The Seven (Lady Specter)
Most of the necessary machinery for the construction of the radiation chamber was constructed from debris pieces from the Alien aircraft. The subject would simply need to stay inside as the Mineral was submitted to enormous amounts of energy.
Sylvia got progressively nervous as the day before her procedure closed to an end. Next morning, she’d be a lab rat in an alien experiment, and in all probability her life would change forever… even if things went right. If the equipment malfunctioned… she didn’t want to think about that.
Since her selection, she had been living at the Council’s Headquarters under tight security. The other six children were there too, and they had gotten to know each other and had started to get along. If everything went according to plans, they would soon be colleagues in the most important job in the world.
The others were also nervous and excited, but not as much as Sylvia since she would go first. That meant that if something went wrong with her, they would simply skip their procedures. She wasn’t so lucky.
The procedure was scheduled at 11 o’clock next morning. Sylvia had barely closed an eye that night, and she felt a bit unattached from reality as she stepped into the chamber. The white Mineral was placed in the special receptacle, and before she realized it, the chamber had closed. Her heart was beating very fast.
She looked at the ray which was bombarding the white Mineral with tremendous amounts of energy. It started to shine. Then, unexpectedly, it pulverized. Not one particle was visible any more, and Sylvia guessed it was because they were being absorbed into her body. Indeed, she started to feel an odd sensation.
The chamber shut down and she was let out. According to the alien's instructions, it would be a few minutes before she actually started manifesting any symptoms, and hours before the metamorphosis would be completely done with her.
Well, she had survived the first part. Now she hopped the transformation wouldn't leave her severely deformed, or something.
“Hey, she’s growing,” said one of the scientist, exactly 7 minutes and 34 seconds after the Mineral's explosion.
Sylvia got up from her stool in a hurry. It was true. She could feel her young body expanding, generating new cells.
At first, it all went like any normal –albeit accelerated- human maturation. She entered puberty about a minute after the changes started, then she began to grow taller and curvier, though maybe a bit curvier than it was expected for such a thin girl.
She cupped her newfound breasts as they inflated, growing much larger than she had ever hoped. They pulsated and kept expanding slowly, sending her a strange sensation. She closed her eyes for a bit.
“Are you feeling all right?” asked her mother.
“Too good, actually,” she said with her maturing voice.
Her face was also changing, and she saw as her lips plumped significantly and her eyebrows reshaped. Her nose went longer and her face less rounded. Then, other unexpected changes started to take place.
For one, her very dark hair started to become lighter, as did her black eyes. Her skin, which was a bit tan, started to become distinctly pale. She wasn’t done growing as those other changes happened. She still looked to be about 17 or so, and her hair became intensely yellow and her eyes were of a very clear grey.
A few more minutes, and the changes seemed to stop. Everyone, including Sylvia, looked at her new appearance. She looked like a normal and very beautiful 22-years-old, although a blonde one instead of a brunette, as she had always been.
She breathed with some difficulty due to her intense excitement, making her new large breasts move with each respiration.
“Am I… am I really a superhuman now?” she asked in disbelief.
“I think you’re still a normal human being, though I guess there’s more to come,” said the head scientist. “That was too quick, so I assume there’s more happening within your physiology still. But I think your aging has stopped.”
“I certainly don’t look or sound 11 anymore,” thought Sylvia without taking her eyes from her reflection. “I’ll have to get used to this, and to be a blonde.”
But she wouldn’t be a blonde much longer, after all. During the next hours, other changes started to become apparent.
For one, her eyes kept becoming even brighter, and her hair losing its pigmentation. She was still dark haired at the top, but it was getting increasingly lighter, changing into an ashy blonde that was almost silver.
Her fingernails also were changing. They were becoming longer and pointer, almost like claws, and they felt much harder. A quick analysis proved they were made from an unknown and very strong material. She could probably slice a good many things with those.
Though her body was done getting older, after a while it started expanding again, albeit just a bit. She got slightly taller, and her curves increased again, forcing her to change into stretchy clothes. She could see her new boobs firming, and her waistline toning and becoming fitter.
Her eyelids were becoming very dark, as if she had naturally smoky eyes, and then the really bizarre changes started to happen.
She felt as if she didn’t weight at all, and her skin had a distinctly incorporeal feel to it. She looked solid, but she knew she really wasn’t… or at least wasn't going to be in a few minutes.
Indeed, she tried to get hold of the cup in front of her and she just passed through it as if she were a phantom. She looked at the others in fear.
She noticed she was becoming so intangible even her feet were starting to sink through the ground. The shock made her jump scared… and she didn’t fall back to the ground. She was just floating there. It was disconcerting to say the least, but it was a better alternative than accidentally phasing to the center of the Earth.
“I’m a ghost!” she yelled scared, and noticed that even her voice sounded eerie and echoing now.
“Relax. You’re definitely alive,” said the scientist doing a quick scan. “You’re probably just becoming a very sophisticated lifeform.”
As more minutes went by, Sylvia’s fears started to turn into curiosity. How much was she able to float? A good many meters at least, as she reached the high ceiling with ease. Could she pass through any material? Well, her arm went through the door as if it had been made of smoke instead of solid steel.
“Your clothes are staying in your body,” said another scientist after a while. “That means you’re capable to interact with solids at some level.”
Sylvia realized it must have been instinct. But then she tried to concentrate and grab something. After a few attempts, she was finally able to seize the cup.
“Great, so I can be almost normal,” she though. Passing through things had been quite cool, though. And why concentrate on touching the floor if she could float around? She wasn’t a human anymore, so why should she try to live like one? The ability to interact with solids would be very useful to be able to wear clothes, of course.
Another hour passed and it was clear Sylvia wouldn't change any more. There were many tests they had to do on her, but they let her alone to rest for a while.
The first thing she did was exploring her new form in private. She thought she looked absolutely beautiful, even if her white hair, dark eyelids and claws made her look like some kind of spooky undead girl. Well, at least she was the sexy variety of apparition.
The sensations of her skin were also, quite literally, out of this world. She felt like is she was made of energy. Maybe that was why she didn’t feel tired at all.
She relaxed in midair for a while, but was unable to sleep. She would soon discover that she wouldn’t need to sleep ever again, in fact. Nor did she require any kind of nourishment, food water, or otherwise.
Sylvia’s physical analysis at the laboratory was hard to accomplish because of her unique biology. She was stripped down into a form-fitting leotard and her measurements were taken, but other examinations were more complicated.
Though she tried to become solid, the scientists were unable to extract a blood sample from her, and most scanners would malfunction electromagnetically when used on her. But even their most basic tests were able to confirm that despite her almost normal looks, her genetic make-up was much farther from a human’s than almost any other organism on Earth. She had become a member of a completely new species.
She had been completely unharmed by her metamorphosis, but even so, the Council had decided to wait at least 12 days before changing a second subject. Sylvia couldn’t wait until one of her friends joined her in her superhuman state. Right now she felt unique and frightening, and she wanted someone who could understand that. For the moment, even her parents were scared by the pale floating woman who joined them for dinner. She didn’t blame them. She would need time too.
Finally, a week after changing, she was allowed to go public before the expectant global population. Aware that some could feel threatened by the powerful superhuman, a member of the Council decided the announcement should be made in a modern and welcoming fashion.
“We should simply tweet it. In fact, she should do it with her own account. Post a selfie or something. That’ll make her approachable. She’s a very attractive girl, and that won’t harm her popularity either. We should treat the Seven not like almighty and intimidating entities, but like friendly saviors. Almost like movie superheroes. People dig that stuff, and they’ll become loved in no time.”
And so, Twitter exploded. Ever since she had been selected, Sylvia had become a household celebrity, and her life had been explored along with the other six. But nobody had expected that the black haired little girl would make her reappearance as a curvaceous bombshell with gray hair, dressed in skimpy cut out short pants and a tight blouse.
I’m so pleased to announce my metamorphosis was successful! My code-name is Lady Specter. As you can see, I’m very healthy and I got a few cool powers I’ll soon share with all of you!
It worked. Lady Specter became a phenomenon. People couldn’t wait to see her powers in action, but at the same time, she didn’t seem threatening at all. Of course, the selfie had been carefully framed so that her ankles didn’t show. Nobody could guess Sylvia had been floating a few inches over the floor as she took that picture.
To be honest, her abilities hadn’t been kept under wraps just to create healthy hype, but also because not even Sylvia and her team had discovered the exact extent of her new powers. They wanted to understand everything before making it public.
There was of course Sylvia’s obvious intangibility. In her regular state, she existed at a different level than normal matter. That meant she could pass through everything, but also that she couldn’t be harmed. She had already sat an hour within a burning chimney and explored the depths of Lake Inari. After all, she didn’t need to breath any more either.
Her claws had also obvious implications. The researchers had been right when they had guessed they were enormously sharp and durable, and she had cut through several inches of both iron and stone.
Sylvia’s floating capabilities had also been tested. There didn’t seem to be a limit to their extent, though she hadn’t feel compelled to try them outside Earth’s atmosphere.
Then there were her silver eyes, which could see even in absolute dark. That, paired with her immateriality and the fact she discovered she could also phase out of the visible spectrum, made her a formidable creature, and she suspected the Council would assign her mainly to reconnaissance and espionage missions. She liked that. It made her feel mysterious.
Indeed, the new Lady Specter had a penchant for the enigmatic. The Seven had soon decided against using “superhero” costumes, but Sylvia had taken to wearing dark and exotic clothes and jewelry, which fitted quite well her new phantasmagoric persona.
Of course, she always tried to tone down her image whenever she had to be with her family. She knew they were already having a hard time, so she never appeared to dinner phasing through a wall while wearing a dark gown, or anything like that. After all, her younger sister was quite scared of her as it was, and she was trying to mend that.
But in all, Sylvia had to admit she was pleased with her outcome, and was generally much happier than she had ever been as a human. There were many strange things that would take much adapting, but soon enough she was feeling quite comfortable in her skin… or ectoplasm, as her friends jokingly called whatever energy she was actually composed of.
Now the time had come for the Council to transform the second chosen kid. This time, they would be using the red Mineral, which was significantly bigger than the rest.