The drive into the city took longer than it usually did. The mixture of snow, confused crowds, traffic, and Mara’s desire to avoid suspicion made for very slow progress.
As they drove into the city center, the radio crackled again. “Calling all units. Incident at Central Mall front lobby, reports of someone with a,” they said, before letting out a series of confused mumbles. “A freeze gun?”
“No,” gasped Mara. She opened her mouth to say something else. But before she could, Ulla, Mara, and Sharon’s phones all started to ring.
“MIST,” grumbled Sharon.
“We need to help them!” shouted Ulla, “We’re only a few blocks away! That mall is crowded right now. She could cause horrific damage!”
“Right!” Mara nodded as she put her foot down.
Sharon answered the call and started to speak. “I know. I know. We’re on it! She won’t get away a second time!” shouted Sharon. Alicia couldn’t hear the person on the other end, but she got the message.
“All units,” crackled the radio. “Ignore the last message. Apparently a hoax. It is being dealt with by mall security,” explained the voice.
“They got to that quick,” Sharon grinned.
“Can’t cause panic,” nodded Ulla as Mara swerved into a side street and started to accelerate.
“We’ll dump the van round the back. It’s the easiest way to get in unnoticed,” Mara added as she continued to drive as fast as she could.
Alicia’s heart started to pound in her chest. She hadn’t prepared for a fight, but part of her was thrilled. She wanted to use her powers as often as possible and this was the perfect chance.
“I’ll evacuate people while you girls go and deal with her,” shouted Sharon as she yanked her coat off and pulled her mask on. A few seconds later, the van pulled up in an empty loading dock.
“Let’s go,” shouted Ulla as the girls dived out of the van. They ran into the mall’s backdoor, only to find a surprisingly calm scene. People were milling around, listening to carols, or doing last-minute shopping. No one seemed to realize what was going on.
“Up there!” pointed Mara as she saw a load of security guards running towards a staff-only area on the second floor.
“On it,” shouted Ulla as she started to run, the other girls right behind her.
Mesmera looked around frantically, trying to find a good position to use her powers from. She spotted an escalator and quickly pushed through the crowd, doing her best to get up to the second floor as quickly as possible.
Once Sharon got to the second floor, she ran to the far end and started to look around frantically. “I need people’s attention,” she mumbled.
“Madam, we don’t allow helmets in the building,” said a woman from behind Sharon. She spun on her heel and spotted a security guard coming towards her, radio firmly grasped in her hand.
“Oh, fantastic!” Mesmera grinned as she started to charge at the woman, the silver glow filling her eyes.
“Madam I,” started the woman, only for her mouth to drop open as she made eye contact with Mesmera. Once she was close, Mesmera snatched the radio from the woman’s hand and threw it through the nearest store window.
The glass let out a loud crash as it broke, drawing everyone’s attention to the balcony. Mesmera started to look around, doing her best to focus her power.
“Everyone! Look at me, please! Do not panic! Look at me!” shouted Sharon as she moved her head, keen to pull as many people into her gaze as possible. “It has been a wonderful time! You’re all going to have a great Christmas but the mall is closing early due to the snow.”
The mall had ground to halt. Everyone in the main lobby was staring up at Sharon, their eyes wide and their mouths hanging open as they stared dumbfounded.
The sudden chaos and confusion had caused everyone to let their guard down which had allowed Mesmera’s powers to instantly take control of their minds. People were swaying on the spot, their minds totally frozen as they continued to gaze into Mesmera’s eyes.
“Yes! Everyone, the mall closing early! Too much snow! Please, walk to the door near me and leave the mall! Nothing unusual going on, just bad weather!” shouted Sharon as the mind-numbed crowd started to slowly march towards the door.
Mesmera started to move as she continued to shout. She was keen to make sure that everyone was out of the mall before anything bad could happen to them.
“Madam! Please!” Shouted one of the guards as the white-haired woman walked towards them.
“Get out of my way!” Screamed the woman, a group of robots following close behind her. “Or face a harsh winter!”
“I,” mumbled the man. “Madam, please, you’re breaking the rules.”
“I’m going to break many rules,” cackled Snow Queen as her gauntlet started to glow and crackle. A sharp icicle started to grow on the tip as the Snow Queen raised her arm and aimed at the man’s throat.
The man gasped and tried to work out what to do. However, before he could think, the icicle let out a crack and flew forward. The man’s eyes went wide as he froze with fear.
A loud train horn echoed through the corridor, followed by a loud clunking. The man heard a gasp before he felt something push him aside, sending him crashing to the floor.
He looked up, only to see the icicle bounce off an armored figure. “You’ve made a mistake,” growled Ulla. “Come quietly and this won’t end poorly for you.”
“You and what army?” Cackled Snow Queen. “You didn’t capture me last time and now you are all alone!”
“Wrong!” Shouted Mara as she walked around the corner, the Emergency armor clunking with every step.
“In fact, we’re stronger than ever!” Shouted Alicia as she towards Ulla. “So you should stop this! We’ve got places to be.”
Snow Queen just cackled as her gauntlet started to glow, another icicle forming on it.
Alicia quickly stepped over the guard before looking down at him. “Get out of here, we’ve got this covered!” She smiled. The man nodded and ran away, the other guards not far behind.
Snow Queen moved her arm and fired the icicle towards Alicia. However, before it could get close, Kitty appeared in front of the icicle, snatching it from the air.
“Nope,” smiled Kitty as she snapped the icicle with one hand.
“Blizzard bots!” Screamed Snow Queen. “Destroy them!” The robots started to run towards the girls. Each one waving a knife or hatchet as it did.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” grinned Kitty as she raised her arm and tapped on her computer. “Star change!” She yelled as a bright glow surrounded her body.
The robots continued to charge, however, as they reached the glow, they found themselves thrown back as a wave of force radiated out from Kitty.
The light vanished, revealing Kitty in her armor. “Spreading peace throughout the stars! The Pearileos Galaxy’s ambassador to Earth! The girl who is going to make Christmas purrfect! Space Kitty!” Shouted Kitty as she swatted several of the robots away.
“Let’s go!” Shouted Ulla as she ran forward. The other girls quickly joined her, diving into the fray. The robots were just as weak as before, even Alicia could reduce them to junk with her bare hands.
As the robots got shredded, the Snow Queen’s expression grew gradually more dismayed. After a few minutes, she shook her head and started to flee.
“Chase her!” Shouted Ulla as she threw a robot into the wall.
“On it!” Shouted Alicia as she started to vault over robots in an effort to catch up to the woman. The staff areas of the mall were twisty and confusing, but Alicia was able to keep the Snow Queen in sight.
While the strange woman had a head start, it was obvious she wasn’t as fit as Alicia.
As she turned a corner, the Snow Queen crashed through a door that led back out into the main area of the mall. Alicia looked around, quickly spotting that the mall was deserted.
“Nowhere to run!” Screamed Alicia as the woman headed towards the escalator. Due to either stupidity or panic, the Snow Queen started to run down the up escalator, stumbling as she did.
Alicia smirked as she decided to skip the escalator and vault over the barrier. Alicia plummeted towards the ground, perfectly rolling through as she made contact with the tiled floor, putting her mere feet behind the Snow Queen.
Spotting Alicia right on her tail, the Snow Queen spun around and aimed her gauntlet towards the floor. Alica prepared, expecting the same trick she had pulled on Mesmera. However, before she could freeze the floor, a chair smashed into the woman’s head, sending her flying across the room as splinters of wood flew everywhere.
“Wood beats ice!” Shouted Sharon as she dashed towards the downed woman.
“Nice shot!” Congratulated Alicia.
“I’m good at this,” chuckled Sharon.
Snow Queen flailed on the floor, doing her best to get up as quickly as possible. The panic on her face only grew as Mesmera and Alicia got closer.
After a few seconds, she hammered a button on her belt. “What?” Gasped Alicia as she started to look around.
“She’s likely called a drone,” interjected Sharon. Before she could say anything else, the sound of shattering glass filled the area a large drone flew in through a second-story window.
The robot flew towards the girls, firing small blasts of ice as it did. Alicia and Sharon dove out of the way, taking cover behind some random tables.
As the girls took cover, the woman clambered up from the floor and ran towards the exit, panting loudly as she did.
“It is coming back around!” Shouted Alica as she quickly vaulted over the table. The drone twisted and lowered, obviously trying to get a better shot.
However, before it could aim, a hook on a chain wrapped around the done’s body. The drone twitched and rocked in the air, obviously unable to work out how to cope with being restrained. The chain then quickly retracted, pulling the robot into a wall, causing it to explode into shrapnel.
“Thanks!” Shouted Mesmera as she looked up at the balcony.
“No worries,” shouted Mara as she, Ulla, and Kitty quickly made their way down. “Where did she go?”
“Out of the door!” Shouted Alicia as she started to run. “It is an alleyway, we can get her trapped!”
“Good call!” Replied Ulla. “We destroyed her bots upstairs.”
The girls quickly charged through the door and out onto the street, determined to chase down the Snow Queen.