Omni sat in a metal chair, in a room ten stories below ground, in the heart of a military bunker. She flexed her wrists to test her restraints. They were strong – stronger than she was right now, anyway.
Her captor paced in front of her, reading a file.
“After all the rumors, this – you – are Omni? A.K.A. Metal Girl? A.K.A. Giant Girl? A.K.A. The Creature, The Red Rocket, Lady Lumina, I’d go on, but there are ten more pages of this.”
Omni glared at him, but stayed silent. In six more minutes, none of this might matter. Then again, it could change for the worse. If the next power wasn’t good enough to help her escape, she’d have to tough out another two days. She’d be hoping for impenetrable skin in that case.
Her captor snapped his fingers in front of her face.
“Do I bore you? Answer my questions and you can return to your cell. How do we remove your gauntlet? How does the device work?”
“It runs on unicorn farts and comes off only when I sing opera.”
He called over one of the door guards, who promptly punched Omni in the face.
Blood trickled down her nose. She could feel the cut healing. Her current power did nothing for the pain, but none of their hits so far left a mark.
The machine grafted onto her arm dinged softly. Five minutes now. She twisted around to face the display, reading “Black Hole”. It was written in a code that took her years to decipher. It was a warning of what her next two days would be like.
Her captor wrenched her arms back so he could inspect the device.
“What was that? What does it say?”
“It says you’re a tool.”
She got another punch, this time in her stomach. She doubled over, tears in her eyes. Those last five minutes couldn’t come fast enough. The guard pulled back for another hit.
“Fine! You really want to know I got this? If you’ve heard the right rumors, you already know.”
Her captor folded his arms.
“I read a few theories. Government research seems the most likely, but I want to hear it from your lips.”
“Aliens. If you ever hear anything about super heroes, the answer is aliens in disguise or alien technology. They bolted this thing to my arm after it got burnt off trying to save one of them.”
He cleared his throat.
“Well… How does it work? Can it be removed?”
“Oh! It can’t be removed. I’ve tried. Every two days, it gives me a different power at random.”
“So you took up the hero business.”
She smiled. Four minutes.
“Some days, yeah, but others, I’m in the mercenary business. Hunting terrorists for money, like I was yesterday.”
He snorted a laugh.
“You should have stuck to heroing, girl. My men caught you before you even set foot in the base.”
“Your men, huh? That would make you the one I’m looking for.”
Her captor took a step back. He motioned for the guard to resume the beatings. Each hit healed within the minute. Omni counted down the seconds to herself. She’d have to stall the last few hits to make sure she’d leave the base unscarred.
At the last minute, she cried out.
The guard paused. Her captor nodded for him to step back.
Omni gave him a desperate look.
“I’ll tell you anything you want to know. Just make him stop.”
“Amateur. Give us the names of your superiors, your fellow powered heroes, and those that hired you. If I like the answers, I might let you keep that arm. Were you better trained, I’d hire you myself. I’m sure I can pay more than you’re getting now.”
“I’ll write it all down. But first, one question for you.”
“What is it?”
“Do you think black holes are really doors to other worlds, or will you just die?”
Three. Two. One. The machine on her arm chirped at the zero mark.
Omni felt a surge of energy. It rushed through her body until she focused it in the palm of her good hand. She flicked her wrist toward her captor and the door guard. A tiny speck of pure black flew toward them, sucking them in. Mission complete.
* This story was inspired by a prompt from the WritingPrompts subreddit.