The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind by Jackson Ford
Teagan Frost is currently freefalling from the 82nd floor of a skyscraper. It’s fine though, she’s psychokinetic, you know, able to move shit with her mind as the title may suggest, so she’s totally going to survive the fall. Probably. You may think it’s bad but it’s really not, except for the fact that she’s got someone with her. Someone who cannot move shit with her mind and who is screaming like bonkers. But why are they freefalling right now? Oh yeah, that’s because they work for the government, for a woman named Tanner, doing things that normal, non-psychokinetic people can’t do. Or they can, but they would take way too long and make a giant mess if they did. So, send in a psychokinetic and her ragtag team of various other people to do really important, national security type things in secret. Twenty minutes before the freefall, Teagan and Annie are wiretapping a clothing tycoon called Steven Chase who is apparently embezzling money from his company to send it to shady characters in the Ukraine and Saudi Arabia. And, you know, you’re not supposed to do that. So they go in, Teagan secretly puts a device on some wires or something that will allow the government to see Steven Chase’s emails. Or something. But things to awry as they often do in heist situations and they are found out by security. Everyone else on the team would go to jail but Teagan would be sent to a government lab where they’d do … unpleasant things to her to find out how she can do what she can do. So, how do we get out of this situation after the wiretap is in place? Jump from the 82nd floor.
They land safely, well not really, but they’re only a little banged up, thanks to their belt buckles and a rolling chair. Teagan’s psychokinesis doesn’t not affect organic material, so she can’t actually move herself or Annie, or anything else carbon or hydrogen based, but she can grab their metal belt buckles and a plastic and metal rolling chair and use them to slow them down quite a bit. Terminal velocity is fast, but they survived, so it’s fine. Annie is furious and Teagan is suffering from a massive headache because of all the brain magic she did, but their other crewmates, Carlos, the getaway driver, and Paul, the communications and logistics guy, pull up in a van and they’re able to get away without being caught. The crew gets back to their office, which is an actual moving company and they sometimes actually do moving jobs, but most of the time, they do their secret government work. Reggie, the other member of their crew, is a former helicopter pilot who works with Tanner. She was injured in a crash in Afghanistan and is now quadriplegic, but don’t let her wheelchair make you think any less of her. She’s badass. Oh, while we’re describing people here, Annie is a former freelance gang member and has worked with the worst gangs in LA, MS-13, the Bloods, etc. Carlos was also a gang member, but in Mexico, not LA, and he’s really good with cars. Carlos is also pretty much Teagan’s best friend. He’s always looking out for her, always has a snack or a coffee ready to get her brain back to where it needs to be to get her jobs done. Paul was in the navy and is super meticulous about pretty much everything. He’s the details guy. And now, back to the story. While all this stuff was happening, there’s a chapter from someone else’s point of view. Jake. It seems Jake also has psychokinesis, but we don’t know much about him just yet. He’s pretty terrible though, just so everyone knows.
Everyone is mad at Teagan because she never thinks before she acts. Carlos suggests that they run away for a while, take a road trip or something, but they can’t really do that because they always have work to do, so Teagan heads home. She sees the homeless guy she’s always friendly toward in front of her building and her friend Nic who has been waiting on her outside her building for hours. He and his girlfriend have broken up and he wants to take Teagan to a super swanky restaurant. Which is awkward. Because he’d be a great boyfriend, but how do you tell someone that you have psychokinesis? You can’t. And what if the same thing happens as the last time she was in a relationship? That was also super awkward… But she can’t not go to this awesome restaurant since she wants to be a chef and own her own restaurant someday, so she agrees to go with him. Meanwhile, Jake has murdered someone with his psychokinesis. He doesn’t know anything about his past or why he has this gift, and he desperately wants to find out. A guy named Chuy said if he’ll just do a few jobs, kill a few people, then he’ll tell Jake everything he needs to know. So, he’s just killed the first guy on his list of three, Steven Chase. Oh shit. With rebar that he bent around his throat with his mind powers. Oh shit! And there’s only one known person with mind powers, and, well, it’s not him. It’s Teagan. OH SHIT!
So everyone immediately thinks Teagan killed that guy, but why would she do that? Tanner calls and of course yells at her and threatens her, giving the orders for everyone else on the team to take her captive and bring her in. Seriously? Don’t they know her at all? She manages to convince everyone to give her time to clear her name and only gets 22 hours. Tanner puts the team in charge of keeping her in check, but Annie and Paul don’t really like Teagan and don’t want to do it. Reggie and Carlos are semi on her side though and convince Annie and Paul to help out. This is going to be so. great. (sarcasm) But … does this mean that there is someone else with her powers? Did someone else survive the experiments in Wyoming? Yes. And that person has just killed number two on his list. Soon Chuy will reveal to him what he knows about his past. He won’t have to go searching past foster homes or cities he’s escaped from anymore. Chuy’s going to tell him everything. Teagan can’t help but wonder about this other person. How are they so strong? When she was tested by her parents and the government, she wasn’t able to do anything close to that. They tortured her to see what she was capable of and, well, she’s got limits. She heads to Skid Row to talk to her friend Africa who knows pretty much everyone on the streets to see if anyone saw anything odd around the building where Steven Chase was found. Before he can help her, though, he sends her on an errand. And that’s when she gets tased.
She manages to throw a 500 pound dumpster at the taser guys which is way more than she’s ever been able to move before, so that’s odd, and she completes her errand for Africa. She did; however, lose her jacket and phone and keys and stuff. She finds a payphone (really?) and tries to call Reggie at the office, but instead, a cop answers the phone. To quote the book here, because it’s a fantastic quote, What in the almighty storm of fuck is going on? We’ll find out, but first, we see Jake approaching his final target’s house. But instead of finding the guy he’s supposed to kill, he finds the guy’s ex-wife and daughter. Uh oh. Well, better just keep them hostage and force the guy, Javier Salinas, to come to you. Teagan finally gets in touch with Reggie who sends her to a diner with instructions to wait until she arrives. Turns out, the cops were at the office because they have arrest warrants for Teagan, Annie and Carlos. Uh oh again. But how did the cops find out they were at the building where Steven Chase died? Something doesn’t make sense. They meet up with Annie and Carlos again and all head to a gang neighborhood to talk to a contact Annie has, Nando, the leader of the MS-13 gang. Shit. Carlos tries again to convince Teagan to run away with him, but no, she’s got to find out who this other psychokinetic person is.
They didn’t get anywhere really with Nando. The only thing they found out was that the cops don’t really know what’s going on and they’re worried. They stop at a 7/11 and are about to find another contact when the cops show up. A high speed chase ensues, Reggie’s wheelchair flies out of the back of the van, then the helicopter shows up. Teagan has to stop the helicopter but can’t scrounge up enough energy to do it, so she gets Annie to punch her in the face. Reasonable. It gives her an anger/pain boost and she takes down the helicopter. Now she’s completely exhausted and they need a place to hide. So she takes them to Nic’s. That should be a good plan, what with her standing him up at the expensive restaurant for a date-not-date and all. Yeah. Let’s do it. Nic won’t let her in because he’s pissed, so she sneaks in through his window. He’s not pissed because she stood him up. He’s pissed because she and her coworkers been accused of murder and in high-speed chases with helicopters and now she’s at his place asking him for help. And she can’t even tell him what the whole story is. He begrudgingly lets everyone come in anyway. He yells at everyone, trying to get information which they can’t give him until Teagan comes in from the kitchen floating a grilled cheese and plate in front of his face.
Just as Teagan is about to tell Nic her life’s story, Annie comes in with a tip she got from one of her contacts. There’s been another murder. Bryan Hayden of Ocean Safe, a charity that, well, wants to keep the Ocean Safe. So how are the murders connected? Doesn’t really seem like they are. As they’re working to put pieces together, the window explodes and a flashbang flies in. A man called Burr and a bunch of special forces soldiers that work for Tanner have arrived and tied everyone up. Seems that Tanner’s 22 hour deadline has been cut short. Probably because of the helicopter thing… So how are they going to get out of this? The flashbang had the same effect that the taser did and Teagan’s psychokinesis is dulled. Reggie has a plan though. She fakes a seizure, (side note: she’s been taking acting lessons), and gets everyone’s eyes on her. While the soldiers are distracted, Teagan grabs Burr’s wedding ring and breaks his finger, then throws literally everything in Nic’s apartment up into the air. They’re able to get away, well, everyone except Reggie, but they’ll get her back. They run away and into the street, into traffic, where Teagan gets hit by a car. She’s fine though and they manage to escape. Back with Jake, he’s still waiting for Javier, his third mark, to get to his ex-wife’s house. Trouble’s coming though. A wildfire is burning its way to that neighborhood. One of the ex-wife’s neighbors comes by to check on her and, well, Jake can’t have that, so he buries a knife in his ear.
Teagan gets a phone call on Paul’s phone, which is odd, but it’s her friend Africa who found her phone. And he has news. Some of his people saw Steven Chase and Bryan Hayden and another guy, spoiler alert, Javier Salinas, who works for the health department, doing very bribey looking things. Was Steven Chase bribing the Ocean Safe people? And the health department? Gotta find out and they need a computer to do it. They decide to get to one of Annie’s contacts, Mo-Mo, which is odd considering we just talked about a book with a guy named MoMo, who he works at UCLA and can let them use his computer. They set off on foot for UCLA, go to MoMo’s office, use his computer and find out Javier’s address. They plan to go to his house and, you know, try to stop him from getting murdered. While they’re there, talking out loud about things, trying again to determine how these guys are connected, Mo-Mo chimes in with microfibers. He’s a part of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and has heard that Steven Chase’s company, Ultra, makes clothes that shed microfibers in the wash that are then washed out into the ocean and into the food supply. This is absurd. They plan to take Mo-Mo’s car and head to Javier’s house. Right into the fire. But before they can do that, Annie is kidnapped! By the MS-13 guys!
Turns out, the van they were driving before had drugs hidden inside it that Annie was supposed to deliver, but they had to abandon the van during one of the multiple high-speed chases and the cops impounded it. Now Annie’s in trouble, like multiple million dollar trouble, with MS-13. Paul was helping her because they’re in love. Carlos recommends leaving again, but Teagan convinces him to take Paul to find Annie and she and Nic will go to Javier’s house. On the drive to Burbank, where Javier lives, Teagan tells Nic her story. And here’s a miniature version of it: Teagan’s parents were ultra-smart geneticists who got the idea that they needed to create a super soldier to stop all wars because Teagan’s uncle was killed in Kuwait and it made her mom get crazy obsessed. They bought a ranch in Wyoming and got to work, tampering with genetic material. They experimented with embryos from prostitutes and other destitute women, paying the mothers off and tinkering with their unborn children. That’s clearly where this other psychokinetic person came from, one of those prostitutes who Teagan’s parents thought were a failed experiment. Sheesh… how many more of them are there? Well, there were at least two. Teagan also has super-soldier siblings. Her sister, Chloe, could sense infrared and her brother, Adam, never needed to sleep, which made him insane. They were homeschooled and spent a lot of time together as children, but when they reached puberty, things kind of went into overdrive and Adam burned down their house with their family inside. All except Teagan. She was whisked away to a facility in Texas where they did horrible tests on her for four years until Tanner came along and put her to work. And now she lives in LA and ate a taco for the first time and wants to open a restaurant and live a normalish life only sometimes doing covert government work. AND NOW THIS!
Jake is reliving some memories at this point. He’s thinking back on some times with Chuy and how Chuy helped him strengthen his powers and learn to kill people. He’s a real stand up guy. Chuy really wants Jake to use his powers to get rid of these three guys that did terrible things in a place called El Agujero. So really Jake would be a hero, not a serial killer. So he brought a guy who used to touch little kids over to Jake to test him. See if he could kill. And yeah, he could, if it meant finding out anything about his past. And here we are, waiting semi-patiently for Javier to get to his ex-wife’s house. And he does. And Teagan and Nic pull up shortly afterward and are greeted by Javier flying through their windshield. Teagan tells Nic to take Javier away and find a cop and that she’ll deal with the only other psychokinetic person in the world. She tries to talk to him but he slams a mailbox into her chest instead and takes her inside. The fire is getting close now and it’s hard to breathe outside. He asks her about how she got her gift and she tries to explain but her explanations aren’t good enough. No matter what she says, he doesn’t believe her and is getting angry and things are flying through the air. He doesn’t believe that they could possibly be in the same place at the same time unless someone planned it and it must have been her and she must have known him and she’s just not telling him. She really tries to explain to him, but he just won’t listen and then he wraps his rebar around her throat. But then… Carlos arrives! Or should we say CHUY?! Dun dun dun!!!
Both Jake and Teagan want help from ChuyCarlos and neither one can understand why the other knows him. ChuyCarlos wants to get them all out of the house that’s about to be burned up in the wildfire. He yells at Jake about him not being able to kill all three guys in one night and now he’s gotta come clean up after him. He starts to shoot Teagan with a taser but then Jake gets angry because he’s clearly insane and throws a piece of rebar into ChuyCarlos’s chest. Teagan is furious. Carlos, her best friend, knows Jake, knows he’s a killer and was going to blame her for the murders. What. The. Fuck. Even though Carlos is clearly terrible, Jake did just throw rebar into his chest, which makes her angry, which amps up her powers just like before. She sends a bunch of shit flying through the air and hits him with a few things, but then he adds in his own flying shit and they’re in a flying shit battle. Just as he’s about to kill her with the oven, she reaches outside of the house, grabs Javier’s truck, and throws it at him. She goes to him as he dies and feels kind of sad about it. Javier’s ex-wife and daughter come out of their hiding place then, see that Jake is dead and leave. Then Carlos calls out. Teagan realizes that Carlos has been trying to get her to leave the entire day. So she would have no alibi for the murders. He says he wanted to give her a new life. But he also wanted those guys dead for what they did in El Agujero, putting microfibers into the water supply. He wanted it all. But he also knew another person like her. Why didn’t he tell her about Jake? It’s too late now, Jake’s dead and the fire is coming. Teagan isn’t strong enough to get Carlos out of the house and also he’s a fucking liar so she leaves.
She doesn’t make it too far away before our good old friend Burr shows up and tases her. She wakes up, super drugged up, on a plane at LAX. Burr is taking her to Tanner. Annie and Paul are there, and Reggie, so that’s good, they’re all safe, but Teagan is strapped to a gurney without her powers about to be blamed for those murders and experimented on by the government. The plane takes off but then turns around and lands again. Tanner called and made them go back and let Teagan go. But why? Because of Nic. Nic took Javier to the cops and then his ex-wife and daughter show up. And Nic asks them if they saw Teagan. And they did. And they also saw Jake move a bunch of shit with his mind. So Teagan is off the hook. Tanner’s guys went into Javier’s house and got Jake’s body and took it away to dissect it. They did not, however, find Carlos. Now Teagan is back at the office, trying to sort everything out. Annie tells her about the research she did on El Agujero. Carlos’s brother found out about the microfibers. They banded together to get the workers in a factory in El Agujero to revolt but the Mexican police killed them all because Steven Chase paid them off. Yikes. Carlos wanted revenge and since he started working for Tanner, he was able to manipulate some things to get everything started with sending them to Steven Chase’s office in the beginning and setting everything up.
Tanner calls Teagan then and tells her that she’s going to keep working for her, doing everything like she did before, or she’s going to get sent to a government testing site. You know, same old same old. Teagan wants Tanner to find out if there are any other people that her parents experimented on, but of course Tanner will only tell her things that are need-to-know. Teagan threatens her, says if Tanner ever sends special ops guys to take her down again that she’s going to send them back to her in body bags. She also tells her that she’s not going to harm Nic and she’s going to tell her anything she finds out about the other experiments. And that seems to go well enough. She goes back to her house and finds Harry the homeless guy right where she left him, waves and goes inside. She calls Nic to come over and explains to him that she wanted to date him but she can’t because whenever she has sex, she can’t control her psychokinesis and things get dangerous. If she does keep it in check, well, she doesn’t enjoy the sex at all. So it’s a lose-lose sort of situation. But she tells Nic that she likes him. Well, loves him, but he doesn’t want to be with her. Not because of her abilities, but because of what she does with them, her work for the government. He just can’t spend all his time worrying about her. Plus, he just wanted to date her, he doesn’t love her, so he’s going to leave. She won’t give up though. She’s going to convince him that they can be together. Uh huh, sure. Just when you think everything’s wrapped up in a neat little package, there’s one more chapter. From Harry the homeless guy’s POV. And it turns out that he’s not Harry at all. He’s Adam. Teagan’s brother. And he’s been watching Teagan’s house for more than a year. He calls Chloe who asks Does she know? And he responds, No, she doesn’t know. THE END. WHAT?!