Via Podiensis, Day 11: Minor Renovations

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Blue slept uneasy today. Transformed as my snuggling blanket, she had wiggled and sweated all night long. I almost couldn‘t sleep. In the morning, when I asked her, she shrug it off as nothing important. Just a nightmare she suffered once in a while, about a darker world full of monsters and menaces. Dangers which couldn‘t be solved with her powers, apparently. That such an excessively positive girl like Blue underwent nightmares was the weirdest of all. 

While Kate‘s powers still didn‘t make any progress, mine seem to outdo themselves with every passing day. I blame the latex catsuit for this. Thanks to Blue, I don‘t have to wash it everyday. It simply remains clean, polished, nice-smelling and tight. By now, wearing comfy latex doesn‘t cause any feelings of shame or awkwardness in me anymore. Around half of the young to middle-aged women we had seen in the last couple of days had worn a piece of the wet shimmering fabric. I have to constantly think back to that elderly woman in Estaing, who called Blue perverse and a whore with no decency. Funny how things turned out. 

Usually Blue just snaps her fingers (or doesn‘t do a gesture, depending on what she‘s doing) and I‘m magically inside of the suit. Today morning, I tried that myself. After Momo created her sequinned clothes so effortless out of her own body, I attempted something similar. So I closed my eyes, concentrated on the latex catsuit in my backpack and pictured myself being squeezed into it. A pressure applied itself onto all over my skin from my neck down. I felt my flesh being pressed in. When I peeked, I could barely see the light glow vanish which had apparently covered and spawned the latex bodysuit which I now wore. But this time, wearing it felt different. There was something missing, I felt that immediately. Where has the warm, stimulating, delighting sensation gone? Where was the striking smell of rubber? Why did I still feel kinda naked, even though most of my body appeared covered? The pressure was there, yes, but really nothing more. And as I fingered it, I couldn‘t feel smooth, slippery latex, but only my skin. 

I asked Blue about it. After she had taken a closer look, she came up with the obvious explanation. „Oooh, now I get it!“ she said. „It‘s an illusion, Jodie! You‘re still nude. What you‘re wearing is a visual deception.“ 

I willed my backpack to float over and open. The real catsuit was still inside. „Then why doesn‘t it glow?“ I asked. „Like all my other light-constructs?“ 

“Guess it does,“ she said. “Just dim and in a mimic-y way. Try project something else.“ I didn‘t had to close my eyes with my second attempt. With my fingers spreading, I pictured myself and Blue standing opposite to the two of us. It looked like the air would become physical and all ‘wobbly‘, the colours merged and flickered, glowed for a second and dimmed down. The colours quickly formed humanoid shapes, with lines of bright light outlining and creating the contours like a 3D-Printer. And next we starred into a mirror. The last glows disappeared beneath our doubles‘ skins. 

“What is going on?“ Momo poured herself as a viscous puddle of purple goo through the keyhole of the bathroom door. She didn‘t take the detour to the floor, though. She rearranged her beautiful oriental body while her syrupy substance still poured through the door, swiftly forming a torso, four limbs, a head and a smiling face. “Are you playing with duplication? Can I join?“. When you payed attention in biology, then you know how mitosis looks like. That‘s exactly the manner how Momo replicated herself, just within a blink of an eye. “This trick is great for designing your own outfits, don‘t you think?“

“Yes! Yes it is!“ And suddenly Blue sweated out a second Blue. An identical duplicate of her simply stepped out of her body. This happened so abruptly that all my illusions, the catsuit included, shimmered a bit before they vanished, presenting me stark naked. Before I could cover myself, one of the two Blues coated me in sparkles which created a set of bra and panties. “It‘s like a all-around mirror,“ Blue said, inspected me and threw another hand of glitter which became a golden latex leggings. “And you can see how your hair looks from behind.“ She wiggled her fingers and my chest became coated with a tight silver latex top. “Or how my butt does in my pants.“ I felt how my bum contracted and freed itself of all its unnecessary fat. 

“Hey!“ I screeched. “No body modifications, Blue. Also, you never showed us that you can duplicate. What the hell?“ 

„I didn‘t? Oh, right, I didn‘t, haha. Stupid brain. So yeah. I forgot about that one. So, eh, tada, I guess.“ 

“Thanks for the clothes. Comfy. Just let me try another thing-“ 

I opened my palm and pictured my phone. Instantly the light which shone on my hand started to flicker and mould into a replica of it. Well, it still weighted nothing, but looked the same, and actually with a little focus, I managed to make it weight at least so much that I could hold it. 

“So you wanna tell me that this is just an illusion?“ I asked. 

Blue nodded. “Yeah. It wouldn‘t actually work once you‘d... SHUT THE HELL UP!“ I already unlocked the display. And everything was on it. My music, my massages, my contacts, my apps, my photos, my Google voice search which wouldn‘t keep its trap shut. 

“Then how‘s a light-effect able to show me my Facebook feeds?“ 

“Gimme gimme.“ Blue ripped the phone out of my fingers, twisted it around and threw it to the ground where it dissolved into swirling colours. “Another!“ 

“Fine with me.“ It was really no challenge. Not that I had to remember every data saved on my smartphone. 

“That‘s clearly only light, but... I don‘t get it.“ 

“Watch this.“ I showed her how I had created a light-pen yesterday, a pen which indeed wrote stuff down. 

One of the two Momos took the pen and inspected it. “Well, I turn my body-tissue into the elements of the objects I create. I think you do something similar, only with light. Maybe you do not turn it into other elements, but the function is still there.“

“So on paper, I can create shit now?“ 

“Ugh, disgusting Jodes. But... in a sense, I guess. Wanna go out and try?“ 

Within three minutes we were on camino again. Kate hadn‘t slept much, judged by the dark rings under her eyes. She said she had practised teleportation all night long. But after hours of failure she had given up. Poor Kate. Things looked brighter for her a couple of days back. Now her powers seem to already have stagnated. But I think it‘s still too early to judge. 

Once outside, Momo transformed one of herself into the red-haired Ara. This one seems to be her favourite alternative personality. They actually talk to each other in Korean all the time. Isn‘t that kinda soliloquy? Like they do share the same mind. Weird. 

Back to me and my awesome powers. My guess proved itself to be right, in a sense anyway. Yes, I could create an illusion of anything my mind could come up with. For example a kick-ass motorcycle, a badass flying carpet, a sweat refrigerator or a bad-to-the-bones cheesecake. The cheesecake, however, was non-edible. Turned out that even though I can harden my visual illusions in any rigidity I wish, I still can‘t turn them into actual matter. But except for food and some other things, this awesome power totally fulfils its purpose. I made a dinosaur chase Kate today! I mean, I can die in peace now, without the regret of having missed anything in life. 

It didn‘t take long until we reached a small village with a road sign reading ‘Saint-Jean-de-Laur‘ in proud, red letters. Well, I guess it used to look proud, given that it was easily a million years old. And the village certainly once had that medieval french charm to it. However, what had remained were basically run-down barns, roofs with holes, uneven roads, abandoned shops, flooded paths, name something and it would probably apply. It took ten minutes to spot a human soul in the entire village, an elderly couple waiting for on an equally shabby bus-stop. They told us what happened to their at one time thriving little commune. A textile factory at the village‘s edge had once kept its economy alive, but when it closed, all the young people and workers left, leaving just the elderly and the ones attached to their homes behind. Soon the village would be scraped from the maps and forgotten. 

Thus Blue decided to intervene a little. “Guys, pepping this place up would be like super easy for me. Wanna help?“ Her fingers already began to sparkle as we agreed. So we ditched the backpacks and started to work our magic. Although we kinda split up, we were too curious what the others did that we were always in eyesight. 

Blue probably could have turned the village into a replica of Dubai‘s downtown area within a click of her heels, but she chose the more playful variant. Like scattering salt, she began to throw bluish glitter at the roads while flying over them. The sparkles attached themselves in the cracks of the asphalt and closed and levelled the streets. Meanwhile Momo and her four alternative personalities took care about a collapsed farmhouse with two missing walls. Standing on the caved remains of those outer walls, their arms stretched to their sides and merged. United their bodies broadened, transformed into stoney surfaces and fused once each individual touched another. Quickly rising up to the damaged roof, Momo rebuild the two shattered walls using nothing but her highly convertible body and even seemed to have no strains recreating the tiles on top. A blob of purple goop shot out of the new downspout and pulled itself back up into the tall, cute Korean girl, immediately followed by four more puddles of thick liquid, one red, one silver, one gold and one black. Instead of shaping four equally alluring ladies, the globs oozed up Momo‘s legs, over her breast and back down her arms, where they were thrown with great force at some other broken houses around her. One slimy ball flew threw a broken window, but transformed into glass and fixed it. One splashed against a scattered fence, split up several times again and repaired it by morphing into planks. The third landed on a neglected garden, with knee-tall grass, spread over it like a small shiny lake and munched the lawn away, leaving it mowed like an exemplary British front yard. The last one was the only who remained in puddle form, and it scooted from property to property in a hurry, creating flowers and cleaning the ground wherever it slithered, made garbage disappear, erased unwanted thicket, ate old road signs up and spat out new, swept the streets clean and widened its influence the more it kept patching. 

Momo herself hadn‘t moved a foot, yet both her arms had stretched like boneless toffy to ridiculous extends, even forming loops and spirals for no reason but fun. With a relaxed and joyful smile, closed eyes and held up, rubbery arms she spawned another set of arms out of her forearms, which also stretched and sprouted a third pair of arms, which all spawned arms again, squaring her amounts of arms, and then squaring those arms again, arms, arms, arms, arms, like a tree of arms. Reminded me of Nico Robin. Of course each limb ended with at least one hand, and those spread all over the entire village and started fixing and redecorating as well. They entered the abandoned houses through pipes and cracks, through the gaps beneath doors and windows, through chimneys or by unopposedly merging them with walls and reaching through them like through walls of water. 

“Jodie. Do you mind? The houses appear pretty colourless to me.“ I‘ve been in such a trance watching her that I could only nod. So while I granted houses, cars, fences and even dividing strips new paint jobs like an unicorn high on sniffing rainbows, Momo‘s countless pliable arms renovated the interiors. From what I could see from the outside, multiple hands first tidied up each room, morphing into brooms and dusters, water buckets and wiping cloths, vacuum cleaners and mobs, garbage bags and garbage pliers, then crushed all damaged and useless furniture to dust by completely encasing them with her stretched serpentine fingers and contracting that ball to the size of a pea. Afterwards, thick drops of skin-coloured clumps dripped from her arms, which moulded into nostalgic and rural home furnishings, like wooden tables, velvety sofas, record players or pot plants. And all that happened at the same time, in dozens rooms, while other walls and roofs were just as easily fixes. And Momo‘s herself... a strand of her hair held her phone while another typed on it. She was writing her blog in the meantime. 

Even Blue was taken aback for a moment. “Haha, that‘s awesome. But can you do this?“ She swung her hand so hard that her blue nail polish turned into glitter dust, swirled over the street and let an entire farmhouse construct itself from the ground up, apparently from nothing at all. 

Momo giggled. “Maybe not as fast as your magic, but...“ She spat into the air, only far higher than any human possibly could. Her spit flew over the village‘s roofs and towards a dry field behind it. I lost few of it, but suddenly something big puffed up over there. First a wooden framework was established, then tiles of the roofs flowed over it and the walls sank down like thick liquid chocolate. It looked like the building would stretch and wiggle like an animal trying to break free. Before it went stiff, it developed a few windows, ornaments on its outside and a terrace in front of the entrance of a brand new local tavern. 

“Pff, just spit,“ Blue laughed. “Watch me.“ She pointed at the old run-down factory at the village‘s edge and sprayed a gush of sparkles and circles towards it. At impact, the factory modernised. I instantly understood Blue‘s intentions. Not only did the factory appear no day old, its chimneys already started puffing. The small parking lot in front expanded over an entire field. The building itself grew twice as big, as if its new sections would be pulled out like drawers. The lettering, as well as the road sign changed from ‘Beaulieus cloths‘ to ‘Beaulieus latex cloths‘. What else could I do but laugh and roll my eyes. 

“What?“ Blue asked, also laughing. “Eh, shut aaap, latex is in.“

“Sure thing, Blue. Sure thing.“ 

“The workers will come back and this place will flourish. Trust me. There‘ll be sooo much babies born here. Babycalypse. Heh.“ 

Momo‘s hands had constructed all new interior decoration in nearly every home and were now about to repair overseen details, like closing the cracks in the walls by stroking over them, fixing damaged doors and windows by weaving her hair into new ones or replacing power cables by swinging her fingers like whips and turning them into wires. “But how could anyone explain what happened here within one day? This will raise a lot of questions.“

“Ehh... right,“ Blue said. “Wait a sec.“ She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and spread her fingers. For the first time I saw her concentrate using her powers. Even her smirk went down while we went silent. Then she began to breath in through her nose and breath out through her mouth. A dim blue glimmer looped around her hands. Then, with a strong blow, she clapped them together. 

A woman appeared. She was tall, wore a long black skirt, business attire, glasses and a neat haircut. For a second I thought I‘d be one of her evil emotions, but there was something in her eyes that didn‘t seem right. Something apathetic and passive. As if she‘d look at nothing at all. 

“Eh... hello?“ Kate asked. “Who are-“

“Hello. My name is Ms. Business Woman. I am the head of this factory. I am responsible for the renovation of this village.“ 

“What the shit?“ I waved my hands in front of her eyes. “This is a bot isn‘t it?“ 

“Damn, forgot about her name,“ Blue whispered. “Well, kinda. A placeholder. But still human. Well, she doesn‘t have own thoughts or, well, a brain at all actually. She‘s just there to, you know, do the things a boss would do. Until she gets fired and disappears. She‘s-“

„Hello. My name is Ms. Business Woman. I am the head of this factory. I am responsible-“

“Ya ya, we know. Listen, this isn‘t one of those Blade Runner, Alien, Terminator, Westworld scenarios where the bots are conscious. I‘m not even able to give them souls. Creating humans is somehow totally impossible. A fly has more conscience than-“

„Hello. My name is-“

“How about Ms. Flappyneck.“ 

“Ok, this is a little scary,“ I said. “Are we done here?“ 

Momo retreated her thousand arms and made Min-A, Ru-Ri, Juhee and Ara come out of her palms. “Set and done,“ they all said. 

I guess watching all those movies made me nervous. But I trust Blue, so we walked on after Blue temporarily clouded the minds of the habitants so that they wouldn‘t wonder about the abrupt changes of their quiet little village. 

I held back with my powers for the rest of the day. The reason was Kate‘s face. She tried to hide it, but I will always see when she has secretly cried. She didn‘t want to appear ungrateful or sorrowful, considering that she could still fly and make stuff float. But still, I know jealousy. It has long, dark arms and grabs you no matter if it is appropriate. After a while you just can‘t convince yourself anymore that you don‘t actually need the thing others keep dangling in front of your nose like candy in front of a toddler. And with Kate... well. I think I gotta be a better sister to get her through this. I‘ve won so much during our journey. Blue, superpowers, clearance, freedom. Kate had stopped at the superpowers-part. But what was it again? ‘Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruits‘.

Next Day:

Via Podiensis, Day 12: WarWe have made a mistake.  
It‘s been a few days. I didn‘t think I‘d write again. Couldn‘t get my mind into it. But maybe it will distract me, at least a little. I don‘t know. This all seems stupid now. Why should I write down events which I will never forget anyway? Maybe because I can‘t sleep. Or maybe because I‘m afraid. Probably because I know that we‘re screwed and now my subconsciousness wants to cling to every bit of reality that‘s left, and may that lay in the past. 
Turning a few pages of this journal back puts me back into the fairytale. I read about shapeshifters and pop-bands, drunken nights and magical games, fashion shows and funny pranks. The fact that they are my own words disgusts me. All this time we had spend with shits and giggles we could have done something. We should have known better since the very moment the problem had come up. And because of us, because we didn‘t take it seriously... shit, I

It's been a while. Saint-Jean-de-Laur is actually not run-down at all, I've been there. So I had to shake up this village's history a bit for this chapter. Like I'll totally shake up the girls world in the next chapter. Be warned! Little will be like it is now. 
© 2018 - 2020 minor-alterations
anonymous's avatar
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Warrone's avatar
The end paragraph really shook me, poor Kate. Thanks, a pleasure to read. 
rome1453's avatar
Coolness. Good chapter. 
BaiSuzhen's avatar
A shakeup next time? Are they gonna beat another of Blue's runaway neurosies, but instead of thinking about curing all illnesses, she's reading some sci-fi and suddenly we invented intelligent robots in the fifties, and found aliens on Neptune?
minor-alterations's avatar
Why did you keep reading until this part if it's too random for you? =P (Razz) 
BaiSuzhen's avatar
Oh, that wasn't meant as an insult. I would be all about the girls getting an alien and/or robot friend.
minor-alterations's avatar
Oh, alright :D No, not a shakeup like that. Blue learned not to mess with the past again. But yes, they'll realize that they have done mistakes. And the prize for that will be very high and will determine the rest of their journey (They're not even at the half-way-point). 
anonymous's avatar
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