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Elements of Power 1

PT Brainum

Cover

ELEMENTS

OF

POWER

By: PT Brainum

©2020

 

Part 1 -

Dissolution

 

Chapter 1

The first time it happened, I was sitting on a park bench, contemplating a rock. Not an auspicious beginning, but a beginning. I was rolling it around in my hand, thinking about how it was made up of millions or even billions of atoms. Each of those atoms held to each other through a variety of forces. I imagined all the energy in the rock, the intermolecular and intramolecular bonds, the van der Waals force, dipole attractions, even a bit of kinetic lethargy and gravity, all holding it together in a tight solid form. So much energy held, but so little released except in specific circumstances, usually in some form of combustion or other exothermic reaction.

My hand grew warm in the cool October air, and the rock poofed into a fine powder, spilling out of my hand, and blowing away rapidly in the breeze. I looked dumbly at the residue, and wiped it off on my pants. I could feel the warmth in my hand move up into my arm, and into my aching right shoulder. The cool weather seemed to make my bursitis, left over from totaling a vehicle on a highway while trying to dodge a railroad tie lost by the flatbed truck in front of me many years earlier, feel better.

I picked up another rock, and held it. I tried to find the thought, or emotion, or Zen moment that proceeded it, but nothing happened. Eventually I gave up, and wandered back out of the park to the diner I usually had lunch at.

The ‘cheerleader,’ as I thought of her, gave me a perky greeting as I entered the diner. I pointed over to my usual table, and she nodded, and told me “I’ll be over with the menu in a moment, coffee first, right?”

I nodded and moved towards the table. My usual shuffle seemed looser today as I moved to the green vinyl bench seat that looked out over the street, and the park across it. Moments later my coffee arrived, and a menu dropped on the table. I looked up at the perky girl and gave her my order, “Big burger, blue cheese and bacon, extra seasoned fries, extra ketchup, extra napkins.”

She nodded, and swiped the menu off the table. I doctored the weak coffee with a bit of cream and sugar, and sat back to stare out the window. The noise increased as lunch time rolled along, and the place almost, but not quite, filled up with customers. I leisurely enjoyed my burger and fries, taking a good hour to eat. I had nowhere else to go today, and lunch had been my big meal for a couple decades.

I eventually got up, paid at the register, used the bathroom, and walked around the block to my building. A few steps down from the sidewalk was the entrance to my basement apartment. I’d have loved to live in an upper apartment, but the rent on them was just too good. Plus the stairs to the entrance of the upper apartments were four times as many as the steps down to the basement.

I napped off and on in the recliner with the TV on during the afternoon, until it was time to get up and make dinner. The cat wanted to be fed, and she was my reminder to eat dinner. I made a small salad from a bag, and gave Camellia, my calico, her can of food. I left her food in the kitchen so I wouldn’t have to smell it, and sat on the couch to watch a movie.

Finally, I went to bed. All day my mind kept going back to the rock. I laid awake longer than normal contemplating what had happened.

The next morning I had a call from an upstairs tenant. One of their power outlets wasn’t working. After a morning bowl of oatmeal for myself, a bowl of kibble and fresh water for Camellia, plus phone calls to the local electrician to check it out, I headed back to the park. My usual bench was empty as I passed it during my walk, taking the paved loop through, and around the park.

I paused to pick up a slightly larger stone as I passed the pond. I should have bent the knees more, the stoop over had me almost losing my balance. My back protested, but it wasn’t too far to my bench. I noticed it was occupied, so sat on the bench closer to the pond. I normally don’t sit there, because the ducks think that means they are going to get fed. You shouldn’t feed the ducks, they are filthy disease ridden creatures.

They didn’t seem to notice me, so I again contemplated the rock I had picked up. Almost immediately my hand warmed, and it poofed into a super fine powder. I tried to grab at it, to hold it. It seemed to almost solidify again as I squeezed the remnant in my hand. As I squeezed the powder I felt the heat travel up my arm, and down into my back. The pain that I had been feeling relaxed and faded away.

When I relaxed my fist, the remaining powder had solidified into a rock again, indented with the imprint of my fingers, and wrinkled hands. I peered at it through my glasses, marveling at the impression made. I slipped it into my pocket, and picked up another rock. I held it in my left hand, and contemplated it. I was thinking that I wanted to understand what was happening, and watched as my hand slowly warmed, and the rock slowly blew away into dust in the sudden stiffening breeze.

The heat moved up my left arm, and into my left shoulder. I couldn’t help the sigh that released. I knew that I was in less pain then I had been for years. I shrugged my shoulders experimentally, twisted my back a little, bent over and touched my toes. Lifting my arms above my head brought no pain to either of my shoulders. I excitedly reached for another rock, but nothing happened.

It didn’t distress me. I watched the pond until lunch time, reveling in the lack of pain. There is so much pain that a person can live with, that it becomes routine, ordinary, an unremarked part of life. When that pain lifts, it’s transcendent. Discovering that you had been hurting so much more than you realized. Discovering that your ‘I’m OK” response to every, “How are you?” question had been a lie, especially to yourself, is equal parts liberating and devastating. I smiled all through lunch, and slept better than I had for years.

The following day was Sunday, my day to stay home. I spent the morning watching This Week with George Stephanopoulos. I miss David Brinkley. Then I watched Face the Nation, and Meet the Press from my DVR. After a lunch of soup and grilled cheese sandwich I ran the dishwasher, and did some laundry. Since Sunday is my day off, I contemplated my new power sitting at the kitchen table.

Holding the table knife I had used to butter my sandwich bread, I contemplated its energy. The stainless steel tableware puffed into a thick powder, almost dripping in consistency, onto the empty plate that had held my sandwich. The heat in my hand was intense as it traveled up my arm, and down into my chest. I reflexively drew in a deep breath, so deep that it practically hurt, and coughed it all out again to nearly empty. The follow up breath was again nearly as deep, but clear.

I spent a few minutes just breathing. Breathing big, cleansing breaths and smiling. Smiling at the cat who was sitting on the table watching me in quiet derision. Smiling at the now resolidified metal blob on the plate. Smiling as oxygen rushed through my body.

I gathered the rest of the table knives from their spot in the flatware drawer. I concentrated for a moment and the burst of heat shot straight into my heart, and spun crazily through my body following my arteries and veins, while the metal powder slipped onto the plate to join the previous pile. The dizziness as the heat moved up into my head was more than momentary.

The heat from the third knife dissolving seemed to strike straight down into my stomach, then back up, with a hot burp straight into my sinuses and out my nose. My lungs pulled the air in through my nose, and I could smell old man, cat litter, and the empty cans of cat food from the garbage. It was followed by a hiccup of nausea, that vanished as fast as it came.

I stood and started to walk to the bathroom. Three steps in, I began to run. I made it in time, and after some undefined time I’ll not go into, washed my hands and stared at my face in the mirror. My green eyes seemed brighter, with the sparkle that they had forgotten. My gray and white scruff of facial hair, the sparse white fuzz across the top, and parchment weathered skin remained the same. I pulled my cellphone from a pocket and took a picture in the mirror, so I could perhaps compare in the future.

I returned to the kitchen table, sitting where my metallic sand art sculpture had solidified firmly to the plate. I picked up the fourth knife. The same intense heat shot up my arm, and arrowed straight down into my crotch. The heat blossomed where I knew my prostate had been, my penis engorged instantly into its first erection in seven years, and was followed by the hot pulsing of the first orgasm in at least ten, maybe more.

I swooned. For at least ten minutes. I’m not sure if it really was the best orgasm I’d ever had, but right then it was the only one I could remember with any sort of clarity. If you could call that clarity, because I certainly wasn’t thinking at the time. I’m glad my heart and lungs were working so well, as that might have been the end of me otherwise. I’d go on, but I’m finding the memory of it both embarrassment and creating a wistful wish for a repeat.

I showered, and redressed into clean clothes. I sat back down at the table, and took the fifth knife. Nothing happened. I nodded to myself. Each day the number of times had doubled. Geometric growth. I’d be able to do the same thing over a million times in a row in a month. I put the knives back in their drawer. There were 10 left, enough for tomorrow’s experiments. But I wondered if I should do it more. I could feel how healthy I was becoming. Could I accidentally regress myself back to childhood? Would I reach the point of diminishing returns? Would I be discovered and locked away to be studied like a lab rat?

My sudden anxiety washed away in a small pulse of healing heat from deep inside. The small remnant of energy that my body had stored instead of using left me feeling comforted. My new power whispered with intuition, my body knows what I want, or at least could be directed, within the powers limits. I would have to discover those limits, but I didn’t need to worry. I might also need a new, younger, identity.

 

Chapter 2

Day four began with a spry tumble out of bed. I had energy that I hadn’t felt in decades. This was a Monday to get things done.

The mailman slid my letters through the door slot just as I put my oatmeal bowl in the sink to soak. The electricians bill, $375 for a 1 hour minimum house call to replace an electrical plug, was the only item of note. The electrician noted that the plug had too many items attached, and had caught fire, but had fortunately melted itself to inoperability. The tenant had reset the breaker several times only to finally discover that plug had stopped working, and stopped flipping the breaker.

Being a landlord stinks sometimes, I should know I’d been one for more than sixty years. The plan for the day would hopefully fix my need to deal with that kind of problem. A shower, a shave, and a nice suit. A good hat, and my aluminum walker cane for the old man visual effect, and I was ready. The Uber picked me up outside the building, and drove me to my money man on the east side of the city.

Paul’s pretty blonde secretary ushered me into his office. He stood and greeted me with a handshake, and gestured me into the big chair.

“Adam, you are looking well, how can I help you today?” was the same greeting he’d given me every time I came to his office.

“Paul, I’ve discovered I have a child. He’s in his mid 20s or so, he lives overseas. I want to double check that my trust is well in hand, and that there would be no issue with a potential inheritance.”

Paul’s eyes went wide. “You’re 84, and you have a 20 something year old son? How old is his mom?”

I paused as if thinking. “I’m 86, but the mom would have to be over 40 by now, I hope. Hard to say, the affair didn’t last long, doesn’t matter now. I’m planning on going for a visit, decide whether I like the kid, and if so I’ll be adjusting my will so he inherits something. I just need you to put this last building under property management, so I can leave for an extended period of time.” I replied.

My outrageous tale of a story left him speechless for only a long moment. His eyes blinked and he was all back to business. Paul was as dependable as a man could be. He’d been my money manager for nearly forty years.

“Charmichael Property Management is ready to take over management of your last self managed property at any time. I’m quite happy with the job they’ve done on the rest of your properties, are you satisfied with them still?”

“Yes, he’s done quite well for me. Of course, I taught Gregory Charmichael everything he knows, so he better do just fine. Just make sure that they know to take over paying utilities for my place, and not rent it out. I’m ready to let somebody else handle my utility bills, plus I’ll not be gone too long.”

“That won’t be a problem. Do you know when you’re leaving?”

“Probably a couple weeks. I’ll be seeing the lawyer next about being ready to change my will if I decide I like the kid. Any other business we need to discuss?”

“We had an unsolicited offer on the property you own in the Hamptons. I know you’ve always said you wouldn’t sell it, but I thought I’d mention it just in case.”

I perked up at that, I was very wealthy, but most of my assets weren’t very liquid at the moment. I’d been slowly moving then into long term storage, low risk moderate yield investments, as part of my living trust. I had been preparing my assets to serve as the principal for a number of long term endowments upon my death.

“How much did they offer?” I asked, wondering how much the property, which might be the last privately owned beachfront acreage in the Hamptons, was worth.

“Four point five million.” He said. “Per acre.”

I’d held on to that parcel for more than sixty years. A rare, for me, gambling win, I’d held on to it with no real idea of what to do with it. The thing about land, especially beachfront, they rarely make more of it.

“Go ahead and sell it.” I told him doing the math. Seven acres, 31.5 million. Enough liquidity for a second lifetime. “I’d like closing in two weeks or less.”

“Understood.” He said, nodding in agreement. As my agent he’d make a nice cut, and he would be retiring soon anyway. It would make a nice parting gift. I started to tell him to consider his cut a retirement present, but changed my mind. I could do better than that. Paul had been a trusted friend for decades, after all.

He shook my hand, and walked me out. I caught a second Uber to the lawyers office. I could have easily afforded something more than the little Prius that picked me up, but I didn’t get rich wasting money. It also kept me low key in my neighborhood. Anonymity is often better, and cheaper, than big expensive security.

The lawyer’s office was great. A few years ago I had convinced the firm to set up a video monitoring system to try to identify every person who walked in before they reached the receptionist desk. What began as a guy watching video monitors with a pin up board with the biggest clients pictures and names had become a sophisticated face recognition system, a team of associates ready to respond at a moment’s notice, and a secondary team ready to research, and then communicate thru earbuds, pertinent details about the new and old clients to come thru the door.

The result had been a huge uptick in business as they became known for associates always knowing who you were, and having the right service you needed. The welcome I got was the usual warm welcome, but I didn’t expect the greeter.

“Mr Barkley! So nice of you to visit us again, can I offer you some refreshments while you explain what we can do for you today?” came the voice from the attractive woman who stepped through the door behind the receptionist. She waved to her left, and directed me thru the doors to one of the small, intimate, and comfortable conference rooms.

The coffee and a few pastries they know I’m partial to arrived moments after we sat down. The woman gave me a dazzling smile, as I sipped at the magnificent coffee, already fixed the way I like.

“Thank you for seeing me.”

“Please, it’s always a pleasure to serve our first client.”

“Thank you for not calling me the oldest client.”

She chuckled lightly at my joke, but she waited for me to continue.

“There was a time when I was Uncle Adam, and you were little Becky.” she chuckled again, but there was a slight blush on her nearly forty year old face.

“Uncle Adam it is, if you are willing to call me Rebecca.” she replied.

“Rebecca it is. I’m glad you are the one seeing me today, because I’d like to keep this, in the family, as it were. I’ve discovered I have a son. He’s young, mid 20s. I’ve had a private detective research the claim, and even had a DNA test done. The picture I have would make it obvious regardless, he looks just like I did at his age.”

“And how would you like us to help?”

“I’m going to travel overseas to meet him. If I like him, I’ll be making him my heir. Depending on how much I like him, It might be anything from a few grand a month to everything. I’ll probably want to set him up with an income immediately either way, so be ready for that too. I’d like you to have the paperwork ready for any alternative.”

“We would be happy to take care of that for you. What is your son’s name?”

“That’s the other reason I’m here. I’ve learned that when he was younger he got in some trouble. I’ve made arrangements for his trouble, and records of said trouble, to disappear, but because he doesn’t have my last name, I’d like to arrange a name change for him as well.”

I took a breath, hoping I could sell the bullshit I was shoveling, “I would like to give him, regardless if I like him or not, a fresh start under the family name. He is the last of us Barkley’s, you see.” I explained.

Her smile brightened, “It would be our pleasure to take care of this for you. You said overseas, could you be a bit more specific?”

“Europe. I intend to travel there in two weeks. I’ll need to know where to bring him for the identity adjustment, to let him enter the United States as a Barkley, a citizen, and my son.”

“It will take some research, but I’m certain it can all be arranged before you leave. I can have the paperwork drawn up for both options, and ready by this time next week. A phone call to myself will be sufficient for us to file the proper paperwork for your will, and to set up any disbursement method you might choose.” she stated, and handed me her card, which I slipped into a pocket.

I finished my coffee, finished the pastry I had picked out, and stood, carefully using my cane. She reached out a hand for a shake, and walked me out to the front door. We chatted as she walked me to the car, “You’ve grown into an amazing woman Rebecca, if your father doesn’t make you a partner in a couple years, come see me, and I’ll set you up just like I did him.”

Her smile crinkled, “Thank you, Uncle Adam. Moms already told him that she’ll vote me in as a partner at the next quarterly meeting if he doesn’t do it himself. She’s also been threatening to remove him as managing partner if he doesn’t start slowing down a little.”

“I’m sure that’s enough of a threat to get whatever Margaret wants, she was always the smarter of the two of them. I’ll talk to you in a few weeks.” I told her as I shut the door. She stood on the sidewalk watching me be driven away.

The Uber dropped me off at the park, where a slow amble brought me to my usual diner for a later than usual lunch. After lunch I walked around the corner to find a nervous black woman, who I recognized as the tenant from apartment 4, and a semi sullen teen waiting by my door.

“Mr Barkley. I’ve brought Thomas to apologize to you for damaging your building.”

“Ms Diaz, will you be reimbursing me for the $375 charge from the electrician?” I asked.

“In addition to his apology, I’ve brought Thomas here to see if he can work off the bill.”

I turned and looked at Thomas. He looked mid to late teens, with a shy smile. He gulped nervously.

“I’m very sorry Mr Barkley. I’d like to pay for the bill, but I don’t have a job, so mom thought I could work for you directly until it was paid off.” he said in a rush.

“Ms Diaz, thank you for bringing the young man down. If you can spare him, I’d like to talk to him about the situation personally.”

“Certainly Mr Barkley.” she said to me, then turned on her son. “You will be on your best behavior. You will answer every question with respect. You will come to an agreement to pay that bill. If you should come home without a written agreement I will sell every single electronic doodad in your room.”

“Yes mom.” he replied.

I opened the door, and walked in, Thomas followed. I went to the fridge and turned to the boy.

“Soda pop, Thomas? I have Sprite.”

“No thank you, sir.” he said, standing just inside the open door.

“Come in and shut the door Thomas before the cat gets out.” He quickly did so, looking around to see if he could spot the cat.

“Now have a seat on the couch.” I directed.

He sat as directed, and I sat on the recliner I don’t use for TV, facing him. I let my hands rest on the cane standing between my feet, using it as a prop for my arms as I examined him. Half black, half Puerto Rican, he was a good looking kid. He was dressed nicely, but not expensively. He was taller than me, but I was barely five foot tall these days. He was thin, but soft looking.

“How old are you Thomas?”

“I’ll be 18 in May, sir.” he paused, “I’m very sorry for causing so much trouble, sir.”

“Just what was the trouble Thomas?”

“My grandma sent me cash for my birthday, and I used it to finish building my beowulf cluster. I just had too much plugged in when I was stress testing it.”

My eyebrows rose, “How many nodes in the cluster were you running?” I asked.

“Sixteen sir.” he answered.

“What kind of machine was each node?”

“It’s a mix, I get them from pawn shops, and occasionally dumpsters. I fix them. They’re all less than two years old, and all Intel I5’s or better.” he said with some pride.

“Was this just for the fun of it, or do you have an actual need for that much processing power?” I asked.

“I’m teaching an AI to play Xbox.” he paused a moment, probably wondering if I had understood his jargon. Then added, “Sir.”

“Interesting, have you graduated from high school?” I asked, changing the subject.

“This is my senior year. But I’m going to college. I want to get a degree in artificial intelligence.”

“Have you been accepted anywhere yet?”

“I have, but mom says they are too expensive, so I’m applying for assistance, and scholarships.”

“A good university education in the sciences can greatly increase one’s earning power in life.” I told him, “It’s great you already know what sort of degree you are looking for.

“Now let’s address the bill. I’m going on vacation in a couple weeks, I’ll be gone at least 2 weeks, probably much longer. I’ll pay you $50 a week for the feed and care of Camellia.”

Camellia leapt onto the back of the couch as I mentioned her name, startling Thomas. I grinned at her introduction.

“A scoop of kibble and a fresh bowl of water every morning, a can of food every evening. Clean her litter box at each feeding. If I return before you’ve paid your debt, I’ll find additional activities for you, perhaps cleaning windows, or clearing snow. If you prove to be a good worker, I can continue to find jobs for you to do. Should my vacation continue beyond eight weeks, I’ll pay you directly for your work.”

I showed him where everything was, and wrote out an agreement. With us both signing it, he took a picture of it to show his mother, and I handed him a key. He gave me his cell phone number, so I could contact him about further details to my travel plans. We ended with a handshake at the door.

The handshake was a revelation. From deep inside, but somehow not actually in me, I could feel a small trickle of heat wanting to rush down my arm and into Thomas. It didn’t, simply because there wasn’t enough heat stored inside to do anything. I directed my attention at Thomas, and could feel cold spots all across his body. The handshake finished, and I shut the door. I wondered what exactly had happened to the poor boy.

With that bit of work completed, I called the electrician and asked what it would cost to bring in power sufficient to run 16 computers to Thomas’s bedroom. The electrician felt he could bring power in from a new meter at the roof connection, and bring it down the back wall, and into the room. I gave him the go ahead, and called Ms Diaz.

“Ms Diaz, thank you for introducing me to your boy. I was quite impressed by his intelligence.”

“Thank you Mr Barkley. Thomas showed me the agreement you came to, I assure you he won’t disappoint you.”

“I’m sure he won’t, but I have a minor request, please keep an eye on my house key for him.”

“Yes, Mr Barkley. I’ll put it on a ring and hang it in the kitchen. I’ll make sure Thomas doesn’t lose it.”

“Good. Now, Thomas explained what caused the problem in the first place.”

“That boy is always playing with his computers.” she said heatedly.

“Yes, I was quite impressed with his description and ingenuity to build something so complex. I’m not sure if you are aware, but what he is experimenting with uses quite a bit of electricity.”

“I’ll have a talk with him and have him take it apart immediately!” she began.

“Actually Ms Diaz, I’m quite interested in what he might be able to create. I’ve made arrangements for sufficient power to be brought to his room, at my own expense. Creativity like this should be rewarded in young people, so few these days do little more than just use the technology around us. You should be quite proud of Thomas, and his drive to explore the boundaries of what’s possible.”

There was a telling silence, as she digested my words. “You don’t think he’s just playing around, wasting his time?” she asked.

“I could be wrong but I don’t think so. Please do have him discontinue his experiments until the power supply is upgraded. I’d like to check his work out before I leave on vacation. Perhaps sometime next week?”

“Whenever you would like, Mr Barkley.” she replied.

“Very good, I’ll contact you next week. Have a good day Ms Diaz.”

I hung up the phone, and wandered into the kitchen. I pulled out my melted metal sculpture from a cabinet, and all but a single fork, spoon, and knife from the drawer. I dumped the rest of the flatware onto the table. Camellia leapt to the table to watch.

I picked up a group of six forks, nestled together in one hand, and contemplated. As if turning liquid they flowed down into the plate, piling up as they solidified like a melted metal candle. The heat, almost a fire, moved from my hand. I felt it start to disburse into my skeleton, but I wasn’t quite ready for that. I concentrated and tried to focus it towards that space deep inside me, the space where the heat had been stored when I had shook Thomas’s hand. The heat moved to that spot, it was in the very center of my being, but it was just outside me in some unidentifiable direction at the same time.

After the hot burning heat flowed into that spot, and settled, I could feel it there, waiting, ready to respond. I reached with a hand to pet Camellia, and willed some heat into her. The response was dramatic.

I could feel a connection, and she turned her eyes to look at me, knowing I was doing something. She had cold spots throughout her body. I could sense where she had been fixed, so I directed heat to all her cold spots except that one.

The heat flowed, and she relaxed into an instant nap on the table. At first I was worried I’d hurt her, but the rumble of a purr assured me she was ok. I released my hand, but could still feel her even from a distance. I closed my eyes, and I could sense that a part of me was connected to her still. I wondered how long it would last.

As she slept, I took the remaining 11 forks in my hand and contemplated. The intense heat entered me, and swept into my storage space. I did the experiment six more times, with ever increasing amounts of metal. The ninth attempt didn’t work.

The energy deep inside me was quiescent, but I could feel a potential to it, an eagerness to go and do. I could sense my own insides now. The energy wanted to make me young, much as I had vaguely sensed from the beginning. Now it was a clear call, the energy wanted to wash away all the age, fatigue, and poisons in my body.

I could see myself in my mind’s eye. Mid twenties, dark hair, taller than I had ever been as a young man, and muscled. Not like a bodybuilder with giant massive muscles, but like a man who knew how to work, and so worked hard. I could sense my various parts and systems. I could see how the energy wanted to make me quicker, stronger, more robust and resilient.

It took great will power, to hold it back and deny it’s immediate wish. I assured myself it was a necessary sacrifice, but that someday soon I would set the power loose in my own body.

 

Chapter 3

I awoke so refreshed that I almost thought I was still dreaming. I could feel the power deep inside me still, but something had changed. The amount of power I held hadn’t changed, but it’s container was larger. After breakfast the mailman knocked. My Amazon order had arrived.

I had ordered a new 65 piece set of flatware to replace the two 40 piece settings I had mangled in my energy experiments. I also had ordered a dozen sets of steel plates. Each set was a 3 pack of 6 x 6 x ¼ inch hot rolled steel. Each weighed about 2.5 pounds each. The mailman left the packages at the door, and just stood there, daring me to pick it up.

I smiled, thanked him, and opened the coat closet, where I pulled out a folding dolly and unfolded it. Then I glanced up at the mailman.

“Morning Charlie, mind setting those boxes on the dolly for me?”

He looked doubtful that he wanted to pick them up again, but nodded, and stacked them up on the dolly. I handed him a $20 bill, and wished him a good day. He smiled as he climbed the three steps to street level.

With his back turned, I easily wheeled the dolly out of the way, and shut the door, flipping the lock. The remainder of the flatware from the two old, mostly complete, and almost matching sets went onto the kitchen table. It’s not that I’d ever needed 16 place settings at once, but had soon discovered a single 8 person place setting was insufficient to get me through a single week, running the dishwasher only once.

My new 12 person set went into the dishwasher after coming out of the package. A quick clean of the silverware caddy in the drawer since it was empty, then I decided to stick it in the dishwasher also. I pulled an old unused aluminum pan out of the pantry, one of those large ones you are supposed to use only once, but to cook a turkey in. I had only tried cooking a turkey a single time, but the pans had come in a 2 pack.

Standing at the table, and holding the plate covered in congealed metallic dust over the pan, I contemplated it. And yes, I giggled to myself about contemplating a plate of contemplated table wear over a table.

The plate, the mound of metal, all of it dropped into the pan as a fine dust. You would think the impact of it falling would have caused the presumably atomic sized dust to puff up into the air, but the material was so desperate to reconnect its many bonds that it simply stuck where it landed.

The energy release was huge, and I felt the burning heat drain away into the storage hole I felt deep inside. The storage space didn’t feel anywhere near capacity. I quickly went through the metal plates nine times, to verify that my ability had increased beyond yesterday’s limit of eight. I wanted to do more experiments, and sitting at home wasn’t going to cut it.

The Uber dropped me off at the beach, where I meandered past pillar barriers, and down a rocky path to a rough sandy beach. I ignored the seagulls, and the trash. I had first contemplated trying this in my bathtub, but then remembered that water broke down into oxygen and hydrogen, and that probably wasn’t a good combination in an enclosed space.

I stepped to the oceans edge, and stuck a hand into it and contemplated the molecular forces involved. The rush of intense heat into my body knocked me back onto my butt. The wave that came crashing into the space left behind as the water turned to monomolecular gas, crashed over me in a miniaturized and localized tsunami. I was soaked and stoked in equal measure.

I sputtered for a bit, laying on my back, trying to get a grip on the fire burning through my body. I could sense myself down to the tiniest cells. The fire was leaving me cosmetically unchanged, as I desired, but it had slipped past my control and was refurbishing every cell in my body. It was both pain and ecstacy in equal measure, and I closed my eyes tight as my optic nerve exploded in the light of cellular renewal, and every muscle twitched in pain as every nerve in my body was reborn.

I awoke about thirty minutes later to a voice calling out, “Hey buddy are you ok?”

I raised an arm, and coughed. “I’m alive, just soaked by a sneaker wave.” I declared.

“Hold on, I’m coming to you.” said the voice.

Firm hands grabbed onto me, and pulled me up into a sitting position. I could see the bearer of the voice now. Young guy, maybe about 45. He was wearing torn jeans, a couple of button up shirts, and smelled of alcohol. I couldn’t assume homeless, but I wouldn’t have been surprised either.

“Here, let me help you up.” he said, and rough hands lifted me upright enough to get my legs under me. “There you go buddy.” he continued.

I took stock, and glanced around. This little section of beach was basically abandoned. Caught between a couple industrial buildings, it had little going for it. We were well below street level, and I might hear a car go by, but I wouldn’t see one, nor would one see me. I got suddenly nervous.

I looked the man in the eye, and reached out to shake his hand. “Thank you for the assist.” I told him. He responded with a hand of his own, grabbing mine tightly in a social reflex hammered into all of us.

“What were you trying to do, be Moses?” he asked, missing teeth smiling crookedly.

“I’m older than he was, I guess, just didn’t expect the ocean to react to me quite like that.”

“Must have been 300 yards straight out, the water just vanished, and you fell over. I started to head your way, then the big ass wave soaked you. I could see you moving, so just let you lie there, thinking maybe you didn’t want to be disturbed. I got worried when you went still though, thought maybe you had a heart attack and here I was just watching you twitch.” It all came tumbling out of his mouth in rapid fire excitement.

Still shaking his hand, I could feel the pervasive cold through his body. I could sense his body now almost as well as I could sense my own. I could sense that his vision wasn’t great, but he wouldn’t have to describe me well for someone else to investigate who I was.

“I appreciate the help, can I give you a gift in thanks?” I asked him.

“Aww shucks man, just did what anybody would do.”

“Prepare yourself,” I warned. I let the flow of heat slowly trickle into his body, bringing him the sensation of warmth and peace. I could see the cold places warming up, energized by the energy I slowly let trickle into him. He released my hand suddenly, and stumbled back, falling back into a sitting position, then his bent legs flopping out straight in front of him.

“Dude, what was that? That was bad ass. What was that?” he said feeling the rush fade as the energy spread and was consumed by his body.

“A small gift, a thank you from one man to another. Are you up for a little more before I go?” I asked, reaching out my hand again.

“Hell yes dude!” he said reading a hand out to me.

I grabbed tight on his hand, feeling the effects of the energy in him, and the fierce power locked up inside me. Instinctively, I knew what might be possible, and released it in a torrent of power.

“Oh shit,” he gasped, and his eyes rolled back into his head. I pumped him full of power, watching as teeth grew back, dark hair sprouted from the bald spot on his head, and his body relaxed in total peace. I was rewinding him back to his early teens in body and spirit.

When I was done, I couldn’t help but do one last thing. I pulled out a notebook, and tore off the back page. I jotted a joke,

‘Blessings of the Sea God. -P’

and stuck it in his pocket. I had one more experiment to try, so I bent down and reached between my feet to touch the sand.

I focused, and concentrated on sending all the energy I gathered into my storage. The sand around me for 200 yards in all directions shifted with a poof of released gasses, then settled back lower than before. It took a quick step to pull my shoes free. As the sand resolidified, it became a single rock with only the impression of my shoes in the center, and a light impression of my still sleeping, would be rescuer. It had been a gamble, but I was pretty sure I could focus enough not atomize the guy. Worse come to worse, the now very young man would have become a small lump in the new rock that made up this beach.

I concentrated on the wetness and sand on my clothes, and shook myself like a wet dog might. The atomized water and sand were flung away from my clothes. Feeling more myself, and less worried about getting a ride I headed away from the water.

My fortunately water resistant phone ordered an Uber, and it arrived just after I reached the parking area. I had it take me to a nice place uptown for lunch. I felt like celebrating, and I was starving.

I probably ate enough for three people, but the energy in my body was demanding raw resources. A Google search told me what foods were high in calcium and other minerals my body’s rebuilding process had demanded. What it had stolen and scavenged had to be replaced.

I noticed how blurry my vision was while trying to read the menu. Right up until I removed my glasses. I pocketed them, with no plans to put them back on for the first time in fifty years. Reluctantly after lunch I went to a local eyeglass store where I bought a similar pair of frames with clear non prescriptive lenses.

The salesman wanted me to buy lenses for the frames, but finally relented when I told him, “I don’t need glasses anymore. I had laser eye surgery.” I waved my old prescription glasses at him, “My friends know I’ve worn glasses for forty years, I plan on playing a trick on them.”

“Well in that case, can we have your old glasses?” he asked, surprising me. “We take donated old glasses and match then up with needy people who use the same prescription.”

“Yeah no problem.” I told him.

“It will also give you a five percent discount on those frames.” he said with a grin.

“Sounds even better,” I said, laying the old glasses on the counter.

When I got home Camellia was sitting in front of the door waiting for me. I could sense her presence even before opening the door, she was very hungry. I felt bad, so I gave her 2 cans of her favorite. She curled up in my lap as I watched the evening news, having forgiven me. As I stroked her soft fur, I wondered if I could increase her intelligence.

The fire deep inside me woke, and I could sense it was able to make many changes, all guided by my imagination. I declined it’s offer, deciding that smarter doesn’t necessarily mean happier. As I thought about what she would like most, I got a clear picture of her lapping water from the bathroom faucet.

I pulled out my phone, and searched Amazon. I found it quickly, a cat watering fountain. I ordered it for her, as payment and apology for experimenting on her. I then let my power explore her body, increasing her strength and health. I also adjusted her fur so she would rarely ever shed.

The rest of the week was much the same. I found an old abandoned parking lot that I used my power on. The old concrete had been cracked, now it was a resolidified expanse, harder than it had been. I also discovered that my circle of effect was growing by a few inches each time I exercised my power. My internal storage never came near feeling full. No matter the level of fullness at the end of the day, at the beginning of each day I’d find that the capacity had more than doubled.

 

Chapter 4

My upper class ticket was booked, JFK to Amsterdam, first Monday in November. I’d not flown Virgin Atlantic before, but they offered a non stop flight the day I wanted to leave. I had pulled my luggage out of the storage closet, and was getting it ready. I had a week, but the bags had been musty. I experimented using my power to dispose of everything but the luggage, and that fixed the musty smell.

My control had been improving, such that I had created hand and foot prints on a couple of my steel plates, before completely transforming them. Charlie had delivered several more packages of steel plates, and each day I cycled through them morning and evening absorbing more power. My degree of control was so fine that I could atomize the steel right out of an aluminum pan, into another one, without damaging either.

The physical changes also were astounding. I moved with an ease and freedom that exceeded all memories. My strength made lifting hundreds of pounds of steel in one outstretched hand a trifling effort, as I routinely poured it from one container to another. My hair was thicker, and my skin tougher. I could slash at my arm with a knife and it wouldn’t cut. Only the wrinkles and sagging skin remained as my exterior camouflage of age.

My ability to detect the health of others improved to where I could identify health problems from just a few feet away. I also began to be able to broadcast healing energy from that distance. It wasn’t enough for miraculous cures, but it was enough to engender a sense of happy well being. Everywhere I went, I left happy, energetic people behind.

It was Tuesday that I got a text from Thomas asking if I wanted to see his new beowulf cluster now that it was all hooked up to the new power supply. After lunch I knocked on the door at his apartment, after running up two flights of stairs because no one was watching. And because I could.

“Mr Barkley, come in please.” invited Ms Diaz.

“Thank you.” I said entering the apartment.

“Mr Barkley, thank you so much! It’s running so great, you have to come see it!” Thomas greeted excitedly.

“Lead the way.” I offered.

“Would you like a drink Mr Barkley?”

“No thank you, Ms Diaz.” I replied, as I followed the puppy like exuberance of Thomas down a short hallway.

The bedroom door had several signs, including ‘mad science do not enter’ and the obligatory ‘Thomas’s room’. I noticed the bedroom across the hall had similar but girly signs from Thomas’s sister.

Entering the room I was taken aback. It had obviously been cleaned in expectation of my arrival, even the bed was neatly made with presumably fresh sheets. The window that overlooked the back yard was open, and a cool breeze battled with the heat from twenty mid tower computers standing on a steel shelving unit six feet high. A laptop sat on a desk, next to the twin bed, but a 32 inch tv hung over the bed.

“My cluster is there. I have 16 nodes, plus the control system, and the Xbox interface. The other 2 computers are just spares for now.” Thomas explained, gesturing, “the Xbox controllers and video output are wired into that computer, and the controllers plug into it. The AI uses that machine to monitor my inputs when I play in teaching mode, and to control the Xbox when she plays herself.” He said, pointing at a beanbag chair where a single controller lay.

He gestured up at the screen, “Right now she’s in learning mode. She’s playing Forza Racing.”

I was impressed. The on screen car, recognizable as a Ferrari, was driving at what seemed to be top speed as it made its way up some mountainside highway. Barely slowing as it made hairpin turns, never quite making contact with guardrails.

“Can she race you?”

“Oh yeah, we can do a two player battle. She’s good, much better than I am. I’ve been having her race others online. She’s not at the top of the rankings yet, but she will get there.”

“I’m genuinely impressed, Thomas. So what have you named her?” I asked, gesturing at the cluster.

“I wanted to call her Monica, because she really sucked in the beginning, but mom didn’t think that was funny. Now I just call her Bee, short for Beowulf.”

I smiled at his joke. “What other games can she play?”

“She has trouble with story driven games, because she doesn’t understand the story enough to make sense of changing challenges and gameplay. She can copy my play, and much faster than I do, but can’t quite figure the why of it.

“She’s great at first person shooters, though recognizing not to fire at non combatants was a tough learning challenge. Before the recent upgrade there were just four machines in the cluster. Now that I’ve got 16 she’s starting to get the hang of Stardew Valley.”

“What kind of game is that?”

“It’s a farming game. You do other stuff too, but now she has the processing power to figure out the rewards system. She’s doing pretty good figuring out how to maximize profits. I had to add an ocr package so she could read the numbers on the screen to see what things cost, how much she had, and what the profit was.”

He gestured at the laptop, “That’s my coding machine. I use it to edit and write code, and increase her abilities. I’ve been working on it for several years. The original version just recorded my game play, and replayed it at higher speed. The idea I had was to break speed records using my recorded play, it just grew from there.” he shrugged, in that I’m not bragging, it’s just the way it is manner.

I couldn’t hold the smile from my face. “Thomas, you’re obviously very smart. I’ve never seen anything like this, or heard of anything like this before either. Figure out which college you want most, and I’ll see what I can do to help with scholarships. Genius like this needs support!”

“I have acceptance letters for Carnegie Mellon and MIT. Both are top schools for AI. Mom wants me to go to Columbia because it’s so much closer.”

“What about your dad?”

“I don’t know, we don’t see him now that he doesn’t live here anymore.” he said, seeming happy with that.

“Well let me know what you decide. I’ll be reachable by text while I’m in Europe next week. Excellent job on all this, keep up the good work.” I said reaching out my hand.

He shook it firmly, and I passed healing energy into him without his notice. He didn’t have large problems, now that I could sense more, it was just the finely distributed damage of drunken beatings since early childhood. Mr Diaz, wherever he was, was not welcome here anymore. As landlord, Ms Diaz had kindly informed me of the restraining order. Now I understood why.

I said goodbye to Ms Diaz on her way out, and complimented her again in raising such a fine son. She nearly blushed.

Just as I reached the bottom of the stairs, Rebecca called. I let it go to voicemail, and called her back when I got to the privacy of my own apartment.

“Uncle Adam!” she greeted.

“Rebecca, how are you my dear.”

“I’m very well. How are you?”

“I’m good, been getting packed for my trip. Did you know that they charge you for every bag you bring?”

“Yes, I guess you haven’t flown in a while?”

“At least a decade. I’m looking forward to this trip.”

“Well I hope you enjoy it no matter what happens. The paperwork changes are complete, we will just need you to tell us the direction and numbers you wish to use. As far as the identity issue, we have made arrangements with the American Consulate in Zurich Switzerland. A friend of the firm there can help with the documentation and identity correction, as requested.”

“Excellent! I’ll be flying to Amsterdam Monday evening. It will probably be the week after that we can go to Switzerland. Not sure if we will drive, or take the train, just email me the location and contact information. Do I need to tell you what day I’ll bring him?”

“A couple days notice is sufficient. Is there anything else you need Uncle Adam?”

“I believe that is all that is required at this time, I’ll call if I think of anything else.”

We said goodbye, and I sat back satisfied that my plan for an identity change to go with my change in apparent age was complete. Camellia crawled up into my lap, to show her demand for affection.

On Friday, I was sitting on my favorite park bench when Paul called me to let me know that the property sale would close Monday, and asked if I could come in and sign papers Monday morning. I agreed, mentioning I’d plan on leaving the funds in escrow until I could transfer them to a bank in Europe during my vacation.

Paul assured me that would be fine, and he would calculate the tax from the sale so he could transfer all but that to the new account. I agreed that would be best, and went back to studying myself, and the world around me in the morning sunlight.

I could sense more than just biology now. When I touched an object I could feel the atoms inside it, their shape, size, and way they connected to each other. I was brimming with so much power internally, that it felt like I could reconstitute myself from a pile of ashes if necessary. Now I practiced just to increase the number of times I could exercise my power in a day.

I had discovered that if I didn’t exceed the previous daily limit, it wouldn’t be doubled the following day. Holding a rock in my hand, I exercised my power on a single atom at a time. It was deep concentration and contemplation as I focused only on the silicon and oxygen bonds of the silica in the rock.

If I didn’t use my power at least 4097 times today, which was 1 more than the previous day’s limit, I wouldn’t be able to grow my power from today’s limit of 8192 to tomorrow’s 16,384. Even exercising the power 5 times a second, the fastest I could manage, meant that I would likely reach a physical limit. 18,000 times an hour, left a theoretical limit of 432,000 at my fastest speed if I worked constantly for 24 hours. That was enough to jump me from a limit of 2^19 in a bit over 14 and a half hours, but was insufficient to jump past the 2^20 of the following day. I’d either have to get much faster, or something else would have to change. Either way, a good part of my early vacation was going to be spent on exercising my way past a million uses per day.

By the time lunch rolled around, I had made no significant change to the rock, but it was now missing several thousand oxygen atoms. I tossed it back beside the bench and began a slow stroll. My senses spread out around me as I felt the resonating vitality of the trees and animals around me. I could sense the calcium, silicon, aluminum, iron, oxygen, and hydrogen in the concrete beneath my feet.

I could also sense the guy nervously holding a gun, standing behind the trees. I carried on just past him, pretending I didn’t notice. I’d been mugged before, just never in this park. I felt the sharp jab of the gun in my back, before he said anything.

“Give me your money and your phone.”

I put my hands out, but not up, still holding my cane. “Anything you want, my life is worth more to me than my wallet.” I replied.

“You better.” he said, digging the gun in deeper.

I released a relaxing energy, feeding him calm, as my power examined the gun. It didn’t even have bullets in it. I faked a stumble with the third jab, “Oww! I’m old, give me a second.” I told him.

I turned to him, saying, “I’ll give you everything, just don’t hurt me. Do we have a deal?” I asked, reaching out for a hand shake.

He jabbed the gun into my chest, “No deal if you don’t hurry.”

My hand rested briefly on his, and my power surged. Every bit of him dissolved into a small pile of minerals. The gasses, primarily nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen puffed out. Only the gun remained in my left hand, as I had snatched it from falling. I slipped it into my jacket pocket, grabbed my walker cane, and moved onto the diner for lunch.

I stepped up to two officers who were regulars at my diner, and paused waiting for their attention.

With the kind of smile only wrinkled grandfather’s give I spoke up, “Excuse me officers. I found a gun in the park across the street. Can I give it to you?”

Both officer’s hands immediately moved to their firearms at the word gun. I turned a little, “It’s in my jacket pocket if you’d like to get it, it’s not loaded.” I told them.

There was a brief glance between them, and the nearer officer reached in and pulled it out. The conversation quickly delved into the details. Who I was, for which I had to show ID, where I lived, where I found the gun, etc. Eventually I was allowed to eat lunch, after a brief, thank you. I came away feeling as if they believed picking up the gun was the wrong thing to do. I didn’t mention the criminal, I’m sure they wouldn’t have liked that either.

 

Chapter 5

The visit to sign papers on Monday was a quick trip. I ate at a nice restaurant around the corner from Paul’s office, then took an Uber back home. The instructions for Thomas were on the table, his mother had a backup copy just in case. I had walked him through the process, and made sure he understood he would be responsible for putting the garbage can out on Sunday.

Camellia seemed to understand I would be leaving, and was pouting about not getting to go. At 3 the airline provided service arrived, packed up my bag and carry on, and drove me to the airport. I was momentarily stunned to find myself through security so quickly.

The special lounge provided a nice snack, a fizzy concoction with berries, and a relaxing space to enjoy waiting for a plane flight. I’ve flown for more than 60 years, but since the days of TWA it’s just become ever more tedious. This was, a revelation. I quickly decided I didn’t want to ever travel any other way.

When it was time to board, we upper class passengers were escorted to the gate, and allowed on first. Then we waited for the rest of the place to get packed to the gills. I reclined back enjoying my space all to myself. No fat guy squished in next to me, no having to get up and let somebody in next to me. I just sat and looked out the window, and played with the screen that showed the view out the back.

I hadn’t flown in more than 20 years. My last flight was before 9/11, and the stories of the horrors of aviation afterwards helped me decide it really wasn’t necessary. By that time I was getting ready to mostly retire.

The little manual explained how when I asked for turn down service, my chair would unfold into a bed. This was likely to be the best cross Atlantic flight I’d ever been on. I smiled, I couldn’t help it, I was excited.

Just after the flight took off, they served dinner. It was good, airplane food, but the best airplane food I’d ever had. Then I requested the turn down service. The bed was decent. I was still short enough that it was plenty long, but I could see booking the seats at the front of the plane next time to reduce the number of people walking past, and bumping into my feet.

A five hour nap, and then it was time to get up for breakfast. I picked the scrambled eggs and bacon. Then we were landing. Being upper class, we got to exit, and get our luggage first. I stepped out to check my phone, and found a text from the hotel directing me to where they were waiting for my arrival.

At the curb, a liveried driver held a sign, ‘Mr Barkley’. I could tell that the little old white guy was not the Barkley the onlookers were hoping for. The driver took my bags, and I got to enjoy the sights during the 30 minute drive to the hotel.

The Sir Adam Hotel. I admit, I noticed it because it shared my name, but it’s rating, and offers of personalized services sold me on the hotel. I had a very nice room, so I simply went back to sleep.

I awoke well before noon, but was hungry so I went up to the roof for lunch. They served a delicious burger, which I inhaled. The scenery, the fresh air, it was a delight. I went for a nice long walk, then back up to my room, where I took out my practice rock. A couple hours later it was time for dinner.

I went to bed right after dinner to get myself used to the time change, but wasn’t really feeling any effects. It seems that my internal power source was quite able to adjust my body’s rhythms for me.

I awoke early, and began practicing my power with my rock. Today my limit had reached 524,288 uses or as I kept it in my head, 512mb. To break a million I needed to practice 262,145 times, or 256mb, plus one. My max speed was about 18,000 uses an hour, so I was looking at well a bit more than 14.56 hours of use.

Breakfast came to the room, food was my only pause. Then lunch, then dinner. Finally at 10:30 that evening I reached the goal for the day. I sensed it immediately. My power had changed, but I couldn’t quite tell how. I was too tired to worry about it.

In the morning I had a better understanding of some of that change. I could now sense the atomic particles in a deeper way than I could previously. They were so beautiful. I could also sense an internal counter. At almost 530AM it was 1,068,016. I used the power to split an o2 molecule in the air. It dropped to 1,068,015. Then a moment later it went back up. And up. And up. It seemed to keep increasing about once every second, whether I used it or not.

Fascinating, but after the stress of yesterday it was time for fun. Amsterdam is known for several things, sex and weed included. The weed didn’t interest me, I could intuitively tell that it would have little to no effect on my energized body. That made it not worth the money. Sex on the other hand, that I could appreciate. Plus, I had all day.

My personal concierge described the options, and he then proceeded to accompany me to a local house of prostitution. This was the kind of full service care that prompted booking this hotel, despite the music memorabilia.

The hotel driver brought the two of us to a very nice place. I perused the posted prices, and stable of available ladies, then made an offer. I agreed to pay $2000 dollars US, per hour, per person, plus $1000 for each orgasm I experienced, ending when I was either satisfied, or could not continue.

My proposal was agreed upon, after I handed over my Amex Black. I had received this card just in preparation of this trip. From new luggage, to new clothes, the plane flight, and the hotel I had yet to rack up even 10k in charges yet. Today would hopefully blow that out of the water.

I picked out a red, a brunette, and a blonde. Then I headed upstairs, to a large clean fresh room with a bigger than King size bed, a huge walk in shower, and a small dining table. They brought in a small gong, so they could hit it each time I came. A playful addition I approved of immediately.

First, they stripped me, then they playful removed the little clothing they were wearing. I requested a three person blowjob to begin, a fantasy that I had never fulfilled. Their hands stroked up and down my body, as their mouths engaged in a three way kiss around my very hard cock. The three sets of eyes stared into mine, as I lay on the bed, head propped up on a pillow, watching and enjoying.

Red caught my explosive cum, and I filled the ladies with my healing power. I instructed red to ring the gong so she passed over to it. All the while, I was pushing power into them, exciting and energizing the three young ladies. I also brought myself back to full erect hardness. I asked who was up to riding, and watched as blondie and the brunette mock fought over me.

Blondie won, so brunette played with her tits, while red returned to licking my balls. After blondie got to ring the bell, I put red on her hands and knees and plowed her from behind. Blondie cuddled me from behind, running her hands over my chest, while the brunette slid under red to lick us both where we were joined.

After red rang the bell, I next did the brunette missionary style, while the other two stroked our bodies. Three pairs of breasts pressed against you are just as fantastic as it sounds. With brunette finally able to ring the bell, I was down 4k in orgasms, and 12k in time served. I wasn’t anywhere near done, so rang the bell 3 more times, one with each in a new position. Then we broke for lunch. I had spent 25k total, so they included a catered lunch for the four of us.

I asked them first if they needed to swap out with anyone after lunch, but they declined. Red said she had one hole left for around the world. The thought of her pert butt had me hard again. Blondie declared she was behind, so began to blow me while I ate. She rang the gong, after showing me she swallowed like a good girl should, brunette gave me another, as lunch still wasn’t finished, and she didn’t like being left out.

Blondie wanted to know how old I was, and what I had taken to allow me to cum 9 times so far. They couldn’t believe I was 86, blondie even got my wallet out to check my ID. I told her, because she didn’t believe me, she would have to go last.

That put a smile on the brunette’s face. After lunch we took a spin through the shower together. Boobs make excellent cleaning tools, if you have the time to be thorough. I was thoroughly scrubbed and hard enough to pound nails by the time the shower finished. They carefully lubed each other after they dried first me, then themselves.

The girls were panting from the power I flooded them with during the shower, so all three climbed into the bed, and presented their delectable butts, from left to right, red, brunette, and blondie. My power relaxed and opened red’s pink butthole. My natural positioning kept siding my dick into her vagina, but I quickly adjusted to the new angle, and pressed firmly into her.

The lube worked, and soon I was pounding as hard as I could against the delightful cushion of her ass. As I came, I pulsed my power into her mind, sending her to dreamland with a massive orgasm. I didn’t let myself go soft, I simply knee stepped to the next ass and repeated.

I did the same, bang till unconscious, trick with the brunette, then repeated with blondie. Just as I was getting close to my third anal delivered orgasm in an hour, I felt blondie reach between us, and somehow slip a lubricated finger into my own butt. I came so hard at the simulation of my prostate that I didn’t remember to overload blondie, but simply collapsed a top her.

Blondie worriedly squirmed out and checked my pulse. When I looked up at her, she said, “I was worried we had killed you!”

I reached for her and pulled her in for a long kiss. “Thank you for caring. Would you mind ringing the bell three more times. That last one was the end for me I think.”

She rang the bell 3 more times, then straightened out her sleeping companions, and cuddled up to me, giving me soft kisses. “I wish I got what they got.” she whispered.

“As you wish,” I said, cupping both of her breasts, feeding power through my hands into her chest and up to her brain. She gasped, shook, and fell asleep.

I looked at the clock. It was nearly 3pm. I picked up the phone by the bedside. “My three companions have fallen asleep. Could you send up a nice girl with really big tits for a goodbye shower?”

She really was nice, and they really were magnificent. After checking on her companions, and verifying they were only sleep, we got in the shower. Once they were soaped up, I couldn’t resist one final titty fuck. She managed to make it a blowjob as well. After the shower, I let her ring the gong, and then we dressed.

She accompanied me downstairs where I signed the receipt, and added an equal sized tip. My guide was waiting for me, and gave me a bit of a disbelieving grin. He heard the original offer, and the final total, and couldn’t seem to comprehend the math, or my accomplishment.

Six hours of debauchery, 102k including tip. Worth every penny.

 

Chapter 6

Friday November 8th began my 4th week of power. My hotel personal assistant spent the day guiding me around the city, doing the fun touristy type things. We went to a couple art museums, restaurants, and visited tourist stops. It really is a beautiful city, but no one vacations in Amsterdam in November, it barely got to 50.

Saturday morning as I exited the hotel room, I discovered blondie standing there nervously waiting for me. “Good morning,” I greeted.

She burst into tears, and reached out to hug me. Sensing no ill intent, I gathered her into my arms, and stepped us out of the hallway, and back into my room, shutting the door. My quiet comforting didn’t seem to lessen the blubbering explanation, in Dutch I assumed as I couldn’t understand a word of it, at all. I directed us to a small couch overlooking the canal out the window.

Finally I said, “My dear, I don’t speak Dutch. My name is Adam, why don’t you start with your name. I’m sorry but all I ever called you was Blondie.”

Her sniffles stopped for a moment. “My name is Nora Jansen. I’m crying because I had my period yesterday.”

Uh! Oh! Went flashing through my mind. I had liberally shared healing energy with these girls, I wondered what I had done.

“That can be very upsetting.” I said, playing the befuddled grandpa role.

“Yes. I thought something terrible had happened. I did not know it was something wonderful!”

“Please tell me what wonderful thing happened.” I coaxed.

“I had my period!” she explained and started crying again.

My ‘there, there’s’ did little to comfort either of us. I handed her a box of tissues, and she began blowing her nose, and wiping at the tears. Even without her makeup she really was a stunningly beautiful woman. I was sure she was under 30, but couldn’t tell by how much. Finally she began again.

“When I was sixteen I had cancer. They had to remove my uterus and ovaries, and I had to do chemotherapy several times. I haven’t had a period since then.”

“I see why it was shocking. What did you do?”

“I went to the hospital. They did echografie, and I have a uterus, and ovaries again!”

“Congratulations!” I told her.

She blinked at me. “I know you did something. You made me come just touching my breasts.”

“What do you intend to do about that?” I asked warily.

“I intend to blow you, or fuck you every day, for the rest of your life.” she said heatedly.

Oh dear. Not what I expected. But, I wasn’t going to be hasty in saying no.

“I expect to live a very long time, do you really mean that?” I asked.

“I know your ID says you are 86, but I don’t believe that. I don’t care, as long as I’m alive, and you are alive, I will take care of you in any way you want. The only thing I ever wanted when I was young was to have babies. You gave me that back, so I’m going to give you as much sex as you want, and hope that you can give me as many babies as I can have.”

“What if I want other women, or to marry someone else. What if I was already married?”

“Doesn’t matter, I already showed you I share well with others.”

“Without getting too hasty about the future, do you have plans for the next couple weeks?”

“I quit my job, and am free however you want me.”

“In that case, let’s go to lunch, we can talk more on the way.” I told her, and she beamed a smile so bright it was blinding.

I picked up the phone, and asked the concierge to arrange lunch with a private table for two at a nearby restaurant. He promised to call back with a time in a few minutes. By the time I hung up the phone, she had my pants unbuttoned and my cock in her mouth, sucking, stroking, and humming all at once. I lasted only minutes, before she swallowed it all.

She tucked me back into my pants, and zipped me back up as I reached for the phone. The concierge said that the car would be ready to take us from the lobby in ten minutes. I thanked him, and hung back up.

I reached for Nora, and tried to kiss her. She turned her face away, but I gently moved it back and gave her a deep appreciative kiss. “If you are willing to swallow, I’m willing to kiss you in appreciation.” I told her.

She snuggled up to me, almost purring in delight. “Concierge said to meet in the lobby in ten minutes. Do you need anything before we go?” I asked.

“Perhaps I’ll freshen up.” she suggested, and stepped into the bathroom. She exited only a couple minutes later. Arm in arm we went down to the lobby, where a driver took us to a restaurant with a private booth.

She made a few recommendations as the menu was not in English, and then ordered for us. I could see where having her would be a help, at least while in Europe.

“I know you speak Dutch and English. Do you speak any other languages?”

“I speak Dutch, German, French, and Italian. Oh, and English of course.” she said proudly.

The waiter brought us appetizers, so I simply interviewed her. She was 24, had graduated college with a degree in communications, and then went to work at the brothel to pay off her college debt. She happily informed me that because of Thursday, she was now debt free.

I explained I would be traveling to Zurich on Monday to deal with some business, and would like to hire her as my assistant/secretary/translator for the next month. I offered to pay her, but she tried to refuse. I insisted, and we settled on 800 euros a week, plus room and board because she would live and eat with me. It was the final condition that got her to accept what otherwise she insisted was too much money.

I enjoyed her company, and the food was delicious. After lunch we returned to the hotel. From there she promised to be back in a few hours so that she could pack for the trip, and let her friends know about her new job. I called the concierge and asked for a standard at will employment contract, and added Nora as a resident of the hotel in my room, with signing privileges.

When she returned with her luggage, the concierge checked her ID, added her to the hotel registry, and gave her a room key. She let herself in, and put her clothes away in the closet. She came and sat next to me as I examined her with my power.

“Let me hold your hand, and just relax. I want to check your healing, and verify everything is really ok.”

She reached out her hand, and snuggled against me. I gave it a light kiss, and held it tight, closing my eyes. My power washed thru her body as I examined it in detail. She was a vibrantly warm and healthy person.

“I notice you are not actually blonde, would you like to be?”

“Whatever you want is fine with me.”

“Hmm.” I replied, feeling my power still moving thru her body, left overs from Thursday still being absorbed. I examined her again in detail, and made a few changes. The hair from her neck down became super fine and the palest blonde. The hair on her head became thick and wavy, with a natural curl, growing out rapidly reaching her mid back. It was a golden blonde that went well with her complexion.

She looked at me in amazement, and I adjusted her nose, making it a tiny bit smaller, and intensifying her blue eyes. Her hands were thin, and delicate, but I strengthened and grew out her nails, making them permanently smooth and glossy. I stood up, and pulled her up as well, and began undressing her.

After removing her shirt and bra, my hands rolled over her nipples, making them pinker, and larger. I tightened her breasts, and made them swell slightly larger. My hands roamed over her arms, making the muscles more defined. I pulled her close, running my hands along her back, increasing her strength to stand up straight without pain. As my hands moved back, her waist narrowed slightly, and her tummy flattened as muscles appeared.

I reached around and unhooked her skirt, letting it pool around her ankles. I started to reach for her underwear, but she resisted. I gave her a look, then remembered her period. I touched her bellybutton, and commanded her body to reabsorb any blood, putting a stop to her period. Then I gently pulled down her underwear, and she stepped out of them. We both ignored the bloody pad. I led her to the bed, where she sat, as I removed her shoes and socks.

Her feet were delicate looking, so I strengthened her muscles and tendons giving her power and flexibility. My hands roamed up her legs, increasing strength and muscle mass. Her calves enlarged slightly, as did her upper leg muscles, as fat disappeared. I went to my knees cupping the back of a rather perfect butt.

She rolled onto her back, raising her knees and butt off the bed in preparation. I caressed the soft flesh, enjoying its feel, but firming the muscles underneath. Her rosebud faded to the same pink as her nipples, and her engorged sex grew as I enlarged her outer petals, and clitoris. I took a deep breath, and adjusted her scent to have less tang.

Then I stood, reached to her taking her hand, and pulled her to her feet. “Go shower, and look at my changes in the bathroom mirrors. If there is anything else you would like, let me know when you return.”

“My period?” she asked.

“Done for now, it’ll only be 1 day long from now on. You’ll never have cramps or pms again.”

She ran to the bathroom, and I could hear her gasp in wonder. I heard the toilet flush, then the shower start. I gathered her clothes up, laying them on the couch. A few minutes later the water shut off, and she came out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her hair. I reached for the towel, and unwound it from her hair.

I gestured theatrically at her, and she shivered as every drop of water on her dissipated at once. She shook her head as her hair fell perfectly dry and free, framing her beautiful face. I stepped up and kissed her deeply, arms wrapped around her. Her arms wrapped around me in return, and she held me tightly.

I stepped back and examined her again. I held out a hand, and she took it in hers. My power wiped away any skin blemish of any kind, she would never get another. The final change gave her a slight bump in pleasure everytime she looked at me, and a slightly larger bump when we touched.

Suddenly overwhelmed, we both were pulling my clothes off as quick as we could, and then rolling onto the bed desperate for each other. I entered her quickly, and we thrusted at each other in an emotional volcano of passion, arms around each other, stroking, rubbing, gasping as first she came, then I did. Back and forth we took turns reaching ever higher orgasmic plateaus. Finally my power flexed and we came together suffering and shuddering as one.

Becoming still, and quiet our heart rates slowed together. I looked into her startlingly blue eyes. She blinked in wonderment. “I’m going to need new clothes, I don’t have much that will fit anymore.” she said.

I laughed, and then she did too, the laughter pushing my penis out of her body. “I’m starving.” I said starting to get up.

“Let’s shower then have room service.” She suggested.

“An excellent suggestion.” I said as I led her to the bathroom.

 

Chapter 7

The next morning during breakfast in our room we discussed the plans for the day. I wanted to check out the Jewish section of town and visit the diamond district. Nora needed new clothes. I insisted on new everything, including luggage. The hotel was happy to provide guides and recommendations for both our activities.

Nora finished eating first, so slipped under the table for dessert as I watched the city out the window, and tried to not spill my coffee. We were both in hotel provided robes, as we had been forced to dress for room service. With my coffee gone, and a kiss from Nora we both got ready for the day.

The hotel agreed to pay for Nora’s clothing expedition, and bill the room, for a small fee. Worth every penny to not have to accompany a woman shopping. Since she was ready I let her go first as I finished dressing up for my shopping trip. Being that it was a Sunday, some shops would open at 11, while others would open at 9. It was only 8 so I could take my time.

For this trip, the hotel was providing a driver, a guide, and muscle. The vehicle was barely large enough for the muscle, a singularly huge individual, who only fit in the front seat. The guide sat in the back of the car with me.

I toured several places, but I was looking for something specific. I wanted very large but flawed stones to practice with. Occluded, cracked, oddly colored, it didn’t matter. I wanted to see if I could use my abilities to clarify, repair, and perfect a diamond. I did find a few 1oz krugerrands, and a couple 1oz gold maple leaf coins. They were only about $1400 each. Finally one place suggested a store further down the street.

There I found what I was looking for. It was a set of badly flawed stones. Two pear shaped for earrings, and a heart shape for a necklace. They were a mottled yellow color, and 8 carats each. I purchased them, along with six 1 carat round cut diamonds, equally flawed. It was very expensive, but I was assured, had they been perfect, then they would have been 10 times more expensive. The price difference in carat between grade D and K is significant, the difference between i.f. and si2 is another 50% discount. In the end, I paid about 450k, for potentially 4.5 million in diamonds.

My foursome went to lunch at another nice restaurant, then headed back to the hotel. In my room, I pulled off my suit, and sat comfortably on the couch in my boxers and a t-shirt. Holding one of 1 carat practice diamonds in my hand, I focused my senses.

I delved deep into the diamond lattice. A one carat diamond has 10 sextillion carbon atoms. The equivalent mass of gold is .2 grams, and it only has 611 quintillion atoms. Diamond is so hard and rigid because it is so dense.

At the atomic level everything is so beautiful. I could now sense the dizzy fuzzy electrons, the constantly shifting dance of neutrons and protons, the web of forces holding them together as they vibrated in unison with the heat they contained. It glowed with power, leashed by natural forces. I noticed that my internal storage seemed to grow excited in anticipation of the energy I was about to feed it.

I contemplated the dance of energies, and wondered for just a moment. If I could steal the energy of the bonds between atoms, could I steal the energy of the bonds inside the atoms? I focused on a small inclusion of magnesium. Magnesium has 12 protons, and 12 neutrons. Carbon has 6 and 6. I reached out to feel the individual atoms, selected one, and split it into two equal halves. It became two carbon atoms.

I focused my power on the two atoms and broke their links to their neighbors. They wanted to reconnect, and didn’t care how, but I willed them into the crystal matrix of the diamond.

I took a gasp of air, not realizing I’d been holding my breath. I felt very happy, but also oddly tired performing that very small feat of nuclear engineering. I focused on the inclusion as a whole, and with a thought, split the atoms in half. The fire of heat coming into my body was more intense than I had ever experienced, and it was only a few million atoms.

The rush of power distracted me and the carbon atoms broke their bonds and resolidified. They were deep inside the diamond, and I could sense that the crystal didn’t have room for that many carbon atoms in the crystalline structure. I concentrated on the crystal of the diamond itself, dissolving bonds, and reordering the structure.

There were about a half million extra carbon atoms when the crystal reformed at the area of the inclusion. As I focused on keeping them in an unbonded state, something I had previously tried, but had failed. Now I discovered I could move them through the diamond, holding them in that disconnected state with ease.

The qualitative change in my power now let me hold onto, and keep the atoms unbound. In the unbound state they didn’t react with the matter around them. The spaces between atoms are so much larger than the atoms themselves, so moving them around inside the diamond was simple. After placing, and reconnecting them into a small gap in the crystal, I pulled my focus back at the diamond as a whole.

The diamond had patches of yellow color from the large amount of nitrogen in the stone. I focused on the nitrogen exclusively, unbound it, and moved it out of the stone. The diamond was clear now, so I focused on the remaining inclusions. Any impurities larger than chromium, I ejected from the diamond. Then I ejected everything but chromium, argon, and magnesium.

Chromium split into four carbons, argon into three, and magnesium into two. I moved the carbons around, filling in the gaps, and restructuring the crystal. As I opened my eyes to examine the diamond in my palm, it’s fire and sparkle took my breath away.

I took the second diamond, and with a few thoughts, repeated the action. Then I did the same with a third. I stopped there. It seemed that perfect diamonds like this weren’t the rarest, so I decided to do more research.

A quick Google search and I learned that adding nitrogen could create yellow, green, and black diamonds. There was plenty of nitrogen in the air, so I latched onto a few million atoms, and brought them into one of my perfect diamonds. Instead of replacing carbon atoms, I tried placing the nitrogen atoms inside the boxes formed by the cubic crystal shapes. It had no effect on the color.

I grabbed onto the carbon atoms, and slid the nitrogen into place. Replacing an equally distributed array of carbon atoms with nitrogen at a ratio of one per million. The diamond turned a pale yellow. As I upped the ratio the yellow got darker, then faded to green. The green got darker and darker, until it faded to black, almost like obsidian.

I took one of the other perfect diamonds and repeated the process, stopping when it reached a deep green. It reminded me of the green glass that 7up and Mt. Dew used to come in. I took the third diamond, and adjusted it into a pale yellow. The dark yellow looked too much like urine to me.

I set the three diamonds on the table, and picked up one more of my practice gems. I felt I had a good grasp of molecular manipulation, so I tried something different. I moved all the inclusions into the center of the diamond, restructuring the carbon crystal to fill in the gaps, and make room. The gem sparkled, but the dark mass inside blocked much of the refraction and reflection of light.

I prepared myself to direct the power into my storage, as I reached into the mixed atoms, and split them apart. The neutrons I let go, but I held tight to the mass of protons, as I reduced all the molecules into simple hydrogen. The few million neutrons zipped happily away.

I kept packing in hydrogen I pulled from the air, mostly from water vapor. The hydrogen was growing in pressure, and I could feel it starting to strain the diamond enclosure. I pulled carbon from the room, and grew the diamond larger. As I did so, it became more cubic in shape.

The disconnected hydrogen kept wanting to escape through the spaces between the carbon, so I had to let it reform attachments. The hydrogen quickly bonded to each other forming highly compressed h2. I kept adding hydrogen until I had 100 grams of compressed hydrogen held inside a tiny spot, a cubic millimeter, inside a diamond cube of about 25mm.

The pressure had reached the point that the hydrogen could no longer remain bonded to itself, turning first black, then silvery in color, as the pressure forced it into a metastable metallic form. The pressure generated heat, at first. But as the pressure rapidly climbed as I added more and more hydrogen, it got colder and colder. That initial blast of heat had been fierce though. It got colder because heat is motion, and the more pressure the less motion, much like being buried in wet sand.

I opened the windows of the room, as I began to worry that I might accidentally start a fire. The hot air now blowing out the window, I really began to worry that I just wasn’t sensing the temperature very well. I concentrated on the speck of hydrogen, and focused on the vibration. I could sense that it was hovering around 2 kelvin.

I suddenly realized I could absorb the heat energy straight into my power storage! I grabbed at the heat in the room, and pulled it into storage, just as a knock started on the door.

“Excuse us sir. Is everything ok?” came the voice of my personal hotel guide. “The fire warning system is reporting, and we must come in to investigate.”

“Just a second.” I said.

“We are coming in.” was the firm reply.

Three men wearing fire fighting jackets, pants, and helmets came into the room carrying bright yellow extinguishers. They looked around, surprised to not find the room charred or in flames. I stood there, with my back to the open window, in my boxers and a t-shirt, holding a diamond.

I wrapped my hand around the diamond, lowered my arm, and asked, “What is the emergency gentleman?”

They looked around, then the lead man looked back out the door. My attendant carefully stepped into the room, looking around. Finally he looked up at the ceiling, and I followed his gaze. The fire sensor above us looked slightly melted. I quickly glanced around the room, then sensed it with my power. No other signs of heat remained.

“Our apologies. It seems your fire sensor suddenly reported temperatures in excess of five hundred degrees. Looking at it now, it appears to have been damaged at some point, and is reporting faulty information.”

“Is it safe?” I asked.

“We don’t know. If you would like to wait at the bar, we can check to see if it might be replaced. If not, we would need to move you to a room with a working fire sensor.”

“Let’s just move to a different room, give me a few minutes to get dressed, and you can have the hotel staff move our stuff to another room.”

“Very good sir,” he said, and pushed the three gawkers out of the room ahead of him.

“The deluxe corner is very nice, but do you have one of the really big rooms available? The Sir Suite, I believe it is called?”

“Yes Mr Barkley, you check out tomorrow correct?”

“Correct, taking the night train to Zurich.”

“I’ll have the room prepared, and someone will escort you there whenever you are ready.”

I thanked him, as he closed the door. I texted Nora, ‘Changing to a different room for our last night here, be sure you get directions as you come in. Adam’

I quickly dressed, comfortable jeans and a turtleneck, and slipped on some shoes. I pocketed my wallet, the bag of diamonds, and my new cubic wonder that caused this mess. I left all my belongings where they were, the hotel staff would move everything else.

A young woman greeted me as I stepped out with my cane, and escorted me to the elevator, where we went up several levels to the new suite. I settled down in a comfy chair, and asked the young woman to make me a drink while we waited for the staff to move the belongings. She did so immediately, and I made idle chit chat with her as we waited.

It took them only twenty minutes to get everything moved, and then I was alone in the room. I relaxed and watched the city for a few minutes, before deciding to take a nap. I needed to do something, and I was afraid I’d start with experiments again.

Nora returned with significant amounts of clothing, waking me just before dinner. I quickly explained the faulty fire sensor, and the move. The staff brought several loads of clothing up, as she talked about everywhere she went. Finally they closed the door, and she collapsed back on the bed next to me.

“I’m exhausted, but it was so much fun, thank you Adam.”

“Your welcome dear.” I replied. “Would you like a little energy boost before we go to dinner?”

“That would be lovely.”

I rolled over and gave her a light kiss, gently sliding into her body my healing and rejuvenating energies. Her kisses in return became more energetic.

“Do we have time?” she asked.

“We are eating upstairs tonight, and have no set reservation. We have all the time you want.”

“Excellent, I want you now, then a hot shower, then dinner.” she declared.

“That can be arranged.” I said grinning.

 

Chapter 8

We did a late check out, as it took a while to get everything packed up. The hotel offered to donate the old clothes to a local charity for us. We needed one more suitcase that the hotel gift shop was able to provide. They also provided an assistant to help us take our luggage in the little boat that crossed the canal to the train station. I left them a massive tip on top of the massive charge for various services rendered.

We checked in at the train station, and placed our luggage in a rented locker and caught a late lunch. We boarded just after 2, finding our small room had two fold out twin beds, stacked bunk bed style, a small sink, and two folding seats. We stored our luggage away, and wandered together to the dining car where we got seats with a view.

That was a preview of Elements of Power 1. To read the rest purchase the book.

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