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BHM Bombshell and Big Tech in: The Chimera Conspiracy

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like the pancake
Dec 7, 2019
A/n: So, this was originally a collaborative piece, but in the end my cowriter decided he wanted no further part in this series and yeilded it to me, so here's my rewrite. Consider this a prequel to Spark.




"The streets run rampant with gossip--"

"What is this woman thinking?"

"She calls herself a superhero?"

"The rogue vigilante operating under the name of Bombshell--"

"Can you believe this?"

"This just in, another five criminals fattened to immense proportions--!"

"I mean, look at this, Gerry. It's ludicrous."


"What gives one woman the right to play God with the criminal justice system--"

"The name on everybody's lips is Bombshell, Blackwater City, and we have one question about the fattening femme fatale: is she a hero? Or menace?"


Car horns honked aggressively, drivers shouted and rain pitter-patterned on the street below the generic gray, asbestos-ridden office building. Pedestrians fought for space, fought for cover, fought for taxis. And yet...the outdoors held an enviable, dewey bliss, not to be smelled or touched.

Everyone hated Mondays. Oriana didn't get it. Mondays were when she got to come back to Cyber Security, Inc. well-rested, with fresh eyes for her work, maybe a little hungover--blame her best friend, Scarlet Flame.

It was Tuesdays she detested. Tuesdays tended to drag, every hour reminding her of just how far away the following weekend was. It wasn't the work she minded. She actually found penetration testing exciting. It was like solving a puzzle in code, until you finally found the solution and slipped past the firewall protecting a major retailer's online user interface, or a medical billing company's records. Writing the report on how she'd done it was a bit of a snore, but she got those done fast.

She just despised working at a desk.

She was the kind of person who wanted to be on her feet, running around and doing things.

That was why she had tricked out the radio app on her laptop to pick up signals from the police radio.

It was Tuesday. She was listening in on the city's activity--a drunk driver here, a drug bust there--while she worked on her latest report at that horrid little desk when Tom Delancey, the chief technological officer, approached her station. "Oriana, the credit union is extending their deadline on that report. They want you to test their internal security in addition to the user login you've already done. You have until Friday now."

"Bet," she said reflexively and continued working.

"I'm sorry, what's that mean again?"

For the third damn time this week.

She held up a flash drive. "Here's what I got done, send me the deets via email on what you need, and I'm not staying late." She had a lot more she wanted to say, but she bit her tongue. She had her pride, but she liked being able to pay the rent.

But she could still indulge in a little trash talk. DeAndre in the cubicle across from hers, another analyst a few shades darker than she was who could talk to the boss like he went to Yale but dropped the act whenever it was just the two of them conversating, poked his head above the gray partition--it wasn't very tall, in fact, you could easily have a chat face to face with your neighbor if you stood up--and said, "Man, is he a piece a shit or what?"

"Can't kill us without a badge no more so they gotta assert dominance somehow," Oriana agreed.

The little redhead in the cubicle next to her stood up and said, "Maybe he genuinely needed an honest translation. Not all white people are like that."

"Oh, I know, Melissa, I know. My mama's white--or 'anglo-saxon', if you prefer--and I love her very much. See, I could never be racist against white folks," said Oriana with a saccharine smile. She tried. Oh, she tried to be unerringly polite. But once in a while, work pushed her over the edge and she got vicious.

"But you literally just said--"

"Look, sweetie. Talk to me once I'm done getting my degree in second grade education."

DeAndre chuckled and sunk back into his cubicle.

Just as Oriana was finishing her report, something of interest came on the radio: "...Three gunmen with eleven hostages and counting...we need backup, do you copy?"

"The hell y'all do," said Oriana, closing her laptop. She stood and peeked into DeAndre's cubicle. "Tell Dan I'm going on my lunch break. I'll be back in an hour."

During the workday, Oriana left her costume in the car she kept parked on an otherwise unused floor of the office tower next door, which the owner of the building let her do because what was he going to do, say no to Bombshell? She was down the stairs of her own building and up the steps to 'the Fatmobile', as the press of Blackwater City had nicknamed it, in record time. It was a whippy little sports car done up in a white and orange paint job reminiscent of America's most beloved breastaurant. She slid into the driver's seat, peeled off her pink sweater set and khakis, and squeezed into the white and orange latex catsuit that the city had come to recognize as the garb of Bombshell.

With a bit of concentration, she slimmed her waist and slightly adjusted her muscle tone. At the office and at home, she looked how she wanted to look: soft, comfortable, approachable. She had great T and A, but allowing herself a slight tummy that formed a roll when she sat made her look less intimidating.

On the battlefield, though, intimidating was exactly what she was going for. That, and she needed to reduce herself a little for the damn suit to fit. She'd first put it together in college, and it had been a couple years.

The T and A were staying, though. They were of practical use as a distraction to the enemy.

Biomanipulation--that was the name of the power she had to control her own body and that of every living thing around her. For a while, she had no idea she had powers. It never struck her as weird that she never got sick and anytime her parents or cousins got sick, they didn't stay that way longer than an hour after she found out. Then she started dating in her senior year of high school, and every boy she went out with put on about forty pounds within a week.

What could she say? She could appreciate a nice big thickie.

What happened with her boyfriends was bizarre enough that her dad took her to get tested. Apparently, something like this had happened to her little cousin, too. Sure enough, when they got to the special clinic, she received a diagnosis of Genetic Deviant and was marked for super university.

In theory, she could have been a full shapeshifter, but she'd never studied up that much in school. Things like eye color, skin color--you needed to know how to rewrite DNA for that. Body composition, though? That was easy.

Cowl and aviator goggles in place over her eyes and her short, tight curls, she reversed out of the parking space and sped out of the lot.

Nobody could negotiate Blackwater City traffic like Bombshell. She wove effortlessly between cars at 30 above the speed limit, but no one dared pull her over. They knew what she could do to them.

8 minutes had her at the bank where the hostage situation was taking place. The number of hostages had grown to exceed twenty. The three masked gunmen had them, customers and tellers alike, on their knees, gagged, with their hands bound behind their backs. Seven police cars surrounded the building from the front. Ugh. She didn't feel like letting them slow her down. She pulled up around back and slipped inside through the back door. There was always a service entrance, and it was mercifully unlocked this time. One of the employees had probably used it to escape before things had gotten nasty.

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