The snow fluttered down from the sky as the train slowly clicked into the station. Alicia stood up and pulled her bag off of the overhead rack, silently cursing herself for making it so heavy.
While it was nice to see her Mom in a relationship, it did mean that she needed to buy two extra Christmas presents a year and those really weighed her down.
As she walked out onto the platform and towards the exit of the station Alica spotted police cars forming a cordon around a building on the opposite side of the street. Alicia moved closer to try and get a closer look, and as she did, she spotted two familiar figures climbing up a fire escape.
Alicia quickly ran into a bathroom and yanked her bag open, pulling out the small bundle of clothes that she kept handy at all times. She quickly changed and yanked the mask over her head before running outside and stashing her bag in a bush.
Once she was sure that she was ready, Alicia quickly ran to the fire escape and started to climb up it, doing her best to catch up with the two figures she had seen a few minutes earlier.
As she reached the roof of the building she saw Ivanna and Dragón looking down through a skylight. “What’s up?”
“Alicia!” Gasped Dragón.
“Snow Queen,” said Ivanna firmly. “Robot obsessive. Decided to make an army of robotic snowmen.”
Alicia walked over and looked down, only to see that the shopping center was teeming with small cartoonish robot snowmen, each one wielding either a hatchet or a club.
“MIST called us in as robots are easy to smash,” smirked Dragón.
“Right”, nodded Alicia, watching as Ivanna yanked the skylight open. Once it was off its hinges, all three girls dropped down onto a balcony.
“Stop right there!” Shouted Ivanna as she pointed down at the white-haired Snow Queen.
“It is too late! Winter is here!” cackled the Snow Queen. “You will fall under the might of my blizzard bots!”
“Well well well,” came a voice from the opposite balcony. “Isn’t it always the way? You wait all day for a superhero team to kick your butt and then two come along at once.” Said Sharon as she, Ulla, and Mara stepped out of the shadows.
“We’re going to clear this line in time for Christmas!” Shouted Ulla. “Express Knight Ulla is here!”
“Emergency! Ready for action!” yelled Mara.
“Mesmera! Pleased to meet you!” smirked Sharon. “And we are.”
“Triptych!” Screamed all three girls in unison.
“Very nice!” giggled Alicia as she gave a small round of applause.
“Criminals beware, face the might of El Cóndor Vengador!” Roared Ivanna as she pointed down at the Snow Queen.
“The resplendent rudo! Dragón Danzante!” Grinned Dragón as she posed.
“Syner-Bee!” Screamed Alicia as her bracelets turned on and illuminated the area around her.
Sharon, Mara, and Ulla all applauded Alicia’s posing before jumping off the balcony and confronting the Snow Queen. “How about it girls,” said Sharon cockily. “Shall we add her to our naughty list?”
“She is only getting coal this year,” teased Alicia as she, Dragón, and Ivanna dropped from their balcony and charged at the very confused looking woman.
The robots quickly noticed that something was moving towards their creator and started to attack the advancing women. “On the side!” shouted Alicia as she kicked one of the robots in the chest.
To Alicia’s surprise, the kick heavily dented the robot, causing it to spark and fall backward. Alicia smirked and opened her mouth, aiming to make a quip. However, before the quip could come out, she realized that she hadn’t touched Ivanna or Dragón, meaning that she had smashed this robot without using powers.
The sound of crumpling metal filled the room as Ulla and Emergency clashed with a wave of robots. With a single punch, Emergency sent her hand right through one of the small creatures.
“There robots are terrible!” laughed Ivanna as she effortlessly slammed one into the ground, causing it to shatter into a thousand pieces. Dragón was having a similar experience, even her weakest moves were reducing the robots to scrap.
“Mesmera!” shouted Ulla as she decapitated a robot with her sword. “Path!”
Sharon nodded and ran through the crowd, charging right towards the Snow Queen. Thanks to the other girls, there were no robots anywhere near her, allowing her to sprint without fear.
“Come here you!” shouted Sharon as her feet echoed against the polished floor. Snow Queen started to look left and right, a look of panic forming on her face.
“No, No,” she mumbled before quickly slamming her gloved hand into the floor. As she did, a faint cracking sound could be heard as ice spread out around her.
Sharon instantly lost her footing and crashed to the floor, her body sliding for a few feet on the now icy tiles. Snow Queen laughed and quickly pulled a remote out of her dress before tapping a few buttons on it.
“You’ve not seen the worst I can do!” cackled Snow Queen as the faint sound of rotors started to echo around the mall. Sharon mumbled as she tried to find her footing on the ice, but the sudden fall had stunned her.
The other girls continued to beat back the hordes of robots. None of them were a threat on their own, but the sheer numbers were making the little droids hard to keep on top of.
Suddenly, one of the skylights shattered as a drone flew in. The girls all covered their heads, trying to dodge the shards of glass. Sharon looked up at the hunk of flying metal, still trying to regain her footing.
As she looked at the drone, Sharon spotted the large spike that was mounted to the front of it. It looked like it was made out of glass or crystal and it was obviously horrifically sharp.
She continued to struggle and slide on the ice as the drone turned its spike towards her, obviously aiming to stab her. However, before the drone could do anything, a metal claw on a chain flew from behind Sharon and drilled into the drone before yanking it out of the sky.
“Hey!” screamed Emergency as she retracted the chain, causing the drone to crash to the ground. “Pick on someone your own size!” she added as she started to dash towards the Snow Queen, her armor easily adapting to the icy terrain.
Ulla aimed at one of the small robots, only for Alicia to run across the room and dropkick it. “Go help Memsera,” smirked Alicia as she quickly parried a blow from another robot before punching a hole into it.
“Right,” nodded Ulla as she ran towards the woman, raising her sword as she did.
Snow Queen’s eyes went wide. It was obvious that she was intimidated by the sight of the two suits charging towards her, especially as both Ulla and Emergency towered over her diminutive frame.
“You’ll pay for this!” she shouted as she turned and ran, pressing another button on the remote as she did.
The still-active robots around the mall started to beep, causing Emergency and Ulla to stop in their tracks. “Bombs!” shouted Ulla. “Dispose of many of them as you can!” she added before turning around and swinging wildly with her sword.
Sharon watched Snow Queen sprint out of an emergency exit and into an alleyway as she scrambled to her feet. She debated what to do, but realized that it was far too late to catch up with the woman and that dealing with the robots was more important. She quickly rejoined the fray, ripping up as many robots as she could.
After a couple of minutes of furious activity, the robots all laid on the floor, their bodies showing the effects of the girls’ powers. “Any more beeping?” asked Ulla as she looked around the mall.
“I don’t hear anything,” replied Alicia. “Dragón? Vengador? Mind if I borrow some powers so I can fly around and check?”
“Never need to ask!” chuckled Ivanna as she extended her hand.
“What is mine, is yours,” nodded Dragón.
“You’re going to make me blush,” giggled Alicia as she touched the two girls, feeling their powers flow through her body. She hadn’t felt this in months, and if she was honest, she had sort of missed it.
Dragón and Alica slowly rose into the air and flew up to the second floor of the building. Once they were high enough, they both dropped down onto the tiled walkway and nodded at each other. They quickly set to work looking around the store-fronts, looking for any more of the robots.
“Be careful!” shouted Sharon as she waved up at Alica. Alicia rolled her eyes as her cheeks flushed a deep red.
“I’ll be fine,” she chuckled. As Alicia looked around the shopping mall, she spotted that one storefront had its window broken. She quickly moved towards it and peered inside.
The storefront had obviously been empty for a while as the other window was covered with some local art and a note about renting the space.
But inside the space, there were a few random crates and what seemed to be a transmitter of some sort. “I’ve got something,” shouted Alicia. “Seems to be a transmitter, not sure what it is transmitting to though.”
“Pull back!” shouted Ulla. “We’ve got support on the way, don’t want to risk damaging our evidence!”
“Okay,” nodded Alicia as she leaned backward and dropped down off the railing, using her power to slowly float down towards the floor.
“We’ll have to destroy the security footage,” mumbled Ulla as she looked at Sharon and Emergency.
“Yeah, I’ll clear up loose ends if we have any. You know these stores, always going all out for these Christmas promotions, enough to short out even the cutest displays,” smirked Sharon.
Suddenly another figure peered in through the skylight. Alicia jumped in shock, only for Sharon to catch her in a tight hug.
“Area clear, active transmitter but no major threats,” shouted Ulla as the figure glided down into the mall. Alicia recognized her; she had seen her during the Bluebird park incident, but they hadn’t really talked.
“Ulla, Emergency, Mesmera,” nodded the woman, her shiny bird-like costume giving her a very imposing vibe.
“Carrion,” replied all three women in turn.
“You think Loft can get us some info on these robots?” asked Sharon as she kicked one of the bots with her shoe.
“We can have a try,” nodded Carrion as her armor dissolved and turned into a small robotic bird. “Lunchtime, Loft.”
“Data,” chirped Loft as it started to fly around the room, eyeing up all of the destroyed robots. Suddenly, it swooped down towards one of the bots and dissolved into a small cloud of grey dots.
The dots spun around the robot, almost as if they were being tossed around in a hurricane. After a second or two, the cloud reformed into the bird, revealing that the robot had vanished.
“Wow,” mumbled Alicia.
“Ugh,” coughed Loft. “Gross data.”
“What’s up Loft?” asked Carrion.
“Bad data, badly designed. Boring.” replied the metallic bird, quickly repeating the process on one of the other robots.
“Nanobot cloud,” whispered Sharon. “Can digest computer parts and make it into part of itself while also retaining the data on the computer.”
“That is amazing,” replied Alicia.
“But Loft likes dense information, like how we like filling and satisfying food. If the code is bad, Loft isn’t a fan,” interjected Carrion as Loft flew up towards the store with the transmitter.
“Oh,” nodded Alicia, feeling slightly embarrassed that she had been overheard.
“Nice to see you back,” grinned Carrion as the bird quickly flew back to her and landed on her shoulder.
“You owe me,” squawked the bird. “Bad data.”
“I’ll let you loose on some satellite data when we get back,” sighed Carrion as she rubbed Loft under the chin. “What did you get?”
“Relays, most of them down or just broken,” replied Loft as it nuzzled into the pets. “No data.”
“So she set up a relay grid,” mumbled Emergency. “Likely to hide her identity.”
“Or because she lacks the range,” interjected Ulla. “Her robots were not the best quality.”
“But her gauntlet,” added Sharon. “That was a quick freeze, ever seen anything like that?”
“Not really, but it seems doable with the right kit, I might be able to reverse engineer it,” nodded Emergency.
“If you can do that, we can try and disarm it,” grinned Sharon.
“True, but we better clear this area,” added Ulla. “Police will want to let people back in soon. Sharon, you go delete the footage. I’ll go cause a breaker issue.” “Thank you, Vengador and Dragón. May our paths cross again soon, and same with you, Syner-Bee,” grinned Sharon as she bowed.
“Feeling is mutual,” nodded Vengador.
“Want a ride back up to the roof? Quite the crowd outside, going to be hard to avoid the press,” smiled Carrion as she extended her arm so that Loft could land on it.
“Easier than climbing,” nodded Vengador as she nodded for Alicia to follow her.
Carrion rejoined with Loft before flying each girl up onto the roof. Once Alicia, Ivanna, and Dragón were on the roof, Carrion waved and quickly flew off over the horizon.
“So,” mumbled Alicia, “what now?”
“We need to find a way down,” replied Ivanna as she pulled open an air conditioning duct to reveal two hoodies. She quickly pulled them out and threw one towards Dragón.
“I hid my bag near the station,” chuckled Alicia awkwardly as she rubbed the back of her head.
“Oh,” mumbled Dragón. “We can try and get it for you.”
“Cause a distraction,” nodded Ivanna. “Dragón runs in, back up before you know it.”
“Sure, if you guys don’t mind,” smiled Alicia.
“Always happy to help!” replied Dragón as she quickly started to run down the fire escape.
Alicia let out a sigh as she waited for the pair to return. She hadn’t planned to fight robots today, but she couldn’t deny that it was exciting and that her mom’s enthusiasm was contagious.
Once Dragón and Ivanna returned with her clothes Alica quickly changed, keen to become inconspicuous as quickly as possible. As she pulled her street clothes on Alicia thanked the girls and said goodbye to them, watching as the pair crept off the roof and back into the city.