Her senses didn't seem to have changed at all. Only her size, her shape... her face, her body, and everything else. She tightened the belt that was holding up a pair of her mother's jeans and eavesdropped on the conversation between her mother and Dr. Dave, on the other side of her bedroom door.
"From what I can see, there's nothing physically wrong with her. She's a perfectly healthy young woman, around twenty-five years old."
"But she's a thirteen-year-old girl, Dave! What happened?"
"It looks as if something triggered her cells to move into fast-forward. She's aged at least twelve years overnight."
"At an early stage in Project Crescent there had been some discussion about implanting a genetic code that would accelerate cellular growth in the clones."
"What about Amy?" Nancy asked, and Amy could hear the tremor in her voice. "Will she continue to age?"
"I don't think so. If the implant can be located or removed, or if the genetic code can be reversed, she should automatically return to her normal physiological level. We need to get her into a hospital. If Grace is behind this, then the organization knows something should be happening to Amy right about now. They'll be looking for a special girl who's aged twelve years overnight."
Amy wandered over to a mirror. It was such a strange sensation, looking at herself as a stranger. Now that she knew who she was looking at, she could recognize herself - but she doubted anyone else would be able to do so. It was as if she'd asked a fortune teller to reveal what she'd look like as an adult, and she was now gazing into a crystal ball. She supposed most kids would love to know what they were going to look like in the future. She was supposed to be entering her teenage years today. Instead, it seemed that she had completely skipped them. Her teen years were in a past that never happened. She lost them forever.
It wasn't fair! She took a deep breath to steady her nerves and tried to look at the woman in the mirror objectively. Was she pretty?
Yes... not a supermodel or Miss Universe, but not bad. Her complexion was nice, with a peachy tone and no zits. Her hair seemed to be a little thicker, even a shade lighter. Her eyes looked larger.
But it was in the shape of her face that she could see a big difference... it was narrow now, with higher cheekbones. Her nose was different too, longer, and it didn't turn up at the end anymore. Her ears were a little bigger, but not too big.
She smiled, opening her mooth. Her teeth were very white and straight. She turned her face from side to side. If she held her head at a certain angle, so that the sun shone on her hair, she was almost blond, and she thought she looked a little bit like Rachel on Friends.
Gathering the hair in her hands, she pulled it back from her face and decided she looked almost elegant. She envisioned big gold earrings. And makeup, lots of makeup. A woman in her twenties had the right to wear as much makeup as she wanted to. So her face was okay.
What about the rest of her? Impulsively she climbed onto the bed to get a better look. It was amazing, what twelve years could do to a girl's figure. She gazed at her body in awe. It had really filled out. She wouldn't call herself fat, but she wasn't skinny, either. There were curves where none had existed before.
As for her chest... visions of halters and bandeaus and tube tops filled her mind. She could hold tops like that up now. She put her hands on her hips, and twisted first one way, then the other. Maybe being an adult wasn't so awful...
"Amy, what are you doing?" Clearly, Amy's having become an adult wasn't having any effect on the way her mother spoke to her.
"Sorry, mom. I was just trying to get a better look at myself."
Her mother winced, and Amy thought how strange it must be, hearing her daughter's voice coming from the mouth of an adult stranger.
"Mom, do I still sound like me? Is my voice the same?"
"It's a little deeper," Nancy said. "The shock of seeing you like this - well, not even your closest friends might be able to deal with it."
It took every ounce of willpower for Amy to keep herself from sticking her head out the window and letting Eric see what had happened to her. She could see Simone Cusack and Linda Riviera, strutting around in bikinis that Amy thought were way too mature for them. To wear a skimpy suit like that, you needed a body like, like - like what Amy had now. She envisioned herself walking onto the beach in one of those bikinis. Eris's eyes would pop out.
Dragging the machine that was monitoring her heart rate, she went to the window. Smog covered the city. Even super-vision couldn't penetrate the thick gray stuff.
Would she ever get used to this face? she wondered. She wanted to ask her mother to bring her a cosmetics kit so she could experiment with her new adult features.
Dr. Dave was putting her through a zillion tests, trying to figure out what had happened to her body and how she could be changed back to her normal self. Amy understood why her situation had to be kept a secret. She knew the dangers of being discovered, especially by the organization.
She flipped through some magazines. Those were clothes that would look good on a thirteen-year-old.
Because of her superior physical endurance, she knew that if she put a little effort into it she could keep moving for a long time. Now she was grateful that there was no one around. She broke into her fastest run, and no one saw the passing blur.
p 83. But Amy could. And for once, she didn't care about people witnessing her amazing abilities. She stepped back and took a flying leap.
p 84. James was staring at Amy in disbelief, but there was no time for explanations.
p 122. Amy had certainly watched her mother drive many times. From memory, she was able to get the car started and out of the parking lot. Every time she passed another car, she wondered if the driver had any idea that a thirteen-year-old was behind the wheel. Glancing at herself in the rearview mirror, she knew that wasn't likely.
p128. Eric walked toward her in a funny way, like he was swaggering. "Hiya, pretty lady. Are you lost?"
He stared at her with doubt in his eyes and rubbed at them as if he wasn't sure what he was seeing. She glared at him.
"So you call every girl you see 'pretty lady'?"
He gulped and stared at her in disbelief. "Amy?"
Would a true teen male fantasy take him by the shoulders and shake him until he could hear his teeth rattle?
"Eric! Look at me! Look in my eyes! It's me, it's Amy!"
What a coincidence, he thought. The supermodel in his dream had the same name as his girlfriend in real life. But would a real supermodel yell like this?
"It made my cells start developing faster, and when I turned thirteen, I turned into an adult! Overnight!"
Never in a million years would he have guessed that she'd aged at least ten years overnight. He gazed at Amy in wonderment. He could feel himself blushing. This was an older woman, a grown-up lady.
"Geez, do you realize, you're old enough to be a mother now?" he blurted out. Now it was Amy's turn to go pink. That cheered him up.
"So, maybe you could wait until I'm old enough too?" She gave him a funny little crooked grin, and for a second she almost looked like the Amy he knew.
"Yeah, I might." She was beet red now. The fabulous babe grabbed his hand, and together they ran off.
p 144. As that horrible high-pitched whine filled the air, she moved faster than the speed of light, intercepting the white beam before it could hit Vikna or Karen.
It was like coming inside from heavy, cold fog, and finding yourself into a cozy, warm, comfortable home.
p 156. Amy laughed. "She'll have to wait a while to see what I look like as a grown-up."
p 158. That was what this was. Last year's school photo of Amy, digitally manipulated to add ten years to her age. It could be a souvenir of those days when she'd managed to become an adult slightly ahead of schedule.
"You seem - different," Karen said in the dark room. "Are you all right?"
"Yes, I'm fine now."
They were still after her. They must have known about the implant, that this rapid aging process would happen to her, and they had wanted her. Would they still want her, now that she was a kid again?