Track and Field
Time frame - Shortly after "Leaving"
"Look, Alex, I'm really not sure if we should be doing this," Ray protested. "I mean, Annie's no longer around, so..."
"Exactly my point, Ray," came Alex's response. "Annie's not around anymore, which means that I need to be able to test myself."
"Yeah, but at the school track? What if the groundskeeper comes around or something?"
"We'll just say we're getting some practice in for next year," Alex replied. "I already know what I can do. My goal is to see how far I can take it, and being cooped up in the garage just doesn't help. Now, did you bring the radar-gun?"
Ray pulled out a gun-shaped device from his duffel bag. "Right here. It's on loan from Louis, and he expects it back."
"I'm sure he does. Turn it on." Ray did so as Alex began to stretch and warm up.
"Now, explain to me what this does for your research."
"Well, after Annie gave me that talk about this so-called metakinetic energy I use, I remembered the Junior High Olympics from two years ago."
"I remember," Ray replied, slightly angry. "You used your powers to win a starring place on the team. Annie was not pleased."
"Yeah, but when I actually used them while running, I wasn't zapping or floating anything," Alex continued. "It felt more like I was literally willing energy into my legs. I was running and jumping way faster than I thought I could."
"And you think this energy was what made it all work."
"Exactly. Now point it over there, towards the flagpole." Ray obliged as Alex went to the start of the track and took her position. "How about a starting gun, Ray?"
"1, 2, 3, GO!" Alex quickly leapt to her feet and began to run down the track with all the speed of an average girl in her size and weight group. As she passed the flagpole, Alex briefly turned to Ray. "8 miles, Alex," Ray said, slightly disappointed. "I thought you said you were faster than this."
"Well, let's take it a step further." Alex began to focus her energy into her legs, getting a warm feeling as her muscles supercharged themselves on metakinetic energy. Gradually, Alex began running at a speedier pace as she made a full lap around the track.
Ray clocked her as she passed by the flagpole again. "17 miles."
"Alright, then!" Alex channeled more energy into her legs, and she literally surged with speed, going around the track with an even faster pace.
"24 miles!" Ray shouted as Alex passed by again... and again. "31... 46... 53..." Ray couldn't believe his eyes. Alex was almost a blur as she continued to run laps around the track, clocking in greater and greater speeds. "Alex... Alex?... ALEX!"
"What?" Alex suddenly turned her head. Not looking where she was going, Alex tripped on her feet and began to stumble. Out of reflex, Alex morphed herself almost instantaneously, cushioning the blow as she fell to the ground with a splat!
Ray immediately ran over to his friend. "Alex?" he shouted. "Are you okay?"
Alex slowly reformed, then sat up with a tired grin. She was absolutely exhausted, but still looked like she was brimming with energy. "How... how'd I do?" Alex asked between breaths.
Ray checked the radar-gun. "61 miles! Alex, I've never seen anybody run that fast before."
"And never will again..." Alex laughed as she wobbily stood up, still feeling a little dizzy. "Anyway, I think we'll try something else for a while."
"Good idea. Here, let me help ya." Ray scooped Alex up by her shoulders and helped her over to a trackside bench to recover.
After a few minutes of water-chugging and gasping for air, Alex was back on her feet. This time, she was on the grassy area in the center of the track, once more stretching out. "So now what are you doing?" Ray asked.
Alex turned to Ray and smiled. "I'm gonna do the high jump."
"That's obvious, but why?"
"This is the next part of my experiment," Alex explained. "Metakinetic energy combined with jumping. Care to guess what it could mean?" Ray only shrugged. "Higher and farther jumps, of course. C'mon, Ray, do I have to do all the thinking here?"
"That was normally Annie's job," Ray muttered beneath his breath.
"Anyway, we'll start with a standing jump. Standby with the yardstick." Ray sidled next to Alex with a large ruler. "1, 2, 3, jump!" Alex leapt straight into the air and landed just as quickly.
Ray marked the reading on the stick. "4 feet into the air."
"Now applying additional energy." Alex focused her energies into her legs. "1, 2, 3, jump!" She then jumped again, though higher than before.
"6 feet!" Ray called out. Alex jumped again. "7.5 feet!" Again. "8 feet!" Alex jumped a few more times, with Ray recording the heights. After a while, they stopped. "Well, Alex, I'd say you've got an average of about 8 feet vertical."
"Air Jordan, eat your heart out!" the Super-Teen smiled. "And now for the running leap." Alex went over to the end of the long-jump track and took a starting position. "Ray, if you would?"
"1, 2, 3, go!" Alex ran as fast as she could until she hit the edge of the sandy pit, then leapt with every ounce of energy she could muster. The Super-Teen went flying over the pit, well over Ray's head, before landing in the sand. Alex, however, stumbled upon landing and crashed on her butt.
Dusting herself off, Alex turned to Ray. "Well?"
"Alex, that was well over 20 feet!" Ray exclaimed in amazement. "Laphonso Ellis's best was 14, and that was in Junior High. Trust me, I tried to break that record and didn't even come close."
Alex stood up and smiled, sweat dripping down her face. "That awesome, huh?"
"Alex, it's like you're some kind of super-athlete. You should consider sporting endorsements."
"Yeah, sure, and have everybody from unruly fans to Danielle Atron beating down a path to my door." Alex shook her head. "No thanks."
"True," Ray replied, "but all the same, Alex, it's no fun to be sitting around with talents such as this."
"I know," Alex groaned. "Look, Ray, Atron can't be a looming threat to my life forever. Maybe someday, when I'm confident enough that she's no longer able to threaten me, I'll decide once and for all what to do with these powers. Until then, no one knows. Just you, me, and Annie."
Ray shrugged. "Eh, your loss. Anyway, are we done for the night?"
"Yeah, we're done." Alex grabbed Ray's shoulder and her bag and morphed themselves out of the field. As she dashed her liquid form across the grass, Alex sighed inwardly.
Someday... I won't be afraid.