The Next Day

By yearends

Set in the "Super Goddess" universe created by Akane

With contributions from delta7447

 

Bianca Jaime Aria Jensen-Campbell y Laren-Fowler y Cudna-Wyrwal was very aware of the fact that it wasn't long ago that she would never have been taken seriously as a journalist.

 

Even in 2082, with ten women worldwide, from the seven-year-old twins Zheng Mei and Lei, to the 65-year-old M'Wela Mutegaraba, who could warp reality to their every whim--and, at least for the older ones, whose powers tended to force them into incredibly attractive bodies--it was still hard for her to be taken seriously, at least with her birth name. (Once again she mentally cursed her porn-addicted pervert parents, and doubly cursed them for that ridiculous requirement on her trust fund that barred her from changing her name.) Her body only helped in that regard because it meant nobody was about to say no to her when she decided her professional name would be Maria Sánchez López.

 

Now she was sitting down for her first interview with Jennifer Martinette--though far from her first meeting with the Super Goddess--and reflected briefly on what had brought her to this point.

 

It had been Jen who had discovered--or, perhaps, Bianca didn't know, had bothered to reveal--why Bianca was proportioned the way she was. The 23-year-old, fresh out of journalism school, had only stopped growing right around when she finished her degree, and stood a staggering 8'4", with breasts twice as large as her head, fiery red hair down to her 75-inch ass, and otherwise a slim build that hid supercharged muscles allowing her to carry herself with ease. Not only that, but her feet had developed oddly, so that she could only walk comfortably in heels that were at least eight inches high, meaning she always topped nine feet.

 

Next to her, even a Super Goddess looked diminutive.

 

But appearances, of course, were always deceiving, and Bianca was very cognizant of that.

 

The explanation, as it turned out, was pretty simple: enough Super Goddess pheromones had permeated the atmosphere by 2059 that human genes had begun to mutate in ways that would make ordinary humans more resemble Super Goddesses. Already, Bianca knew, worldwide breast, ass, and penis sizes were up compared even to a decade ago, with further increases expected as the years progressed. Aging processes had begun to stall just slightly. Bianca had just happened to receive an abnormally high concentration of the effect. (Jen had told her that she could probably expect to live a few hundred years, helped by the thing she kept most hidden, her semi-invulnerability and accelerated healing. She'd been shot in the shoulder once, and only taken a bad bruise, but when she'd been hit by a runaway truck some time later she had broken quite a few bones, but was out of the hospital within days, Jen having assisted in covering for her.)

 

In more recent years Bianca had come to appreciate all the various ways Jen used her powers for more pleasurable purposes, especially when one or more of Carol Tremblay, Brigitte Labelle, or Britney Atwater joined in, Bianca long having known that Jen had gifted the three with power similar to her own. Which made it a little more puzzling why it was she who was here conducting the interview, and not someone for whom the revelations of the previous day had come as a complete surprise.

 

Granted, she still hadn't known that her favourite cam girl, Suzie Martin, was also the unprepossessing Suzanne Gallagher she'd heard Jen mention once or twice before. But then, on the other hand, she was one of the few people to whom Jen had confided that when Suzie was pretending to be Jen, it wasn't just a pretence: Jen had quite literally taken over Suzie's entire being for a time.

 

But then, maybe it was her familiarity with the situation that was why, for some reason (probably having to do with Super Goddess wishes), she was the only journalist who could even think to cover the story in the depth it deserved to be covered in. Everyone else had just run with their own report on the brief press conference at which Jennifer and Paige McDowell had revealed Carol, Brigitte, Britney, and Suzanne to the world, and taken no questions, and then gone about their business as if the entire world hadn't once again been upended.

 

And so it was Bianca who had the exclusive story, starting with Jen, while camera drones controlled by the journalist's thoughts floated around the pair.

 

"Hi, Jen," Bianca said. Everyone knew "Maria Sánchez López" knew Jennifer Martinette, who had solved her medical mystery, even if they didn't know how well.

 

"Hi, Maria," the Super Goddess replied. "Mind if I get a little more comfortable?" she continued, her neck stretched and craned up to see Bianca's face over her mountainous breasts.

 

"Not at all." Bianca repositioned the cameras (to which Jen obligingly made her couch invisible) to capture the other woman in full three-dimensional view. New high-quality footage of a Super Goddess transforming herself--or someone else--would have been worth its weight in gold before the commodities markets cratered a few decades ago when speculators realized all their holdings were worthless in a world where some people could create as much of the stuff as they wanted from nothing at will.

 

Jen's physical form rippled as she willed it into another shape. For a Super Goddess, a body was merely a convenience, of course, something which made it easier for them to interact with those beings more limited than they, and which allowed them to directly experience tactile sensations. She decided that her current projection into reality should be taller, bustier, and curvier, and thus it became so, her clothing becoming skimpier as her body grew within it. When she stopped, her head was level with Bianca's and her breasts and ass only minutely smaller. "That's better."

 

One downside of having such large boobs, Bianca knew, however easily she could carry them, was that to see the people she was interviewing, she generally had to position herself and them at strange angles and distances. Bianca had suspected something like this was coming when Jen insisted on a more typical arrangement of the chairs, and she hadn't disappointed.

 

Jen gave her a quick smile as she quickly snipped and disseminated the footage of the transformation anonymously. Obviously the omnipotent woman wanted everyone to see that part, at least.

 

"So, why now?" said Bianca, cutting to the chase. "How long have Carol Tremblay, Brigitte Labelle, Britney Atwater, and Suzanne Gallagher been--what was the term you told me? 'Ultipotent'?--and why did you wait until now to reveal it?"

 

Jen shrugged. Super Goddess breasts heaving weren't anywhere near as good as Super Goddess transformations, but up went another clip. "I made Carol, Brigitte, and Britney ultipotent a little over twenty years ago. Suzie became fully their equal about two years ago--Paige had been slowly giving her more powers, making sure she could handle them, before finishing the job as an eighteenth birthday present."

 

"But why now?" Bianca pressed.

 

"Why not now?" Jennifer countered. "We couldn't keep it a secret forever--well, we could have, but that would have been hugely unfair to them--and so when Paige decided Suzie could use her powers more openly, we figured it was time to let everyone know."

 

"Is there anyone else? There's, what, ten Super Goddesses now? It strikes me that some of the others might have done what you two did."

 

"Well, sure. Everyone knows about Shizuka's Sakimori. And there are a few beings in Prosperia to whom M'Wela has given such power, so that she isn't the only person there who can bring others between this world and her own. But outside of them? Nah. Christina's too much of a recluse. Ha-neul hasn't met anyone she likes well enough, nor has Elza. Paula... she's got her own issues. And Mei and Lei are still learning to use their powers responsibly, which has incidentally also cut into the time Ha-neul might have had to find people to give that sort of power to." Jen shrugged again. "So for now, it's just those four. Of course, there'll be more in future."

 

"Is that just a prediction, or..." Bianca trailed off, not caring for the suggestion that any of the Super Goddesses might be looking into the future and thus, quite possibly, fixing it in place.

 

"Nah, none of us make much use of prescience. Spoils the fun. Besides, we can't see what the others might do, which makes it of pretty limited utility anyway. But I can't imagine that none of us will ever again give another person power comparable to our own."

 

"But why share it in the first place?" Bianca asked. "Doesn't it dilute the, well, specialness of it, the more people who have that sort of power?"

 

"Mei and Lei are hardly going to be the last Super Goddesses," said Jennifer. "At least, I think so. That's something we couldn't see even if we looked into the future as hard as we can. But while I don't think there are only three numbers, having only ten of us beggars my belief. So since there'll be plenty of us in future, that 'dilution' is already going to happen anyway. Besides, different people have different ideas about what to do with unlimited capabilities. My power might be infinite; my imagination is not." Which was something of an admission, coming from the most artistically accomplished Super Goddess.

 

"Then how do you decide who gets power?"

 

"People we trust, generally. Some of us are freer with trust than others, of course."

 

Bianca took a deep breath. "You all promised long ago to tell the world whenever a new Super Goddess was born. Do you plan to do the same for any new ultipotents?"

 

Jen smiled enigmatically. "Maria, the next time someone becomes ultipotent, the whole world will know about it."

 

--

 

The interview over and the camera drones off, Jen pulled Bianca into a tight embrace. "I've got a little gift for you."

 

"Oh?" Bianca didn't have time to blink as the omnipotent woman's fingers rammed into her eyes.

 

When she withdrew them, Bianca found that she could see a faint blue glow around the Super Goddess. "What?" was all she could say.

 

"A little gift, as I said. This is a big event for us, too, you know. Most of us will be here, but of course you might not recognize us on sight." Jennifer did an unnecessary demonstration, turning into a withered crone, still glowing blue. "So I've changed your eyes." Her perfect voice was at odds with her aged appearance. "No matter what form any of us takes, you'll know who it is. You won't be able to grab them for an interview if they don't want to do one, of course, but at least you'll know who's around."

 

"I thought none of you could override the others."

 

"We can't," Jen said, slowly shifting back to her usual form. "But they've all promised. If any of us break that promise, we'll make it up to you."

 

"Make it up how?"

 

Jen faded from sight. "I'm sure between eight Super Goddesses and four ultipotents we can come up with something suitable," her voice rang.

 

--

 

"So what do you like most about being ultipotent?" Bianca asked Carol Tremblay. A faint green glow surrounded her.

 

"The everyday stuff," the chess prodigy replied. "It's way more convenient to teleport than to walk, for instance. And just flying free through the air without a care..." Carol's voice sounded wistful.

 

Bianca's eyebrow went up. "Not the chess? Or math?"

 

Carol shook her head. "If anything those are pretty disappointing. I've proved everything there is to prove in math, I'm just publishing the papers really slowly. Christina's letting me have the credit. It's an open secret, everyone who cares about these things knows already. And I've completely solved chess now. Also Go, and Arimaa, and xiangqi, and shogi, and any other such game you care to name. So those games aren't quite as interesting any more."

 

"Would you say that's your biggest disappointment?"

 

Carol's thighs rubbed together. "Honestly, the worst part? How damned horny it makes me! I'm aroused by anything and everything now, like these powers want me to use them for whatever sexual purpose I can think of. And Jen's way better than that at I am, I once walked in on her fucking the number three. Not some physical representation of it, the concept itself, she'd given that some sort of physical form and was railing it. That had some rather interesting side effects, you may recall."

 

Bianca certainly did recall--a period of a few days where it seemed impossible to conceive of the number three without feeling as if you were on the receiving end of the best sex of your life.

 

"Well, that and that I can sense so much more now. The glimpses I've got about what Jen, Britney, and Brigitte have gotten up to..." A shudder ran through Carol's curvy form.

 

"So are the powers worth it, then?" Bianca asked. "Would you give them up?"

 

Carol turned pensive. "I think that, were I told all the positives and negatives in advance, I might have turned it down. But now that I've had these powers for over twenty years? No... no, I don't think I could give them up. Not willingly."

 

"But Jennifer, or any of the others, could take them from you."

 

"Of course. There's nothing any of us can do about that. But Jen's offered. She knows I'm not entirely satisfied with my powers. And I've said no. But if you ever find someone who would say yes, willingly give up omnipotence having tasted it... you'll have found someone worthy of it."

 

--

 

"What do you like most about being ultipotent?" Bianca was asking that question of all four of the newly-revealed reality warpers.

 

"Like, fucking everything!" Brigitte Labelle said immediately. "Stuff does what I, like, want it to do, I look how I, like, like"--she was even taller and bustier than Bianca, forcing the mortal to crane her neck slightly--"and now I, like, get to do whatever I want. What's not to, like, like?"

 

"Some people might say it takes away some of the joy of discovery."

 

"Pfft, Carol's, like, a spoilsport. Honestly, she'd, like, be way fucking happier if she just cut loose and fucked like a damn god sometimes."

 

"Do you think of yourself as a god?"

 

"Only in bed, Maria." Brigitte gave Bianca an exaggerated wink.

 

Bianca changed the subject. "Have you tried being Jacques Larocque again?"

 

"Not until, like, now," said Brigitte, only her voice came from a body recognizable only from its last few moments in existence. "Jacques was, like, a total loser, going nowhere fast. Jen knew I'd be way happier as, like, a hot chick. That's the only reason he got that interview, so that she could create me on live TV."

 

"No nostalgia? No fond memories? No desire to relive the old days, as it were?"

 

"Other than when I slipped back into the past to get that full-3D recording of the transformation?" Brigitte said, revealing that she was indeed responsible for the new version of the most popular video clip of all time. "Nope. Being a chick's, like, way better. I don't have any annoying body hair"--Brigitte had snapped her fingers, deleting her clothes, showing off Jacques' unimpressive body to Bianca's audience--"and I can have, like, a huge big ol' pair of titties, and a nice round ass. I'm way prettier and cuter, too," she continued as her face changed, leaving only her groin as the last part of her to be from Jacques, "and I'll take a pussy over a dick for a single set of genitalia, like, any day." Jacques' cock receded, replaced by Brigitte's labia. "And besides, why would I want, like, this puny thing"--Jacques' cock grew back out above Brigitte's folds, looking very unimpressive indeed compared to her other endowments--"when I could have this?" Brigitte finished her demonstration with a surge of growth to her shaft, the rod becoming smooth and veiny as it surged out to forty inches in length. "Wanna taste?" The head waggled in the interviewer's direction.

 

"Thank you, no," said Bianca. At least, she added mentally, not on camera.

 

"Suit yourself," said Brigitte, slipping the shaft between her boobs and putting the tip in her mouth.

 

"So is there anything you find disappointing about ultipotence?"

 

Brigitte grew a second head. "Nope, not at all." A second cock grew from her crotch, while a third boob grew to give her additional cleavage, so she could give herself a second titfuck.

 

"And you wouldn't get rid of it if you could?"

 

"Hell no," Brigitte's first head said. "Besides, it would break Jen's heart. She likes my ideas too much to take my powers away."

 

--

 

"What do you like most about being ultipotent?"

 

"The freedom," said Britney Atwater. "I was shackled to expectations for too long not to value that. But now the only expectations that matter to me are mine and Jen's. It's pretty liberating, having so few cares. Well, up until now."

 

Bianca nodded. Only that morning Brigitte had taken her classes on a little "field trip" into the past, to practice their journalism techniques by interviewing people involved in various famous events. Britney went along as a chaperone, to make sure Brigitte didn't inadvertently change history (she had to be reminded regularly to pause time during the interviews and erase the memories afterward), and Bianca went with them to record the interviews. But instead of getting something juicy, like the first video footage of the Spanish Armada, or the assassination of Julius Caesar, or the conquests of Genghis Khan, Brigitte had decided to start with an East German spy, Gerda Munsinger, and a Canadian politician, Pierre Sévigny. Brigitte called it a warm-up.

 

"And what do you like least?"

 

"The freedom. It's liberating to be able to do anything, but also boring. It's why I've been reviving one lost art a month, only using my powers to get the bare minimum I need to get started. It's a challenge to myself, now that I've got all the time I could want."

 

"Would you give it up, go back to how things were?"

 

Britney paused for a very long moment. "No."

 

Bianca's eyebrow quirked, and then her second one shot up as the cameras shut off.

 

--

 

Jennifer Martinette appeared, sitting next to Britney. "I wouldn't want to go back to how things were before Jen gave me my powers," Britney said. "But if it were possible..." The confident older woman wilted, burying her head on Jen's shoulder.

 

"Years ago, I made a mistake," Jen said. "I saw Britney not as a friend, not as a caregiver, but as someone I could fuck. And in that moment our relationship changed. And I've never been able to set it right."

 

The look of confusion on Bianca's face intensified. "I can only do those things I can will myself to do, Bianca. And I'm still human, when you get right down to it. I'm as governed by my emotions, my whims, my desires, as anyone else. And while I wanted to have a normal life with Britney... right then, even more, I wanted her on her knees eating me out."

 

"She did taste wonderful," Britney put in.

 

"And ever since I've never been able to muster the willpower to undo that. So instead I've given her what freedom I can, but if I truly had the choice... yes, I would gladly lose Britney as she is to have her again as she was."

 

Britney nodded, tears starting to stain Jennifer's top, even as Jennifer's dotted Britney's hair, and the pair vanished.

 

--

 

"What do you like most about being ultipotent?"

 

"Like Carol, the convenience," said Suzie Gallagher, the camgirl having chosen the diminutive of her first name but her true last name, and looking like she was ready to do another show right then. "Never being late for an appointment because I can just clone myself and teleport wherever? Sign me up!"

 

"And what least?"

 

"The expectations--which, to be fair, weren't helped by my porn career! Everyone expects you to take charge and lead when you're basically all-powerful, but that's not me. Too many people feel threatened by someone with my powers, though, when all I want is a little kindness, a few compliments, and I'm yours. Do what you like with me."

 

"So would you give it up, so more people might accept you for who you are?"

 

"No. It really is just too convenient. Besides, I've lived practically my entire life with at least some powers. I honestly can't say what I'd do without them."

 

--

 

The tall black woman striding toward Bianca was surrounded by a faint blue glow.

 

"Queen-Mother M'Wela Mutegaraba, I presume," said the documentarian, camera drones floating into position.

 

The first Super Goddess nodded. "I believe you have a few questions for me?" she asked as they stood under the trees, leaves gently falling down from time to time.

 

"I do indeed. What do you think of Jennifer Martinette and Paige McDowell's revelation?"

 

"That it's about time. Oh, I know Prosperia has its own unique culture, but everyone knows there are a few ultipotents there and nobody cares. A few humans, a few elves."

 

"Elves?" asked Bianca.

 

"Well, since everyone else is sharing their secrets..." M'Wela snapped her fingers and a busty, pointy-eared woman, glowing faintly yellow to Bianca, appeared. "Aisha, the first of the Aishan Elves of Prosperia and one of my ultipotents."

 

Aisha inclined her head to Bianca, who opened her mouth and began, "What do--"

 

"I like everything about it," the elf interjected, "and I'd never give it up, because that would be disrespectful to my creator." She inclined her head at the omnipotent queen. "If she felt I should have these powers, who am I to say otherwise?"

 

M'Wela chuckled. "Aisha, at least, still has some learning to do about Prosperia. Where I'm concerned, anyway."

 

Bianca looked from the Super Goddess to the ultipotent elf and back. It was no secret that M'Wela had created an entirely new species to live alongside humans in Prosperia, but very few people had ever met, or even seen, an Aishan Elf. And M'Wela had just casually revealed them--and not just any Aishan Elf, but the progenitor of them all--on what she had to know would be one of the most viewed documentaries of all time.

 

"If you think of anything else you'd like to ask, Maria, just think." The two vanished, leaving Bianca speechless and dumbfounded.

 

--

 

"She shouldn't be keeping you waiting."

 

"It's fine, Yomi," Empress Shizuka Hirose told her friend as Yomi Shirogane stood watch behind the sitting Super Goddess. "We're not the only people she's here to talk to, and she is, after all, merely mortal."

 

"She still shouldn't be keeping the Empress of Japan waiting."

 

"She's still got ten seconds, and we're hardly the only omnipotent beings here!" Shizuka said with a chuckle. "I doubt she's managed to piss them all off."

 

Right on cue, Bianca popped into existence on a nearby couch. "Thanks, Carol," both of them heard her whisper.

 

Yomi glowered at Bianca; Shizuka smiled contentedly.

 

"Heika," said Bianca bowing her head slightly. Yomi's frown abruptly reversed itself, her purple aura growing brighter. Shizuka rolled her eyes.

 

"I hate formality. Please, just call me Shizuka."

 

"Of course, Shizuka-sama."

 

"Some of my other Sakimori tell me that I should just create a general mental block against being referred to with honorifics, at least by non-Japanese. Yomi thinks I should put in a block against being addressed without them."

 

"Very well then, Shizuka." Yomi's glower returned in full force. "So, why Empress?"

 

"Why have I kept the title, you mean?" That induced the desired reaction from the interviewer. "Because the Japanese people want an Empress, and they want me as Empress. I only sought elected office so that I could more smoothly make their lives better--you know we largely prefer to work within the existing systems." Bianca nodded. "Well, then, if in their judgment the best way I could make their lives better would be to become Empress and assume personal rule, who am I to decline? I assure you, I regularly survey the attitudes of the people toward myself as monarch and the Sakimori as guardians. If there were any dissatisfaction, I would abdicate immediately."

 

Yomi twitched. "I would, Yomi," Shizuka continued mildly. "If my rule were harming anyone--Japanese or non-Japanese--I would abdicate, and then seclude myself until such time as I could determine how to rid myself of my powers as penance."

 

Yomi opened her mouth to say something, but Shizuka held up a hand, and her guard fell silent. After a moment, Bianca asked, "Why create the Sakimori, though? Are you not guardian enough for your people?"

 

"And have my view be the only one heard in the governance and defence of Japan? I didn't just want advisors, Maria. I wanted advisors who, were their suggestions meritorious, could be immediately tasked with their implementation. Of course," Shizuka inclined her head toward Yomi, "some of them have chosen alternate roles for themselves."

 

Bianca nodded, unable to think of a follow-up to that. "Now, if that is all, I do have a country to run," Shizuka pointed out. After a few moments, the pair vanished.

 

--

 

Zheng Mei sat to Bianca's right while her twin sister Zheng Lei sat to Ha-neul Park's left in the bleachers of the otherwise-empty stadium.

 

"So we haven't heard much from you of late," Bianca noted. "What have you been up to, Ha-neul?"

 

"I've been at a crossroads," the Korean said. "I'm not really sure what I want to do with my life, how I can best contribute. So when Mei and Lei's parents asked us to raise them, I felt I was the ideal choice."

 

"And has it given you a sense of purpose?"

 

"Yes, but I still don't know what I'll do once they're old enough to go out on their own. They're such sweet, well-behaved little angels. I can't see them causing any problems in future."

 

"I think," said Bianca, "that I can safely say on behalf of all of humanity that I hope we never see a Super Goddess who does cause problems."

 

Ha-neul smiled. "I can't speak to any future Super Goddesses who might come, but the universe has nothing to fear from Mei and Lei."

 

--

 

Bianca knew that Paula Estévez had long since answered many questions about why she decided to become a cop. But she knew something else about Paula, something she'd been told she could discuss and reveal.

 

"So you and Jen were telling me, Paula, that all those times we saw you growing up, it wasn't really you?"

 

"No, it wasn't," the blonde Venezuelan confirmed. "I asked the others to masquerade as me from time to time, show off what I could do, while I had as ordinary a childhood as I could, growing up in Nueva Caracas. I only started using my powers a few months after I turned eighteen, and didn't display them publicly myself until I 'changed' my hair colour in front of the cameras on my twenty-second birthday."

 

"So you were always blonde, then?"

 

"I've always wanted to be a cop, but I knew that there were certain mistakes I had to avoid, especially being as powerful as I am," the Super Goddess acknowledged. "To avoid those mistakes, I concluded that I would have to be absolutely certain I had an ironclad control over my powers before I could use them, and the only way I could think to do that would be to deny myself their use, except as absolutely necessary to hide, for years. Jennifer especially agreed to masquerade as me, only with black hair--the only things I used my powers for were to give myself blonde hair, so as better to hide in plain sight, and to control my physical development until I felt I could reveal myself personally--and so once I decided to assume the role myself, I had to show off how I could change my hair, eventually ‘settling’ on blonde. A cheap parlor trick, perhaps, but then, that's all I had ever really been seen doing to that point."

 

"And have you kept that control, now that you've been using your powers publicly for two decades?"

 

"It's not been easy. Infinite power has a way of demanding that you use it. But I've got friends who are willing to help me whenever I feel it slipping."

 

Bianca cocked her head inquisitively, but Paula gave a minute shake of her head.

 

"Thank you for your time, Paula."

 

--

 

Elza Sabini might not have grown herself to Bianca's height the way Jennifer Martinette had, but the interviewer nonetheless felt intimidated in the Italian's presence.

 

"What would you say to the people who joke that you're the biggest recluse of the Super Goddesses, because at least Christina keeps herself honestly secluded?"

 

"That they're not entirely wrong." Elza's mouth did not move; rather she impressed her thoughts on the footage, so that anyone watching it later could hear them. "I realize that most humans find my preferred methods of communication disconcerting, but for me, ordinary vocal speech is itself disconcerting."

 

Bianca nodded--she certainly felt that way. "And why Japan? Why not remain in Italy, or Europe generally, or somewhere else where there were no other Super Goddesses, such as India or Australia?"

 

"I felt Japan was the best place for me to grow and develop as a Super Goddess, the best culture in which to immerse myself, and so after consulting with Shizuka I chose Fumagawa as the ideal setting for that."

 

"What do you think about her Enhancement Centres?"

 

"That they're excellent public policy and have contributed greatly to the cultural renaissance and renewed sense of identity and cohesion the Japanese people have experienced under Shizuka's rule."

 

"Would you consider opening some yourself elsewhere?"

 

"And step on Jen's toes?" Elza's mental voice chuckled.

 

--

 

"Why Suzie?" Bianca asked Paige McDowell.

 

"Because when everyone else was afraid of me, she was my friend, ever since daycare. So I decided that, once I came into my full power, I would give her similar power."

 

"How could you be sure she could handle it? Jen was telling me..." Bianca trailed off. She knew how Jennifer had come to conclude that Carol, Brigitte, and Britney could handle infinite power, but it wasn't for her to reveal.

 

"Well, we all, even in the womb, have a highly developed empathic sense. So for the first few years after her third birthday, Suzie's only power was that same empathy, so that she would be as adjusted to the cares and concerns of the universe as we are. I developed her powers the way mine did, only over a period of fifteen years, rather than the three years and nine months over which mine grew."

 

"But then why make her hide?"

 

"Because, as we said, Jen and I weren't entirely sure how the world would react to knowing that we were handing out infinite power, even just to a few people. Shizuka and M'Wela had definite purposes; we did it simply because we wanted to."

 

"If Suzie couldn't keep her powers hidden, would you have taken them away?"

 

"Perhaps, for a short time," Paige conceded. "At least the ones she couldn't hide." The Super Goddess sighed. "It may take her some time to forgive me, but I honestly felt it was in everyone's best interest."

 

"One other question, then," said Bianca. But the look on Paige's face as the question formed in Bianca's mind, to ask about the disappearances she'd traced to the Super Goddess, told her it was time to end the interview.

 

--

 

The entire time she was in Toronto Bianca felt as if she was being watched, but she couldn't figure out who might be doing it. She'd interviewed all the Super Goddesses, except Christina, who was notoriously reclusive--Bianca hadn't expected to be the one who'd break that blockade. She'd gotten Carol, Brigitte, Britney, and Suzie on camera. She'd even got the first footage of an Aishan Elf--and not just any Aishan Elf, but Aisha herself.

 

Still, she couldn't shake the feeling that she was missing something.

 

"That's because you are." Jennifer's voice came from behind her, and Bianca whirled. "It's not your fault. It seems Christina couldn't stay away, but couldn't bring herself to show up in person."

 

"You promised I'd get to interview any of you who came here. You told me you'd all promised. Was that actually all of you except Christina?"

 

"Irina Volkoba," Jen corrected mildly. "That's her real name. And yes, she did promise." She raised her voice a bit. "One last chance, Irina!"

 

The air around Bianca grew a bit colder, and she got a sense of unease and unwillingness.

 

"You said you'd make it up to me," Bianca pointed out.

 

"And so we will," said M'Wela, a few humans and elves at her side.

 

Other Super Goddesses and ultipotents popped into existence around the journalist, Shizuka flanked by all the Sakimori and her entire Cabinet, Paige with Suzie and Jen's trio, all but Mei and Lei. The air quivered and tightened around Bianca.

 

Spectral hands reached out from the multicoloured auras surrounding Bianca, and she was rooted to the spot, both out of trepidation and from the hardening shell of air around her.

 

When the hands touched her, the air returned to normal. Bianca's knees buckled as waves of pleasure flowed through her body. Seeing through her camera drones, she knew that flares of power were crackling all around the group, reality itself being forced to submit to a new mistress.

 

Her.

 

Jen hadn't lied: the next time someone became ultipotent, the entire world would know about it.

 

While Bianca basked in the joy of having complete command of existence at her thoughts, Jen said, "Will you come out now, Irina?" There was an exasperated tone in her voice.

 

Another figure materialized. "Hi," said Irina Volkoba, softly, shyly, before she vanished again.

 

Rating

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