As the birds chirped over the ruined castle, a line of people stood in a line near the gate. At the gate were Mara, Ulla, and Alicia, all three of them trying to suppress their laughter.
"This was terrible!" shouted a woman as Alicia nodded her head.
"We're sorry," replied Alicia as she did her best to sound sincere.
"This was an awful experience I never want to repeat, this place is disgusting and your actors are terrible! I'm not recommending my friends!" shouted one of the girls.
"Well, I'm sorry. We're a new company," replied Alicia. "Would a partial refund help? Half of your tickets?"
"Yes! I want that right now!" yelled the woman as her eyes glazed over for a second. Alicia reached into a trash bag next to her and, after a few seconds of fiddling, she pulled out several banknotes and put them into the woman's hand.
"There you go!" said Alicia, "We're sorry about this!"
"You should be!" huffed the woman as she walked out of the gate and towards her car, the rest of her group following blankly behind her. Once she was out of the gate, the next person in line walked up to Alicia.
"This was terrible!" shouted the girl.
"Tell me about it!" giggled Alicia.
"This was an awful experience I never want to repeat, this place is disgusting and your actors are terrible! I'm not recommending this to any of my friends" screamed the girl with practiced ease, her screams harmonizing with the screams of the people who were currently yelling at Ulla and Mara.
"Refund?" offered Alicia, biting down on her lip to hold back her laughter.
"Yes! I want that right now!" replied the woman, not even noticing that Alicia already had the money out. As Alicia put the notes in the woman's hand, she stormed out of the park and the next group stepped up.
"This was an awful experience I never want to repeat, this place is disgusting and your actors are terrible!" shouted the next woman as she pointed at Alicia. "I'm not recommending this to any of my friends!"
"Refund!" chirped Alicia as she held out a wad of money.
"Yes! I want that right now!" the woman responded as she took the cash and walked out of the gate. Alicia looked to the next person, only to see Beth and Katie walking towards her.
"Hey girls, back in a sec," she shouted as Mara and Ulla nodded. Alicia quickly made her way over to Beth and Katie. "How are you feeling?"
"Better, what happened?" asked Katie as she looked at the line.
"I just let you sleep for a bit. You needed it," responded Alicia.
"What's this?" asked Beth.
"Oh, we're giving out refunds. We found where the Queen kept her cash," Alicia said as Beth and Katie listened to Ulla dealing with a customer. Once the customer stormed out, both of the girls giggled.
"Are they all saying that?" asked Katie.
"Yeah, Mom gave them a script!" laughed Alicia. "It helps drill in the false memory of this being a terrible event where nothing happened."
"False memory?" asked Beth as she blinked. "But, I still remember."
"So do I?" Asked Katie.
"Yeah, I couldn't bring myself to do it," Alicia admitted with a blush. "You guys were awesome, so I just cleared up the mess the Queen left and then let you keep the memories."
"So, you're a superhero?" asked Katie.
"Well," started Alicia only to burst out laughing. "Look, it is a crazy story. I'll tell you later, okay?"
"I'm holding you to that!" Beth gave Alicia a playful nudge. "Anything I can do to help?"
"You could load our caravan into the car," responded Alicia, "Would save us as a job and we can deal with the last of the guests."
"On it!" Beth nodded as she moved towards the caravan.
Katie followed her for a few steps before turning. "Hey, Alicia! You were awesome tonight!"
"Thanks," giggled Alicia. "That means a lot to me," she said as she went back to the line.
It took a while, but slowly but surely the girls got through the line of people, making sure that everyone made their way back down the mountain with their refund in their hand and their new memory fresh in their heads.
Once the last car vanished into the distance, Alicia let out a sigh. "Okay! Now what?"
"We need to wait for someone to take the Courtesan and the Queen in, and to collect samples," replied Ulla as she rubbed her hips. "It shouldn't take long."
"Not as long as you think," chuckled Mara as she pointed behind Ulla. An armored woman dropped from the sky and landed on one of the caravans. Alicia instantly recognized the figure: it was Carrion, one of the heroes she had fought alongside when they took down Momo.
"Beth, Katie. Go sit in the car," instructed Alicia.
"Okay," replied the girls in unison as they quickly ran into the car. The closing of the doors echoed around the empty parking lot.
Carrion jumped down from the caravan and walked towards Ulla, her robotic suit vanishing and quicking forming into a robotic crow. "Carrion!" shouted Mara. "Thanks for coming!"
"No worries," Carrion replied with a smile as she pointed at Alicia. "Syner-Bee! Nice to see you!"
Alicia nodded. "Same!"
"Sounds like you guys have had a hell of a night," said Carrion as she looked Ulla over. "Sure you don't need a medical evacuation?"
Ulla shook her head. "I'm fine.”
"How did you know we were here?" asked Alicia.
"I was able to send out an emergency beacon while you were causing an uprising!" laughed Mara. "Only time I could have gotten one out without someone noticing or trying to take revenge on the hostages."
"It took me a while to get here," remarked Carrion, "And it's going to take longer for a forensic team. I came on ahead to keep an eye on the place; you guys look pretty beat up."
"Could you?" asked Sharon as she emerged from the castle and walked up to Carrion. "It would be a big help."
Carrion grinned. "Yeah, no worries."
"Well, they're in the castle itself. I've tried to make them as stable and as comfortable as I can. They're in withdrawals, but it seems to not be dangerous."
"Right, right," noted Carrion, "I'll take it from here. And hey, good to see you guys again. It has been far too long."
"We'll do coffee at some point," suggested Mesmera, "I have an old hard drive that I'm sure Loft will love!"
"It's a date," chuckled Carrion. "Hey," she added as she leaned in, "I'll go into the buildings and keep my back turned for a bit, so you don't have to hide your buddies."
"Oh thank you!" nodded Mesmera. "Very sweet of you."
"The less paperwork I have to do, the better! Later!" laughed Carrion as she walked towards the castle. Mesmera, Ulla, Mara, and Alicia let out a sigh as they all walked into the car back and crowded around the car that Beth and Katie were sat in.
"What's the plan?" asked Mara.
"I'm too tired to drive back all the way," yawned Sharon.
"There is a motel about three quarters of the way down," interrupted Beth as she rolled down the window. "Not sure how good it is, but it’s a bed."
"Great!" Mesmera enthused, "Can you drive, Alicia?"
"Can do!" giggled Alicia.
"We'll follow you and then stay there for the night," replied Sharon as she went to her car and climbed inside. Alicia climbed into the driver's seat of Beth's car and started it up.