pinned in his seat and the buckles weren’t coming off. Removing her glasses then focusing her eyes, Jill fired off her beams, cutting off the straps. She lifted him up and out of the car.
As she headed back towards the crowd, the car exploded. People screamed, and no one noticed how she ran a little faster than humanly possible to escape the flames. Setting the kid down, Jill received the thanks and well-dones of the crowd. Standing there she began to think, yeah that was a good job.
When she got home Jill received praise from her parents.
“Honey, that was brave and excellent, and…I don’t know what to say but you did great!” her Mom gushed.
“Yes Jill you were very brave, why did you do it?” her Dad asked.
She shrugged, “it seemed like the right thing to do.” Then it hit her, maybe her powers weren’t so bad.
After dinner that night she got out her sketch pad, and began to make some sketches and used her favorite colors, bright neon pink and red. Once she was finished she went to her parents. Both were reading in the living room when she came and asked them for a favor.
“Hey Mom, Dad…I have a question.”
“What honey?” her mother asked.
“You know where I can get some material for this?” she showed them the sketch. Both of the parents looked at each other and shook their heads.
“Jill are you sure you want to do this?” her dad asked.
“Yep, I’m sure.”
“Okay then.” Her mom said the two women went to size her up while her dad made a phone call.
One Week Later…
“It’s not going to hold!” yelled one of the fire fighters. There was a blaze in the small apartment complex on the south side of town. Two companies of Fire Fighters were battling the blaze. One group was on the roof when it began to cave in. Four men were able to get away easy but another two were trapped, and their little section of the roof seemed ready at any minute to collapse. A ladder was trying to get closer to them, but it wasn’t fast enough.
The fire fighters and crowd watched in horror as one of the men fell into the inferno that was the top floor. His partner was going to join him any minute when they saw something in the sky.
“Look!” yelled a fire fighter. People turned their heads; a bright pink and red blur was coming towards the scene.
As the fire fighter lost his grip, he was falling then caught by something. Turning his ash covered face he saw a girl holding him. She looked at him with determined eyes.
“Hold on!” she said.
Carrying him without any trouble she flew, he didn’t believe it she was flying. Taking him down to the other fire fighters she placed him on the ground and flew straight back up and entered the building. Some people were shocked but others knew what they had just seen, a superhero. Seconds after entering the building, the heroine returned. She was holding him without any trouble and laid him on the ground.
“He has some burns and lacerations but is okay for the most part.” She said. Paramedics came forward and looked at the men she had recovered; everyone else was coming forward to see the heroine.
One reporter rushed forwards notepad in hand, “Miss! Who are you! What are you doing here?” He was impressed by what he saw; the heroine was in her late teens or early twenties. She wore a high necked neon pink and red leotard that covered her hands as well. She wore a pair of bright red tights without footwear and a short cape that went with it. On her chest was an atom. A red mask protected her identity and she had bright red hair.
“Well if you want to know I’m a local citizen who wants to help out. My name is Fusion Girl, and I’ll be around to help out the city and other towns around Anderson. Now if you don’t mind…” with that she leapt into the air.
Jill felt great, the air moving past her and causing her hair to flutter behind her. Checking her watch she saw her rescue hadn’t pushed her powers too much, she would be good for another few hours. Once they had gotten a hold of the indestructible lycra and nylon, making her costume was easy. She was comfortable with her decision to become a heroine and didn’t think too much about the road ahead. Or, for that matter, one of the oldest adages of heroism.
For every good person out there, there is a bad one.
Putting the paper down, Doctor Elise Harris fumed. She was legally dead, killed in her experiment two weeks ago. After the damage she had caused, there was no way she could keep working at the University anyway nor did she want too. While publicly she had worked to provide an alternate energy source for the planet, in reality she was power hungry. Elise had been a lot like Jill in her childhood. Shunned, ignored, considered a nerd she vowed one day she would be more powerful than anyone.
Working hard she learned that she could fulfill that dream through fusion energy. Carefully over the years she worked on creating a way to transfer the energy from a fusion reaction into the human body. This would grant her power to challenge anyone even the vaunted superheroes! Years of research and grants later, she had a nearly working prototype. It was only last weak she prepared for full testing. Using an energy matrix, she would focus the power of the reaction into her body with magnetic fields. Standing in the matrix she would be filled with the power and become unstoppable.
Elise had been ready, standing there as her machine powered up. Problem was that she had failed to take into account the actual power needed to control the fusion reaction. Her magnetic fields collapsed before the stream had hit her, and caused the massive explosion of energy that destroyed part of the second floor of the science building. At first she believed she had just failed to transfer the powers, now however Elise knew she had failed to bring them to her. Someone who was outside of her lab at the time of the explosion, they had received the powers, her powers!
Now she had a new goal. Looking at the photo of a proud Fusion Girl standing in front of Anderson City Hall filled her with anger. “That little witch steals my power, and then dons a costume and becomes a heroine…”
Getting up she walked around her hideout, a small apartment she had rented under a fake identity. Elise was wearing a white blouse with only a pair of grey tights. Walking around the room in her favorite clothing she tried to think of a way to get even with the heroine.
“If my fields worked the first time…perhaps I can use them again?” she thought aloud. Magnetic fields were used to control fusion reactions, if one field could control and cause the reaction. Another field would stop the reaction.
A sly smile formed on her face.
“That’s it…I don’t need to stop her reaction, only slow it, weaken her.” Turning back to the newspaper she looked at the smiling superheroine. “Enjoy your time Fusion Girl, soon you will meet your greatest foe!”