Stirling City Stories
A test subject of Project Mind Shadow, granted extraordinary psychic powers by being exposed to a dangerous alien enzyme.
She was previously known as Thorn.
Jane Doe/Thorn Backstory
I guess my parents thought they were funny calling me Jane. I probably would have too, if I hadn’t been bullied so much as a child. I guess it’s not so bad. At least I have a family.
Mom and Dad married young, just after they finished school. Before they knew it Mom got pregnant with my big brother Sam and they had to work hard to make ends meet. They were lucky enough to find a farm that was going cheap in the small town of Yellows Town, Iowa, and with help from my Grandparents things turned out okay. Before too long the farm got bigger and some years later I came along.
My earliest memory is running through the corn fields. Sam and I used to race each other. Still did up until recently. He’s my inspiration. Girls became more interesting for him when he hit high school, and when he started running less I started running more. Might’ve been the sound of my breath, the feel of the road beneath my feet. Might’ve been because I missed his attention. But it felt good.
When I was growing up I used to get picked on. Kids didn’t want to be my friend. Guess it was easy to be an outcast, our nearest neighbors were 3 miles away so I didn’t get to play much. Doing homework and reading books was more my thing. And the running.
One time when I was 12, I had just started high school… well, there were these girls. They were real mean. I don’t even think I’ve seen any adults that could be as mean as these girls were (being in the military it’s a pretty big thing to say, I know). They cornered me one day. Tore up my favorite book. Almost took my eye out with their hands. Before it got too bad Sam rescued me. Got them away from me, I don’t really remember how, but he did. I remember him picking me up and taking me to the school bus. He sat with me at the front and just held me while I wept. We were quiet, just me and him, his arms around me, my tears wetting his shirt.
The next day I didn’t get up to go to school. When I went down to the kitchen to find something to eat Sam was waiting for me. He hadn’t gone either. We sat and talked. And then, he took me outside and taught me to fight.
That’s when things turned around. I knew how to do stuff, physically. How to stop those girls from being mean to me. Sam was so proud of me the day I stood up to them. Mom and Dad didn’t like me getting suspended for 1 week for giving one of the girls a black eye, but I didn’t care.
Years later just as I was finishing school I decided to go to the army recruitment center. After keeping fit through school and being really interested in self-defense… I guess I thought it’d be good to try to do something defense-wise for the country. Develop more of the skills Sam taught me. The people at the recruitment office made me do an aptitude test to see which area of the army I’d be good for. Then they gave me a physical. Someone must’ve liked what I am. What I was. Took less than an hour for the clerk’s phone to ring and for me to be invited to the training academy.
Training was tough but I enjoyed every minute of it. Some of the guys I was training with seemed a little put-off by how well I did, but the women I trained with became the girlfriends and the sisters I never had. We still keep in touch, a phone call here and there. They went off to other areas of defense, none of them joined “The Program” like I did.
I don’t think it was intentional. Someone came up to me the day we graduated from the academy and asked if I was interested in helping the country in a more innovative way. It sounded mysterious and right up my alley so I thought “what the hell, why not”. Just curiosity, I thought I would try it, if I didn’t like it, I’d just go to a different place. Didn’t know that the innovation meant that you didn’t get to just “try it out”.
They took us out somewhere in the desert. I thought they were taking me to Area 51 but this was something else entirely. A tiny bunker with a single door and an ENORMOUS amount of army personnel guarding the place. Far too many for such a small bunker. It wasn’t so small after all, going down 80 underground levels makes a few things sink in.
The debriefing room held only about 10 of us. Me included. We were told the specifics of the program, which I can’t repeat here for classified reasons. 10 elite soldiers. Fit, smart, at their peak. To be taken into exclusive training and modification for defense experiments.
We were assured that this time around (there must’ve been a helluva lot of mistakes before) they had everything working properly. Found a way to use enzymes to make the modifications work. We were scared as all hell, but acted like the good little soldiers we are.
So it began. Weeks of enzyme therapy. Eating organic meals. Keeping up our fitness levels. Psych evaluations. And then one day it happened. I heard Sgt Bakers in my head. “I really want to fuck something”. It was like he said it right in my ear. I looked up at him and asked him “what?” He seemed very surprised and confused- turns out he hadn’t said anything to me directly. I heard his thoughts.
The lab started buzzing. Turns out all of us had started changing that week. We all got stronger, faster, more agile. I got a little psychic. The others got varying things but I wasn’t the only one a little psychic too. They had us practice our new “skills” on each other (playfully, never hurting each other).
Before you knew it we were assigned here. To this damned City. First time in a big City and I still don’t know what the hell to make of it. Our Commanding Officer deployed us here because he says something’s going down. We don’t know what, but he wants to test our skills here before we get taken somewhere were the real fighting happens.
There’s whispers that there were soldiers before us that didn’t turn out so good, and that despite all the measures they had in hand that some of them escaped. I dunno if that’s true or horseshit but I sure as hell know one thing.
I’m keeping my guard up.