This is my entry into Becky Fyfe’s challenge over at Imagine! Create! Write!, to create a Female Superhero. Go take a look and enter, if there are enough stories Becky is hoping to create an anthology with the proceeds going to a girls charity. So here’s my tale…
Author: Lisa Shambrook
Charity: Because I Am a Girl
Name of female superhero: Snowfire
Name of human alter ego, if different: Neva Brant
Superhero Appearance (hair, eyes, body type, etc.): Hair shimmers with a coating of frost, fringe flicks back. Eyes glint ice green and her skin pales.
Human alter ego appearance (if she has an alter ego): Dark brown hair, just below shoulder length with a long fringe which often covers half her face. She has green eyes, pale skin and an average body she hides in jeans and t-shirts, beneath a worn leather jacket.
Costume: When Neva uses her ability her dark brown hair shimmers with ice, her skin pales even further and an aura glows about her person. She chooses to wear black jeans and a black leather jacket, with black leather boots.
Personality: Neva is shy, doesn’t like attention, but cannot abide cruelty or injustice. She won’t seek attention, but when opportunity arises she fights for the underdog.
Brief description of how the superheroine gets her powers (i.e. born with them, radioactive accident, mad scientist experiments on her, etc.): Neva was born with her powers, but they were latent until an incident when she was fourteen.
Powers: Neva can freeze and thaw objects on demand, but she needs to touch her target for the power to be effective.
Anything else important: A frozen ‘object’ can be shattered and destroyed, but if left alone will thaw at a normal rate. A frozen person’s heart rate will drop and hypothermia will set in, but survival is likely if medical attention is sought fast.
Neva is learning to develop her ability and her father, a doctor, discovers her freezing technique can be honed to do good in the medical world. If she concentrates deeply enough she can freeze and destroy individual cells, when this ability becomes known, Wolfe Pharmaceuticals CEO, Professor Archaleaus Wolfe, becomes obsessed with obtaining Neva, codename Snowfire.
Art work ‘Snowfire’ by Lisa Shambrook
(Please do not use, though permission is given for the Anthology!)
As Neva crouched waiting, her mind wandered…the moment of recognition was one to be remembered…
Neva’s childlike tears fell and clinked on the garden paving like lost diamonds, shattering on impact. Her fingers recoiled as she stared in horror at the butterfly on her arm. Fragile wings stood erect and unmoving, coated with icing sugar frost. Antennae no longer wavered in the light breeze and ice crystals danced up Neva’s arm, glazing each tiny hair with frost, and butterfly legs remained stuck fast to her skin. She shivered and shook her head, and tiny crystals flew from her locks. Shock radiated through her body as beneath the early evening twilight she noticed her shimmering fingertips, and a quick, impatient movement broke her heart.
Her hand unconsciously brushed the frozen butterfly from her arm and the delicate creature crumbled into a million sparkles.
Neva brushed the memory from her mind and allowed the familiar chill to creep into her fingers. She squatted on the narrow sill, peering through the grimy window, and when ice hit her heart, biting like a twisting knife, she placed her hand on the glass. White, feathered fissures spread across the pane from her iridescent fingertips. One tap and the frozen window shattered, and Neva dropped to the floor inside.
Footsteps echoed and she slid to the shadows. She crept along the wall, leaving a frost trail glistening in the moonlight. Linoleum squeaked as shoes scuffed outside and Neva tensed.
Two armed men slipped into the room, but barely had time to register the drop in temperature before her touch set them into glacial sculptures.
Without a backward glance, she padded softly down the hall, ignoring the hum of flickering fluorescent lights. She sprinted down gloomy corridors until her hands slammed into a solid door that barred her way.
Her fingers hurried over smooth metal, her eyes searching for a keyhole, a numerical security pad, a door handle…nothing. She stepped back and stared then she placed both hands on the door, spread her fingers and pressed with all her weight. Her fingers tingled and frost formed, glittering on her fingernails, spreading across her hands. She concentrated, feeling the familiar rush of ice flood through her veins and sent it all through her fingers.
Nothing happened and she pushed harder, before the effort flung her away. She scrambled to her feet and stared in confusion at the door that refused to freeze. Neva lifted her finger and traced the rime coated metal until her finger lead her to the door’s internal locking system. She fixed her mind to the mechanism and dragged her finger to the fine gap between door and frame. She sent all her power to the main locking bolt, furrowing her brow as she focused, injecting microscopic crystals into the mechanism.
Within moments tiny sparks shot through the gap and a spiral of smoke twirled around her freezing fingers as the door clicked open.
As Neva pushed the door, echoing applause assaulted her ears and her hands flew up to cover her squinting eyes. Light blinded her as she entered the laboratory and rejected the impulse to turn and flee.
“I knew, if you got past that door my dear, that all my research in you was well-founded and worth the effort…” the voice had no body, but it chilled Neva.
Spotlights swivelled away. Neva blinked and rubbed her eyes, trying to rid her vision of a million blue afterimages, before focussing. She gasped and ran to the man in the hospital bed, his wrists and ankles secured by thick leather straps and buckles.
“Dad!” She stroked his cheek, her fingers brushing against his stubbled, unshaven face, and tears slipped down her own. Tears that fell solid and melted against his warmth.
Her eyes took in his calm, sleeping features and followed a drip, attached to his arm, to a bag held aloft above the bed. “What’s in that?” she demanded, trying to allay the fear that crept unbidden into her words.
The owner of the voice stepped out of the shadows and Neva did nothing to hide her look of contempt. “Highly manipulated carcinoma…of the fast growing type, my dear,” Professor Archaleaus Wolfe grinned. “You have exactly, well, about six minutes to defuse this bomb, or the results will be terminal.” His shoes clacked across the floor as he joined father and daughter. He reached up to turn off the drip.
“And, what if I decide to terminate you at the same time?” she snarled, moving to block the septuagenarian as he took down the drip bag.
“My dear, you can freeze me if you choose, but my medics up on the scaffolding will down you in a millisecond…your father will ultimately die and I will wait patiently to defrost…” he cackled, “Your choice.”
Neva stiffened as the professor began to remove the cannula from the back of her father’s hand and settled to concentrate on an imaging device. With no choice, she bent to kiss her father then spread her hands across his chest.
Ripples of fear swept through her body as she concentrated and her fingers shook. Then a chill rose from her fingertips and ice streaked through her veins. She bowed her head and closed her eyes and let her fingers wander, an innate sense guiding her to the blackness abiding within her father. Her dad’s lessons came back to her, biology and physiology flooding her visual cortex, and suddenly she could see inside his chest cavity. Her frost-coated fingers tensed then released a deluge of infinitesimal crystals into his body to freeze the tumour.
Inside her mind the tumour sat, caressed by frost and its filigree beauty stunned her…for a moment she stared, admiring, and the memory of the butterfly returned. This time she consciously brushed the intricate ball of cells and watched in deep satisfaction as they crumbled into a million sparkles.
Archaleaus Wolfe smiled, “Well done, my dear Snowfire, we have much work to do…”