Momo sang softly to herself as she fiddled with the inside of the machine, the wires sparking and crackling in time with the pounding bass that echoed through her lab.
Suddenly a loud and jaunty tune drew Momo’s attention away from the device. She quickly skipped towards a table and grabbed her phone
“Pastel Princess!” Sung Momo.
“Loading bay quickly!” Cried the voice over the sounds of screaming. “Momo we need you now!”
“Hey!” Shouted Momo. “I thought we agreed on codenames!”
“Help us!” Screamed another voice down the line as the phone went dead.
“Everyone is so rude!” Huffed Momo as she threw her phone onto the table and grabbed a gumball before walking out of the lab and down towards the loading bay, muttering the whole way.
As Momo reached the floor with the loading dock, she could hear the echoing sounds of screaming and gunfire. Momo sighed and started to skip towards the noise, keen to see just what had freaked out the guards.
As she opened the door to the loading bay the sounds grew even louder as the chaos was revealed to her. The metallic garage door had been ripped clean off the wall and the monstrous form of Parasite was rampaging around the bay, throwing guards left and right.
Some of the guards had taken cover behind a car and were in the process of unloading their guns into Parasite, however, the bullets merely passed right through her latex body, the holes healing within seconds.
“Momo!” Screamed one of the guards, waving their hands to get Momo’s attention. “We need it to stop!”
Before Momo could react, Parasite charged over, obviously attracted by the movement of the guard’s hands. Her spiked tendrils ripped the car in two before smashing the guards into a wall with a mighty swing.
“Why would I stop her?” Gasped Momo, her eyes going wide. “She is beautiful!”
The guards continued to scream and fire wildly as Momo watched Parasite’s continued rampage with a big smile on her face. As one guard’s gun let out a soft click, the guard threw the gun to the floor and started to flee.
As they moved for the door Momo stepped in front of them, blocking their escape.
“We can’t stop that thing!” Screamed the guard. “We need to retreat right now.”
“It’s fine,” giggled Momo. “Victory is easy.”
“We’ve given it all we have! Our guns can’t stop it!” Screamed the guard.
“Oh, I didn’t mean your victory,” grinned Momo as Parasite’s tendril wrapped around the guard and threw her against the wall. As the guard slid down the wall the other guards started to try and flee out of the building, however every time they got close to the door one of the tendrils would grab them and slam them into the floor.
After a few minutes, the sounds of chaos faded to nothing as each guard was subdued by Parasite. As she stood over the fallen bodies she let out a loud growl.
Momo squealed and bounced up and down on the spot as she possessively leered at Parasite. “You are so pretty,” she added before running up to the hulking beast.
As Momo came close Parasite turned and growled, one of her spiked tendrils rose into the air like it was about to strike. Momo wrapped her arms around Parasite’s waist and looked up at the tendril with a smirk.
“Best friend protocol!” Giggled Momo. “Best friend protocol for my sexiest playmate!” She continued as she rubbed her hands over Parasite’s body. “You look so good!’
Parasite let out a soft gurgling noise, as Momo groped her, the tendrils on her back starting to tremble as a wave of pleasure washed over her body.
“You like that don’t you?” Giggled Momo as she continued to grab and paw at Parasite’s breasts, enjoying the strange little sounds that Parasite made as she was touched.
“Follow me,” smiled Momo, grabbing Parasite by the hand and dragging her into the building.
Alicia sat on the couch, letting the sounds coming from the TV wash over her. The infomercial she was watching wasn’t dramatically interesting, but it was more enjoyable than being alone with her thoughts.
“Sorry about this,” shouted Sharon from upstairs. “This is taking longer than I thought.”
“Don’t worry about it,” shouted Alicia. “I can wait.” She looked back at the screen and sighed before pulling her phone out of her pocket, hoping that the internet could give her a more enjoyable distraction.
Most of her social media feed was what she expected, stories, and images of her school friends’ summer adventures. Of course, none of their stories came close to the weirdness of Alicia’s summer.
Locally people were mostly posting about the substation fire, with the press doing its best to reassure people that the fire was caused by a freak accident and that steps would be taken to make sure it never happened again.
However, as Alicia went through her feed, she spotted one story being posted often, at first she just dismissed it as a weird bit of sensationalism, but after its fourth appearance on her feed, she was curious. “Strange shooting star baffles scientists,” declared the headline.
Alicia opened the story and looked over it. It talked about a strange shooting star that had appeared in the sky early that morning. The scientists were baffled by both the star’s sudden appearance and its odd brightness. However, the story went out of its way to remind readers that there was nothing to fear and this was merely some cosmic debris flying past the Earth.
Alicia didn’t find comfort in the words. If this summer had taught her one thing, it was that things can be very different from how they seem and that people were very keen to hide the truth. It was a weird coincidence that this shooting star had appeared the morning after she and Sharon activated that strange device that shot a beam into the sky. Alicia shook her head, it was too weird to be a coincidence.
“How’s the internet?” Asked Sharon as she walked into the living room, her hair still slightly damp from her shower.
“Well,” replied Alicia. “News is talking about a strange shooting star, think it is anything to do with what we did?”
“What?” Asked Sharon as she sat on the couch. “Can I see?”
“Sure,” smiled Alicia, handing her phone over to Sharon. Sharon started to read over the story, her eyes growing slowly wider as they traced over the words.
After several minutes of reading, Sharon handed the phone back. “I’m sure it is okay,” she said, sounding like she was trying to convince herself.
“So a random weird shooting star appears after we activate a strange device and that is normal?”
“I didn’t say normal. I said it is okay.” Replied Sharon. “Why don’t we just watch the movie?”
“Sure,” nodded Alicia, turning her phone off. “I guess there isn’t anything we can do right now.”
“Welcome to the real world of villainy” giggled Sharon as she grabbed the TV remote. “Hours of waiting for something interesting to happen.”
Parasite blinked her eyes as she tried to bring them into focus. As she went to rub her head she found that her arm was tied to something. She started to yank at her restraints and shout. “What’s the big idea! Let me out of here!”
Her words echoed around the room before fading to nothing. She looked left and right, trying to work out her situation. She quickly realized she was tied into what looked like a hospital bed in some sort of white room.
“Let me out!” She screamed, doing her best to wrestle free of the bonds or at least tip the bed over. However, her struggling and shaking were fruitless and did nothing more than make noise.
After a while Parasite realized that her best plan was to turn her body into a liquid and trickle out of the restraints and reform when she had found an effective hiding place.
Parasite started to stretch and bend, focusing on melting her arms. However, her arm remained solid, seemingly refusing to melt. “What the hell?” Mumbled Parasite as she gritted her teeth and focused once more.
However, once again, Parasite found that she could not get her body to melt, it stayed frustratingly solid regardless of what she did. “What is going on!” She shouted into the empty room, her echo taunting her.
Parasite continued to try to melt her body. She tried over and over again for what felt like hours, however, her body refused to do what she wanted it to do, causing Parasite to become frustrated.
The sound of a door opening shook Parasite from her thoughts. “Hello?” She shouted. “What is going on? Who are you?” She continued to shout, hoping that someone would answer her.
Suddenly Momo’s face appeared in the corner of Parasite’s eye. Weirdly Momo was wearing a pastel pink surgical mask over her mouth. Parasite turned her head to look at Momo, hoping that she would explain what was going on.
“Yes?” Giggled Momo, her voice slightly muffled by the mask.
“What is going on? Where am I?”
“Medical bay,” grinned Momo. “You had an accident.”
“I did?” Blinked Parasite. “I don’t remember having an accident.”
“You did!” Replied Momo. “Why would you be here unless something went wrong?”
“Right,” nodded Parasite. “Did I lose cohesion again?”
“Sort of,” chuckled Momo. “But I’m going to make you feel better.”
“Why am I tied down?” Asked Parasite, pulling on her bonds once again.
“Because you are not going to agree with my definition of better,” cackled Momo. Suddenly Hitomi and Ulla appeared next to Parasite. Both of them were in long lab coats and surgical masks. Hitomi’s mask had a crude smile drawn on it in marker pen and Ulla’s mask had an equally shoddily drawn sad face.
Both girls quickly grabbed onto Parasite’s shoulders and forced her down into the bed. Parasite tried to fight and struggle, however, Ulla and Hitomi were dramatically stronger than she was. This coupled with the restraints meant that Parasite stood no chance of escape, no matter how much she screamed or fought.
Momo slowly walked over to the wall and picked up a few things before slowly moving back towards Parasite, who could only watch as Momo forced a large needle into her arm.
Parasite let out a scream as the needle pushed into her body, however, this scream did not phase Momo, who quickly attached a plastic tube to the needle and connected it to an IV bag that she had hung from a metal frame.
“What are you doing?” Shouted Parasite.
“Making you better! Right girls?”
“She is making you better,” echoed Hitomi and Ulla in a dull monotone.
Momo then produced several silver cans and started to empty their contents into the IV bag. Parasite started to breathe faster as she watched the strange blue liquid flow into the tube.
As the liquid dripped through the needle Parasite felt a strange coolness start to radiate through her body. Parasite struggled a little more, hoping she could pull the needle out, but her struggle was to no avail.
“Relax.” Said Hitomi and Ulla, their strange tone of voice making the sentiment feel dramatically insincere.
“Yes,” giggled Momo. “Just let it happen!” She said as she wheeled another metal stand towards the bed. She slowly adjusted the stand, moving an arm so that a large hook was right above Parasite’s face.
“What are you going to do?” Growled Parasite.
“Hitomi,” said Momo, glancing down at Parasite. Hitomi quickly removed her one hand from Parasite’s arm and placed it over Parasite’s mouth, reducing her words to muffled shouts and grumbles.
Once Parasite was quiet, Momo continued with her work, attaching a small length of pink rope to the hook. She then walked away for a few minutes, leaving Parasite confused and terrified as she looked up into Hitomi and Ulla’s blank eyes.
When Momo returned, she was carrying a strange doll in her hands. Parasite couldn’t help it, the sight of Momo carrying a doll, mixed with her unrelenting anxiety meant that she quickly broke down into giggles.
Momo smirked as she heard Parasite’s giggles leak out from under Hitomi’s hand. She tied the rope around the doll’s waist, letting the doll hang a few feet above Parasite’s face.
“You’re going to need a friend as you’ll be here a while!” Chuckled Momo as Hitomi and Ulla let go of Parasite’s limbs.
“What is going on?” Shouted Parasite, fighting against the odd chill that flowed through her veins.
“I’ve got you a friend!” Smiled Momo as she pushed the doll a little bit, causing her to swing back and forth above Parasite’s face. As the doll swung Parasite finally got a good look at the doll, realizing that this wasn’t just some random thing Momo had found at a toy store. The doll was a replica of Momo, it had her hair as well as her pastel lab coat and tutu.
Parasite watched the doll sway with confusion, her arm slowly succumbing to the cold numbness as the liquid from the bag continued to trickle into her veins and mingle with her blood.
“What are you doing?” She muttered as her eyes followed the doll.
“Oh!” Giggled Momo. “I forgot to turn her on!” She quickly leaned over the bed and flicked a switch on the doll’s back. The doll’s eyes started to glow a bright pink that seemed to flicker almost as if it was a candle flame.
The light was so bright it made Parasite wince and close her eyes in the hope she could block it out. The swaying of the doll mixed with the odd flickering of the light made Parasite feel strangely dizzy even though she had her eyes shut tight.
“Hey!” Shouted Momo. “No ignoring your friend!”
Parasite felt something pulling at her eyelids. She tried her best to keep them closed, however, her resistance quickly failed as her eyes were forced open and the bright pink light started to burn her retinas once more.
Momo came over with some strange metal devices and forced them onto Parasite’s eyes, preventing her from closing them again. Parasite let out a groan as she tried to block out the burning light, but the combination of the metal devices and the hospital bed forced her to look at it.
As the doll swung left to right Parasite found her eyes following the light despite the pain it caused her. After a few swings, Momo’s voice started to come out of the middle of the doll.
“I’m your friend,” said the doll.
“No you are not,” growled Parasite, her eyes starting to water due to the pain.
“I’m your best friend,” continued the doll, cutting Parasite off. It was clear that this was a recording and it wouldn’t stop no matter what Parasite did. “I have pretty eyes to make my friends all relaxed.”
Parasite started to struggle again, hoping to break out of her restraints or rip the needle out. As she struggled she realized that Momo and her friends had left the room and that the restraints were far too strong for her to break out of. This weakness was only made worse by the cold numbness that had engulfed the one side of her body.
“My eyes are pretty!” Giggled the doll again, drawing Parasite’s attention once more. Parasite’s eyes started to follow the movement of the doll again. She didn’t want to, but something about the movement was oddly intoxicating.
“Pretty eyes help friends relax!” Shouted the doll again as Parasite’s head started to throb and spin. Parasite felt her feet start to tingle as a wave of relaxation ran up her legs. She tried to push it back, utterly shocked that her body was obeying the orders of a stupid doll, but she found it so difficult to do anything with her body, it felt like her brain wasn’t responding.
“My eyes melt minds,” giggled the doll as the eyes let out a bright flash that totally illuminated the room. Parasite winced, her eyelids pushed against the metal holding them up, but she couldn’t close them, no matter how hard she tried.
“I won’t give in,” groaned Parasite, squirming slightly.
“Momo is my friend!” Shouted the dolly as she let out another bright flash. “Momo is my friend!”
“I,” grunted Parasite.
“Momo knows what is best for me,” added the doll as her eyes changed, shifting from a bright pink glow to a pink spiraling pattern that seemed to project out from the eyes and dance over Parasite’s skin.
Parasite’s eyes crossed as she watched the pattern dance across her body. Something about it was infinitely fascinating. It was almost like the pattern was filling her whole brain. It was simple and beautiful as well as complex and utterly engrossing.
As Parasite watched it, time seemed to slow down, each second stretching out forever. The slower time became, the more details Parasite was able to spot in the spiraling pattern and each and every detail dragged Parasite further and further down.
“Momo is my friend, Momo knows what is best for me!” Droned the dolly as she continued to swing. “I love Momo, Momo is always right, Momo knows more than me, Momo is better than me. Momo is the best.”
“Momo is better than me,” slurred Parasite as the words slid into her brain without her mind bothering to question them or even work out what they meant.
“You want to obey Momo.”
“I want to obey Momo.”
“Your allegiance lies with Momo.”
“My allegiance lies with Momo.”
“You are Momo’s pet.”
“I am Momo’s pet.” Mumbled Parasite. Suddenly, a part of her deep within her mind pushed back against the bright light. “No,” she grunted as she tried to block the light out.
However, just as she started to fight back against the strange spiraling pattern she realized that she could only feel her body from the neck up, the strange cool numbness from the needle had slowly taken over her body without her even noticing it.
Parasite wanted to panic, to thrash around like crazy in a vain attempt at breaking free of her bonds. However, she just couldn’t do it. Her body was full of an artificial calm, a saccharine yet paper-thin sense of peace that smothered her real emotions until she couldn’t feel them anymore.
“You are Momo’s pet!” Shouted the doll once more as the pattern grew brighter and more complex. Parasite found herself dragged back down into the pattern again, her emotional confusion leaving her completely vulnerable to the doll’s ocular assault.
“Pet,” groaned Parasite as the numb blanket of numbness crashed over her whole body, her mind quickly going blank as her eyes followed the pattern down into infinity, the doll’s words echoing around her brain.
“Momo is the best, you love Momo,” insisted the doll as Parasite blankly stared up at her. “Momo is forever right, you are forever wrong. Momo is so clever, Momo is so smart!”
Parasite couldn’t fight the words, her body and mind had exhausted all of their options, all she could do was lie back and let the numbness carry her to a place where she didn’t care about anything anymore, a place where she accepted the doll’s words without question.
As Parasite listened to the doll and watched the spiraling pattern she felt a strange sensation grow in her body. It was like red hot pins and needles were being jabbed into back and brain.
In a normal situation, Parasite would have run to Momo to see what was going on, but in her current state, she couldn’t do anything but passively notice the weird sensations and let whatever was happening to her, happen.
“Don’t worry,” said the doll, almost like it was reading Parasite’s fuzzy thoughts. “Everything is okay. Momo knows best!”
“Okay,” mumbled Parasite, just letting the sensation wash over her as she continued to focus on the strange pattern.
Suddenly Parasite felt something pushing out of her back as her whole body started to tremble. As the sensations on her back grew more and more intense Parasite’s brain started to feel different almost like a second person was thinking in her head.
That second set of thoughts grew in volume as pain pulsed through Parasite’s body. These new thoughts were full of uncontrolled rage and aggression. As these new thoughts grew in volume Parasite struggled to tell which were her original thoughts and which were from this new voice in her head.
As time went on, Parasite’s old thoughts were totally covered by this new voice. The new voice was much simpler than the old Parasite, seemingly content to scream and rage at everything around her, the warm waves of pain only serving to make the voice louder and louder.
“So beautiful,” smiled Momo as she watched from a chair on the other side of the room. One of her hands slowly petted a kneeling Hitomi as she watched Parasite change.
It started as a small shake, but over time Parasite started to spasm and twitch in the hospital bed. After a few minutes, the spiked tendrils burst from Parasite’s back once more. The tendrils lashed out at random, waving left and right as if they were trying to find something to grab onto.
“Just so beautiful,” said Momo wistfully. “I’m so good,” she said as she looked down at Hitomi.
“You are a very good bestie,” replied Hitomi in a dull monotone. “The best bestie.”
Parasite started to make loud growling noises as she started to thrash wildly in the hospital bed, the tendrils growing sharper and sharper the more she growled.
“I think someone needs to relax,” chuckled Momo as turned to face the wall before fishing a small remote out of her pocket and pressing a button. As the button was pressed the doll’s eyes flashed brightly several times.
Once the flashing stopped, Momo turned back around and giggled. Parasite was now staring blankly up at the doll, her body unmoving as drool trickled down her cheek.
“You love Momo, Momo is your friend, always do what Momo says,” chanted the doll as its eyes returned to the spiraling pattern. “Momo is the best, Momo must be obeyed,” continued the doll.
Momo looked down at the floor and giggled as she saw that Hitomi was now laying in a heap on the floor, silently repeating what the doll said, her eyes glazed and crossed.
“I should have warned you to look away,” chuckled Momo as she gently kicked Hitomi. “But you look better like this anyway.” She added as she returned her focus to Parasite. “But you,” blushed Momo. “You are a work of art, my masterpiece.”
Sharon sighed as she wandered into the city, slightly confused about why MIST had invited her to a meeting and even more confused why the meeting was being held in the back room of an “old country family restaurant.”
As she approached the back door of the building Sharon ducked into an alcove and pulled her mask on before taking a deep breath. While part of her wanted to ditch this and do literally anything else, she was curious to hear what MIST had to say.
Mesmera approached the door and knocked on it. Within seconds Crimson pulled the door open and smiled. “Mesmera, come in!” She said, pointing to a large table in the center of the room.
“Well this is different,” said Mesmera as she looked around the ugly room. It was obviously attempting to be charmingly folksy, but it looked more like a thrift store had exploded. “I presumed you would want to meet me at your headquarters.”
“You wouldn’t wear the blindfold and would attempt to hypnotize the driver.” Said Aria as she glared at Mesmera from across the table.
“Still,” replied Mesmera. “I thought you would have a nicer meeting place than this.”
“I think it is lovely,” smiled Crimson as she sat down and picked up a menu. “Please feel free to order anything you like. This is a company dinner.”
“You actually eat here?” Blinked Mesmera.
“What else would we do?” Asked Crimson.
“I don’t know,” shrugged Mesmera. “You guys just have a mystique, and this isn’t really an environment that fits with that mystique.”
“It is why it works as a cover,” said Gaige as she looked at the menu.
“So, whose cousin owns this?” Smirked Mesmera.
“What makes you think that?” Replied Nevera as she fed Loft some bread.
“Most restaurants wouldn’t be willing to have a secretive government department hanging around in their backroom, it opens you up to a lot of risks.”
“Just look at the menu,” sighed Gaige.
“There is a lot of gravy on this menu,” giggled Mesmera as she ran her eyes across the faux-distressed pages.
After a few minutes of silence, a woman at the far end of the table stood up. “Everyone ready?”
“Oh yes,” nodded Crimson. “Miss Phillips will be delivering our order, due to her style of dress being more suitable.”
“Well can you blame her? It would be a crime to cover up that face,” smiled Mesmera as she winked at the security officer.
Miss Phillips winced a little bit as she went around the table, jotting orders down in a small notebook. Mesmera ordered a salad, partially due to none of the food appealing to her and partially because she wanted to make this dinner end as quickly as humanly possible.
“So,” said Mesmera. “What did you want me for?”
“Well,” said Crimson. “We need a plan for how to deal with Red Right Hand. As long as they have Ulla and Hitomi under their control they are a major threat to Ruby City.”
“Do we even know what they want?”
“So far they’ve only tried to make a scene,” interjected Lady Oak.
“Eventually they will move onto something larger,” added Aria. “The technology, the funding, everything suggests they have a bigger plan.”
“Interesting,” nodded Mesmera.
“You don’t destroy a helicopter just to get some eyes on your product.” Said Nevera.
“Right,” nodded Crimson. “That shows some dedication. Where does the gem fit into all of this?”
“The gem they requested in the video?” Asked Mesmera.
“Exactly,” nodded Crimson. “We need to find where it is and work out what it is for.”
“You have it?” Blinked Mesmera.
“No, we don’t?” Replied Crimson.
“Ulla had it?”
“How do you know Ulla had it?” Asked Lady Oak.
“Because I gave it to her!” Explained Mesmera.
“What?” Shouted Lady Aria, jumping over the table and grabbing Mesmera by the collar. “What, do you work for them? Is this a setup?!” She screamed, holding up her fist like she was going to punch Memsera in the face.
“Hey! Hey!” Shouted Gaige as she grabbed Aria around the waist and tried to pull her off of Mesmera.
Mesmera pulled Aria’s hand off of her collar and backed up a little bit, taking a few deep breaths as she did. “She didn’t tell you?”
“No, she did not.” Replied Lady Oak firmly, moving closer to Aria in the hope she could stop her lunging for Mesmera again.
“Well, I didn’t know that.” Sighed Mesmera as she sat back down. “So, I had the gem for a while. Ulla mentioned it after we fought Hype Girl. I agreed to give it to her in return for anonymity as I didn’t want the damn thing.”
“How did you have it?” Asked Lady Oak.
“Well,” said Mesmera as she took a breath. “It is quite a long story,” she started, only to be interrupted by Lady Aria slamming her fist onto the table. “Hey!” Shouted Mesmera. “I’m going to tell you, just pre-warning you that this is a bit weird. Calm down.”
“We can deal with a long story,” smiled Crimson as she glared at Aria.
“So, you remember the bank job? The one that got into the papers due to the tellers getting hypnotized?”
“I do.” Nodded Crimson.
“Black Hand paid a group of us to do it. They wanted a safe deposit box stolen, basic bank job kinda stuff. Didn’t ask what was in the box, didn’t care.”
“And that was the gem?” Asked Lady Oak.
“No, Black Hand didn’t pay us for the job. So we decided to kick up a fuss and make a mess at a couple of their fronts. I went to an ice factory they used, and I found the gym in the basement. It was part of a bigger machine, but I presumed the gem would be easy to sell on.”
“And you didn’t sell it?” Asked Nevera.
“Well it caused my TV to explode,” grinned Mesmera. “It seems like it stores energy or static electricity. Either way, when Ulla mentioned wanting it I was more than happy to give it to her.”
“I see,” responded Crimson. “So I’m guessing Ulla tried to exchange the gem for her sister.”
“Seems like it,” replied Lady Oak.
“That is also why I was at the docks,” added Mesmera. “The rumor went out that Black Hand had gotten into trouble with a bigger gang and we were keen to claim our pay in stuff.”
“And that is when Red Right Hand announced themselves to the world.” Mumbled Gaige. “Were they looking for the gem?”
“I think so,” nodded Mesmera. “Ulla turned up at the ice factory as I was stealing it, so I think everyone lost track of it in the chaos.”
“So now they have Ulla and Hitomi and whatever that gem is.” Sighed Lady Oak, rubbing the bridge of her nose.
“Could you work the machine out?” Asked Nevera.
“No, it looked like utter junk,” replied Mesmera. “It looked like it could have been made in someone’s garage honestly.”
“Right.” Nodded Nevera.
Once the food arrived the room went silent as the girls all started to eat. It was clear that having Mesmera around made everyone feel slightly uneasy. Not that Mesmera minded, she wasn’t in the mood to make small talk with anyone here, especially as they were all allies of convenience.
After picking at her salad for several minutes a sudden realization hit Mesmera. “They can afford helicopters and you haven’t found them.” She said as she dropped her fork.
“Yes?” Said Crimson, looking around with confusion.
“But they trusted Black Hand with something,” continued Mesmera. “They are known as idiots.”
“Oh,” gasped Nevera, “I see where you are coming from.”
“I didn’t realize it at the time because they were new, but in retrospect, that doesn’t add up. Black Hand were never ones for high-end jobs. They were an old school gang, they stuck up banks and committed insurance fraud, So why would you give them a weird device to look after, especially when you have the skills and the money to outrun MIST.”
“Are you implying this was deliberate?” Asked Lady Oak.
“I think so,” nodded Mesmera. “Maybe they were not intending for me to turn up and steal it, but giving it to Black Hand was just asking for trouble.”
“I see,” nodded Crimson. “So where does this leave us.”
“Nowhere really,” sighed Mesmera. “Just an interesting thought.”
“Right,” said Crimson as everyone fell back into silence and returned to their food.
Once everyone had finished eating, Miss Phillips returned with a trolly and moved the plates off of the table. “I hope you get paid a lot,” smiled Mesmera from her seat. “Because they seem to work you hard.”
“I enjoy my job enough thank you,” Replied Miss Phillips tersely.
“Well, tonight has been very illuminating, thank you for the information Mesmera,” said Creme as she rose from her seat. “We’ll contact you if we need you for anything. “Meeting adjourned.”
“Actually!” Interrupted Mesmera. “Mind if I ask a question?”
“Sure,” replied Creme, forcing a smile onto her face. “What is it?”
“Any of you following that strange shooting star thing?” Asked Mesmera as she looked around the group. “I find it really cool.”
“I’ve heard of it,” nodded Lady Oak. “Not done much research into it myself.”
“Ah, you guys aren’t keeping track of it?”
“Why would we?” Blinked Lady Oak. “Is it something to do with superpowers? Do you know something we don’t?”
“No, just whenever something odd happens I presume you have a hand in it.” Smirked Mesmera.
“It is outside of our department,” nodded Crimson. “I wouldn’t even know who to ask about it honestly.”
“Well that is a shame,” grinned Mesmera as she walked out of the restaurant and down the street, making sure to take as many turns as possible to prevent any of the MIST agents following her.
“Momo is my best friend!” Giggled Momo as she wiggled the doll above the hospital bed.
“Momo friend,” growled Parasite as she gazed up at the doll. Her voice was slower and deeper than usual, an obvious sign that her brain was heavily impaired.
“Momo is the best!” Grinned Momo.
“Momo best,” growled Parasite in response.
“You love Momo!”
“I.” Stuttered Parasite. She moved her lips like she was trying to feel the word out in her mouth. After a few seconds, she pursed her lips and let out a little whine.
Momo’s smile slowly turned to a frown as she looked down at the restrained girl. “Be good,” she yelled as she pressed a button on the doll’s back, causing the eyes to strobe a bright pink. As the light hit her retina Parasite started to twitch and squirm as hundreds of different sensations ran over her cloudy mind.
After a few seconds Momo turned the doll off and smiled once more. “Now, let us try again, Momo is my best friend!”
“Momo best friend,” groaned Parasite.
“Momo is the best!” Sung Momo.
“Momo best,” repeated Parasite, her eyes crossing slightly.
“You love Momo!” Shouted Momo, looking down at Parasite expectantly.
“I,” grumbled Parasite. “I” she continued as she started to tremble.
“No!” Shouted Momo, flipping the switch once more. The light bore into Parasite’s mind as she spasmed and twitched.
Momo held the doll closer to Parasite’s face, letting the light dance in her eyes for a few minutes before yanking it away and muttering to herself. “I guess you’ve had too much stick, maybe some carrot.”
Momo carried the doll over to the trolly and put it down, petting it on the head as she searched through the assorted tools that littered the trolly. After a few minutes of searching, Momo pulled a few vibrators off of a tray and walked back to the hospital bed.
“Maybe you’ll learn if I teach you how to feel good, even a little rage demon like you can understand nice things feel good!” Grinned Momo as she started to arrange the vibrators on Parasite’s most sensitive areas.
Once the vibrators were in position Momo turned them on one by one, letting the soft buzzing noise fill the room. Parasite started to pant and squirm as pleasure rolled over her whole body.
“I wonder,” giggled Momo as she fetched some more vibrators and a pair of headphones from the trolly. Once she got back, Momo hung the headphones over the metal framework of the bed and put the two other vibrators on Parasite’s new tendrils.
As she turned the vibrators on, Parasite’s squirming grew massively more intense as she started to loudly pant. “So cute,” giggled Momo. “Are those sensitive? Or is just because they are linked to your new brain?” She teased as she watched Parasite grind needily at the air.
Momo smiled as she watched Parasite’s mind try and work out how to deal with the pleasure that was washing over her body, something about her pants and squeals of bliss mixed with the utter bewilderment in her eyes was oddly amusing to Momo. After a little while, Momo slipped the headphones over Parasite’s ears and pressed the play button.
Parasite’s mind was twisting and spinning, she found it nearly impossible to work out what was going on, the vibrations sent tingles through her mind and each tingle seemed to shatter any thoughts she tried to have.
“Momo is your friend,” said Momo’s voice as the headphones crackled into life, the words pushing through the confused haze that was Parasite’s mind. “Momo is the best, you love Momo. Momo is your friend, Momo is the best. You love Momo,” repeated the headphones as a strange beat throbbed in the background.
Alicia watched as Ivanna bounced off the ropes and came towards her. She held out her hands and grabbed Ivanna’s waist, trying to lift and slam her. However, Ivanna’s speed mixed with Alicia’s weakness meant that the girl rammed into her and knocked her to the mat.
“Gah!” Shouted Alicia, pounding her fist on the mat as she got back up. “Why can’t I do this?!”
“It is okay,’ nodded Ivanna. “Maybe strength isn’t your skill.”
“But I did it!” Replied Alicia. “I did it once!”
“Maybe strength isn’t your best approach,” added Dragón. “You’ve had the best results when you have wrestled technically. Even during that session, your throw was merely the ending of a sequence where you effectively isolated me and tricked me into being rash.”
“I guess so,” nodded Alicia.
“Let’s take a break,” said Ivanna as she slapped Alicia on the back. “Coffee is calling to me and you’ll just get sloppy if you wrestle while frustrated.”
“Sure,” smiled Alicia, watching as Dragón put on a hoodie and pulled the hood over her head in an attempt to disguise her mask.
Ivanna led Dragón and Alicia out of the gym and towards a local coffee shop. As they walked Alicia looked up and spotted the shooting star in the sky.
The star was amazingly bright and seemed quite large, in fact, if Alicia didn’t know what it was she could have easily mistaken it for the sun. Something about the shooting star made Alicia feel weird, despite her Mom’s reassurances, Alicia couldn’t ignore the fact that this weird star had appeared the day after they had activated that weird device.
As they sat down at a table Alicia pulled her phone out of her pocket and started to look through the news sites, hoping that one of them had some kind of normal explanation for the weird light in the sky. Most of the sites quoted scientists who said that the light was merely a rock entering the atmosphere and that there was no need to be alarmed, regardless of how odd it seemed.
“Something on your mind?” Asked Dragón.
“Just,” started Alicia before stopping and debating her answer. “Just tired,” she said as she forced a smile.
“I understand,” smiled Dragón, “you need to look after yourself.”
“Right, I do,” nodded Alicia, slightly taken aback by how kind Dragón was being.
“Okay,” Said Ivanna as she returned and put some cups onto the table. “I think that covers us.”
“It does,” replied Dragón. “What are our plans for after this?”
“Well,” grinned Ivanna, staring at Alicia. “I think we are going to follow up on what you said. Alicia can show off her technical prowess by sparring with you.”
“Right!” Smiled Alicia. “I’ll do it!” She added as a wave of tingling ran over her body.
“Then I hope you understand that I am not going to give you an inch,” replied Dragón, “blades are formed in the fire after all.”
“Momo! Momo!” Screamed Creme as she marched into the lab. “You promised me a progress report and it is now five hours late!”
“Oh, that,” giggled Momo. To Creme’s surprise, Momo was sat on the edge of a table, letting Hitomi and Ulla kiss and rub her bare feet.
“Where is it Momo?” Growled Creme. The fact that Momo was bunking off like this when she had work to do filled Creme with rage, she had finally had enough of Momo and her childishness.
“I got really busy boss!” Smiled Momo as Ulla and Hitomi swapped positions and started to work on the other foot.
“This doesn’t look busy!”
“I’ve been on my feet all day!” Whined Momo. “This machine is so hard to fix! I’ve been trying to get it working over and over but it just won’t start up!”
“But you have all the parts!” Shouted Creme. “We can’t hold off forever if we wait too long MIST will think we are bluffing!”
“I’ll get it sorted boss,” said Momo before bursting into giggles. “Ulla careful with your nails, that tickles!”
“Momo,” you need to take this seriously,” replied Creme through gritted teeth.
“Relax boss,” sighed Momo as she rolled her eyes. “I’ll make it all okay!”
“Right,” nodded Creme, unclenching her fist. “Get on it as quickly as you can.”
“Sure, I’ll work all night! I’ll order some food! What do you girls want?” Said Momo as she looked down at Hitomi and Ulla.
“Whatever you want. You have the best taste in everything. We are honored to let you tell us our opinions.” Replied Hitomi and Ulla in a perfectly rehearsed unison.
“Excellent!” Giggled Momo as she wiggled her toes. Creme just stared at Momo for a few seconds, unable to comprehend just how flippant Momo was about everything.
“I’ll need your two friends tomorrow,” sighed Creme. “We’re going to try and get some media attention and keep MIST on the back foot.”
“See!” Grinned Momo. “They are my friends!”
“I,” started Creme only to sigh, “Momo, if I called them hostages you would have corrected me. So it is quicker to follow your lead.”
“I know,” winked Momo. “My friends will be there whenever you need them!”
“Thank you Momo,” replied Creme as she walked out of the lab, silently kicking herself for letting Momo off the hook once again.
Sharon adjusted her tuxedo and knocked on the door of the lab. Mara slowly opened the door and peeked out, only to blush as she realized what Sharon was wearing.
“Come in,” said Mara softly as she opened the door wide.
“Of course mon Cheri,” smiled Sharon as she walked into the reception. “Your cheeks look delightful like that.”
“You are so dashing,” replied Mara, covering her cheeks with her palms as she looked Sharon up and down.
“Well, you did pick it.”
“I did?” Gasped Mara. “I don’t remember that at all.”
“Of course you don’t,” winked Sharon, making Mara’s cheeks go an even deeper shade of red.
“Can I go change?” Stuttered Mara. “I got distracted by work.”
“Of course you are able to change, I know you are physically capable of that.” Smirked Sharon.
“May I go change please Mistress?” Said Mara softly.
“You may,” smiled Sharon.
Mara quickly ran into the other room and pulled off her lab coat and changed into a clean shirt before trying to get her hair under control, using her phone screen as an improvised mirror.
After ten minutes Mara walked back out into the reception and twirled in front of Sharon. “Do I please you, Mistress?”
“You always please me,” smiled Sharon, wandering over to Mara and hugging her tight.
“Unfortunately we’ve both gone butch,” chuckled Mara as she hugged back.
“I’m not complaining, I like butch.”
“I do as well,” said Mara as she looked lovingly at Sharon. “Just I’m usually the butch one.”
“Makes sense,” nodded Sharon. “Now dear, ready to head out?”
“Of course,” smiled Mara as she took Sharon by the hand and walked out onto the street.
Sharon gently guided Mara through the city and towards the restaurant she had picked. As she and Mara made small talk an idea started to form in Sharon’s head.
Just before they reached the restaurant Sharon pulled Mara into a back alley with a smirk on her face.
“Where are we going?” Asked Mara.
“You enter through the back,” replied Sharon. “It is a hipster place. They want an authentic speakeasy feel,” said Sharon as she turned another corner.
“Oh, right!” Smiled Mara, not realizing that Sharon was lying.
Once they were out of sight, Sharon pinned Mara to a wall and focused her power. Mara was only able to let out a little squeak before she was pulled into the swirling silver vortex of Sharon’s eyes.
“Yes, you know how this works,” purred Sharon. “You know that you can’t resist my eyes, you know that you are weak and so easily hypnotized.”
“I,” mumbled Mara again as her eyelids started to flutter.
“Yes, you are very suggestible, so very suggestible.” Continued Sharon. “People as suggestible as you are very easy to hypnotize, you are so very suggestible.”
“Suggestible,” moaned Mara as her knees started to tremble.
“Yes, you are,” nodded Sharon gently, watching as Mara’s head copied the movements. “Very suggestible, and suggestibility leads to obedience. And you are very obedient.”
“Very obedient,” slurred Mara as she swayed gently.
“Yes, so obedient and so easily hypnotized,” grinned Sharon. “Your mind is so weak susceptible to my beautiful eyes, you can’t resist my hypnotic charms, all you can do is sleep.” As she said the word sleep, Sharon grabbed the back of Mara’s head and pulled her forward, resting Mara’s head between her breasts. As she was pulled forward Mara’s mind faded away to nothing, totally surrendering to the warm fuzziness.
“I suggest the œufs en meurette,” smiled Sharon as Mara blinked and looked around the restaurant. “Their sauce is really delicious, it has a delightful complexity to it.”
“Oh, right,” nodded Mara, looking over the menu in her hands as she continued to pull herself together. “Sorry, I was so busy reading that I didn’t realize you were speaking!”
“Oh don’t worry about it,” chuckled Sharon, watching as Mara looked around trying to work out where she was. They were very clearly sat in a small booth at the back of the restaurant, but Mara couldn’t remember coming in or getting seated, in fact, she couldn’t remember most of the walk.
“So, how was your day?” Asked Sharon.
“Oh the usual,” smiled Mara. “I’ve had fewer appointments than usual, so I’ve been catching up on my research. Specifically working on some new forms of testing in an attempt to help out Alicia.”
“Well that is very sweet of you,” smiled Sharon.
“She does present an interesting problem, how was your day?”
“Well, I watched a film with Alicia. Remember “It Came From The Moon”?”
“I’ve seen that!” Gasped Mara. “It was the one with the plasticine aliens right?”
“Yes! They are all stop motion, but they were obviously added in post-production as half the time the actors are looking the other way!”
“And the plot is terrible, it made no sense at all!” Laughed Mara.
“Yep, the first act is fine and then mid-way through act two it snaps in half,” smirked Sharon as she snapped her fingers to emphasize her point.
Mara wobbled a bit in her chair as a strange wave of dizziness ran over her brain. “Yeah,” she said, trying to cover for her foggy brain.
Once the dizziness had passed Mara slipped back into the conversation, trading stories and memories of weird old movies. Eventually, the waitress came and took their orders before leaving Sharon and Mara alone once more.
“I’m going to use the bathroom quickly,” smiled Mara, rising from the booth.
“I’ll be waiting,” beamed Sharon.
Mara quickly made her way into the opulent bathroom and moved towards the sinks. As she turned the tap on, she spotted something odd in the mirror. She was wearing a bright pink bonnet that had seemingly been stolen from a Bo Peep Halloween costume.
“What?” Blinked Mara, rubbing the soft bonnet with her hand. “This really doesn’t suit me,” she mumbled as she started to try and undo the ribbon that held the bonnet on. However, the ribbon seemed to be impossibly tangled, it was a Gordian knot in ribbon form. No matter how hard Mara tried to undo it, she couldn’t seem to make any progress.
After a few minutes, Mara sighed and resigned herself to wearing it for the rest of the night before heading back out into the restaurant, not wanting to leave Sharon on her own for too long.
“Our food arrived,” smiled Sharon, pointing to the plates that now sat on the table.
“I’m sorry I took so long,” said Mara softly. “I was regretting my outfit choices.
“Oh don’t, I find you rather pretty,” grinned Sharon. A wave of heat washed over Mara’s body as her cheeks went a deep shade of crimson.
“I’m glad you like me,” smiled Mara as she started to eat. Mara had to admit, Sharon was right, the food at this restaurant was truly delicious, it was the best food Mara had eaten in years.
Once the food was eaten Mara and Sharon started to talk again, their conversations quickly jumping from topic to topic as they both continued to enjoy the other’s company.
“I’ve never been to Paris,” smiled Mara. “I’ve always wanted to go, but never found the time.”
“You simply must,” said Sharon as she rubbed the napkin across her lips. “It makes a wonderful staging base for seeing the rest of Europe as well. Just hop on a train and you are there in a snap!” Smiled Sharon as she snapped her fingers again.
Another wave of dizziness washed over Mara’s mind as she wobbled a little in her seat. Her eyes crossed a little bit as she tried to work out what was going on.
“Excuse me,” said Mara softly as she got up and walked to the bathroom again. The second she entered the room she saw herself in the mirror. She was now in a massive pink dress that was covered in frills. The dress and the bonnet together made her look exactly like Bo Peep.
Mara’s brain spun a little, had she always been dressed like this? She could have sworn that she had put something different on before she left the lab. However, those thoughts quickly faded away as memories of specifically picking this dress filled Mara’s mind.
She had picked this dress as she wanted to look her best for her hunky date, it was rare someone as masculine as Sharon came into town and Mara didn’t want to look scruffy, she wanted to make a good impression.
Mara wandered back to the table and smiled at Sharon, a heat forming between her legs. Sharon looked so handsome and dashing, Mara just wanted to curl up in her big strong arms.
“How are you feeling?” Asked Sharon with a wink.
“Oh my,” gasped Mara, trying to quell the heat in her cheeks. “I’m feeling mighty flustered Sir.”
“It’s okay,” replied Sharon. “Dessert?”
“I think that would be delightful!” Nodded Mara, adjusting her bonnet as she looked at the small dessert menu that had appeared on the table.
As they ate dessert, Mara tried to deal with the butterflies that fluttered in her heart. Every time she made eye contact with Sharon she couldn’t help but blush as a tingle danced between her legs. She was just so dashing, so strong and powerful.
Once the food was done, a waitress came over and placed the bill on the table. Mara went to get it, only for Sharon to put her hand over Mara’s.
“It is on me.”
“Oh Sir, I couldn’t ask that of you.” Said Mara, her voice wavering a little.
“Now now little lady,” replied Sharon as she lifted Mara’s hand off of the receipt. “I’m paying for it.”
“If you insist Sir,” blushed Mara as she pulled her hand back. She watched as Sharon paid the bill, the feelings inside her growing more and more intense by the moment.
As the waitress walked off Sharon smiled at Mara. “Well, it has been a lovely night.”
“It has been,” nodded Mara. “But the night is mighty dark.”
“Oh?” Asked Sharon, raising her eyebrow.
“Well, the streets are not the safest place at this time of the night.”
“Want me to walk you home?” Smiled Sharon.
“Oh well Sir, I couldn’t ask that of you,” replied Mara, fanning her burning cheeks. She very much wanted to be walked home by the strong and powerful Sharon, but she didn’t want to make it too obvious.
“Well I’ve got the time,” nodded Sharon, watching as Mara let out a little squeal.
“Sir you are the kindest!” Grinned Mara. “I’ve got a nightcap at my homestead, got to keep yourself warm in this kind of weather.”
“That is very kind of you,” said Sharon as she stood up and offered her hand out. “Lead the way, pretty lady.”
Mara took Sharon’s hand and started to walk towards her apartment, her heart pounding out a joyous rhythm with each step. Mara was lost in a blissful haze, she felt fancy-free and full of the joys of spring.
After a short walk, Mara arrived at her door and smiled. “Will you still be having that nightcap Sir, it is a mighty cold night and I don’t like to open bottles just for myself.”
“I have the time,” nodded Sharon as she walked into Mara’s apartment and looked around. Sharon has always suspected that Mara’s house would be slightly messy and she wasn’t wrong. There were papers and journals scattered everywhere, likely a side effect of Mara basically living in her lab.
Mara wandered into the kitchen and emerged with a bottle of whiskey and two glasses, she quickly put them onto the coffee table before daintily sitting on the couch and petting the space next to her.
“Don’t be a stranger handsome,” smiled Mara.
“Handsome eh?” Replied Sharon as she moved over and sat down. “I would say the whiskey is talking, but you have not drunk it yet.”
“Well can’t a lady appreciate a rare sight?” Replied Mara as she poured the booze into the glasses.
“She can,” nodded Sharon, picking up the one glass and holding it out.
“To the frontier,” exclaimed Mara, tapping her glass against Sharon’s and tipping her head back, downing the drink in a single swallow.
“Impressive,” winked Sharon as she copied Mara and downed the drink.
“Well we’ve all got a few rough edges here and there,” chuckled Mara.
“I understand,” smiled Sharon. “And Mara why don’t you return to reality?”
“I,” said Mara, only for her brain to grind to a halt for a few seconds. Realization hit her like a truck, she hadn’t been wearing a Bo Peep dress at all, she had been in her pants and shirt the whole time.
“Hi,” grinned Sharon.
“You, you,” stuttered Mara. “You made me into a femmy Bo Peep.” She said, the heat between her legs pulsing as she got even more flustered.
“Bo Peep?” Asked Sharon.
“Yeah, the big pink dress, all covered in lace and frills.”
“Oh my,” chuckled Sharon. “I didn’t actually specify what your dress was, I just told your brain to pick out something that screamed “feminine” to you.”
“And I went to Bo Peep,” blushed Mara. “That explains why I went all wild west on you.”
“Well, my first exposure hyper-feminine stereotypes was in old Westerns, bar hall floozies, rancher’s daughters, those kinds of things. They tended to wear stupidly over the top dresses.”
“It was really cute actually,” said Sharon as she leaned forward and kissed Mara on the cheek. “You were getting all flustered around me.”
‘Well, you are so handsome, I just wanted to feel your big strong arms around me,” blushed Mara.
“That is just adorable,” smiled Sharon.
“Could we, um,” started Mara, looking around shyly.
“Could we what?” Asked Sharon. “Tell me.”
“I could be Bo Peep all night if you want,” said Sharon, looking at her shoes as she blushed.
“Would you like that?”
“To be a trembling mass of hyper-femininity who can’t help but swoon over anything with muscles?”
“Yes,” nodded Sharon.
“Oh gosh yes!” Squeaked Mara.
“Then look here little lady,” smiled Sharon as she tapped a finger under her eye. Mara gazed into Sharon’s eyes and let the silver instantly turn her mind to dust, she didn’t struggle because at that moment she wanted nothing more than to submit to Sharon.
“Well, the whiskey might have gone to my head,” smiled Mara as she came back to reality. “But you are a very attractive cow jockey,” she said as she reached over and undid Sharon’s bow tie.
“Well, I try my best,” smiled Sharon flexing her arm a little bit. “You need a certain type of skill to keep them doggies in line.”
“Oh my,” blushed Mara as swooned at the sight of Sharon’s muscles. She gently reached forward and rubbed Sharon’s bicep before letting out a little purr.
“You like them?” Smiled Sharon.
“They are, rather impressive specimens,” grinned Mara.
“Why don’t you get a little closer to them then?” Winked Sharon, pulling Mara tightly into her arms as the girl trembled and groaned.
“Maybe we should take this to the bedroom traveler,” winked Mara. “I’m sure a cowpoke like you ain’t seen a nice bed for weeks.”
“Well I can’t say no to an offer like that,” grinned Sharon, taking Mara by the hand and guiding her towards the bedroom.
A loud chorus of wails pulled Sharon from her sleep. She turned over and saw that both of her phones were vibrating. Sharon grabbed her normal phone and saw two messages.
“We overran on training, I’m going to sleep in the gym tonight,” said the message from Alica. However, it was the top message that caught Sharon’s attention.
“Emergency Broadcast System Alert. Ruby City. Five blocks around the City Museum are being evacuated due to a gas leak. If you are in the area you are advised to remain indoors and listen for advice from the emergency services.”
“What is going on?” Mumbled Mara as she blinked her eyes.
“Emergency alert due to a gas leak,” said Sharon. “Oh crap,” she mumbled as the realization hit her. “I need to call Alicia, her gym is in that area.”
Sharon dived out of the bed and quickly dialed Alicia. “Alicia?” She shouted down the line.
“Mom?” Gasped Alicia. “Don’t trust the emergency alert! It isn’t a gas leak! Ulla and Hitomi are causing chaos in the museum.”
“Hide as best you can!” Replied Sharon. “I’m coming”
“Okay we’ll,” started Alicia only for the line to go dead.
“I’ve got to go!” Screamed Sharon as she ran out of Mara’s apartment and towards her house. Just as she got through the door the burner phone started to ring. “What is it!” Shouted Sharon as she started to yank her costume out of the wardrobe.
“We need you,” replied Crimson. “City Museum is under assault.”
“By Ulla and Hitomi, I know,” interrupted Mesmera.
“How did,” started Crimson, only for Sharon to cut her off.
“I have sources, what is your plan?”
“We’ve told the police to evacuate everyone and to form a ring of steel to keep people out, we’re moving agents in.” Replied Crimson.
“I’m heading over.” Said Mesmera as she pulled her mask on.
“You might be there before we are,” said Crimson. “Be careful and try and keep the whole thing contained, we don’t want this getting out.”
“Sure, great,” shouted Mesmera, running towards the museum as fast as she could.
“No phone reception?” Said, Alicia, as she looked at her phone in disbelief.
“Me neither,” replied Ivanna.
“But we have power. They must be jamming the signal,” gasped Alicia quickly running to the stairs.
“Where are you going?” Asked Dragón.
“To the roof, we need to keep track of those two.” Said Alicia firmly.
“Why?” Asked Ivanna.
“Because people might not have gotten out in time, we can’t let that group of costumed freaks hurt anyone.” Said Alicia, hoping that Dragón couldn’t see through her lie.
“Understood,” nodded Dragón as she ran towards the stairs.
“I’ll get my mask,” smiled Ivanna.
Alicia climbed up onto the roof of the building and looked towards the museum. She could see Ulla and Hitomi moving around inside. They didn’t seem to be doing much, it was almost as if they were waiting for something.
“This isn’t right,” sighed Alicia as she looked towards Dragón.
“Right,” nodded Dragón. “They seem very passive for people attempting a robbery.”
“I’m going to go get a closer look.”
“Are you sure that is a good idea?”
“No, but we need to work out what they are doing, we can’t let them lead someone into a trap, you wait here and I’ll call you if I need backup.”
“Okay, but don’t take risks,” nodded Dragón, watching as Alicia ran down the stairs.
Alicia ducked out of the front of the gym and tried to creep up to the museum, doing her best to avoid being spotted. Her heart pounded in her chest as she ran through ideas in her head.
“I need to stop the phone blocker,” mumbled Alicia to herself as she ducked down behind a dumpster. “Communications will help Mom and MIST.” She continued as she took a deep breath.
Alicia looked to the sky and tried to calm herself down so she could focus. As she looked up she spotted the shooting star, something about it still filled Alicia with dread, it seemed to be getting brighter and brighter.
“No,” said Alicia. “One thing at a time.” She added as she quickly dashed across the street and ducked down under one of the museum’s windows. She slowly lifted her head and peeked through the glass, doing her best to get an idea of what was going on without getting spotted.
Hitomi and Ulla were walking around the museum at random, seemingly having no purpose to their movements. Near the back door, there was a computer linked to several small antennas and a small satellite dish.
Alicia wasn’t the best with technology but she could only presume that the computer was acting as a signal blocker and that meant she had to find a way to either turn it off or destroy it.
Suddenly, Alicia spotted some movement out of the corner of her eye. She quickly ducked down under the windowsill again and tried to stay out of sight.
After a few minutes, Alicia peeked up again and realized what the movement was. It was two people in body armor. They seemed to be patrolling the perimeter of the museum and one of them was carrying a small video camera on their hip.
Alicia took another deep breath and moved to the back of the museum, hoping that she could sneak in through the back door and steal the blocker before anyone spotted her.
As she got around the back she spotted that the back door had been heavily damaged, as if someone had rammed into it several times. Alicia could only presume that this was how Ulla and Hitomi had gotten into the museum.
She pushed the door open a little and quickly dashed inside the museum, taking cover behind one of the display cases and looking around, trying to pinpoint where the two guards were.
Suddenly a loud bang echoed through the museum. Alicia peeked around the case only to see Mesmera stood at the front door.
“Right.” Shouted Mesmera, obviously trying to draw attention to herself. “You girls need to learn that you can’t just wander into places and take them for yourself, that is stealing!”
As Mesmera shouted Hitomi and Ulla charged forward to attack. Mesmera started to run, quickly diving behind some displays in an attempt to put some distance between herself and the two black armored girls.
Alicia watched as Hitomi and Ulla chased Mesmera around, trying to get themselves into position to hit her. Alicia realized that this was her moment to grab the signal blocker. However, as she went to grab it, she spotted one of the Red Right Hand goons on the upper balcony.
The figure was pointing a gun down towards the lower floor, obviously trying to aim at the distracted Mesmera. Alica gasped and quickly ran up the stairs, keen to prevent this person from shooting at her Mom.
Mesmera ducked and weaved, doing her best to avoid contact with the fists that kept rocketing towards her. She rolled backward and watched as one of the fists flew over her head. As she jumped back to her feet she focused her powers and let her eyes turn silver.
“Look me in the eyes,” purred Mesmera, watching as the silver glow danced over Hitomi and Ulla’s visors.
Alicia ran across the balcony as fast as she could. The figure stopped moving their gun, making it clear they had Mesmera in their sights.
“Hey! Butt face!” Screamed Alicia, acting on instinct as she dived forward, feet first. The figure turned towards the sound, only to get dropkicked by Alicia, causing them to drop their gun off of the balcony.
The sound of the gun hitting the floor distracted Hitomi and Ulla long enough for them to pull their gaze away from Mesmera. Mesmera stood open-mouthed, instantly recognizing Alicia’s voice.
“I didn’t ask for help,” shouted Mesmera.
“Well you’ve got it, there is one more around here somewhere!” Shouted Alicia, doing her best to disguise her voice.
“Thanks!” Replied Mesmera, quickly rolling to the left to avoid Ulla’s fist.
Alicia looked around, trying to find a way to keep this random goon restrained. She spotted the large curtains that hung regally from the windows. With one large yank, she ripped the fabric off the rail and set about binding the figure’s ankles and wrists.
“My face,” mumbled Alicia, quickly tearing a chunk from the curtain and wrapping it around her face like a makeshift balaclava. Once it was secured Alicia quickly ran back down the stairs, aiming to take out the signal jammer.
As she got close to it, the other goon moved out of the shadows and stepped in front of the computer. “Stop!” Shouted the figure, their voice obviously being altered by the armor.
“I’m okay thanks!” Shouted Alicia, Dragón’s words echoing in her head. If she wanted to come out on top here, she would need to fight intelligently. Alicia started to feint left and right, trying to see if she could throw the goon off.
The goon started to reach for their gun, obviously not wanting to fight Alicia hand to hand. Alicia used this moment to run forward and attempt a tackle
Just as Alicia got close, the goon dodged out of the way, sending Alicia crashing to the floor. “Wrong move,” said the goon, drawing their gun.
“Actually right move,” laughed Alicia as she jumped up and smashed the computer into the goon’s face, causing it to shatter into a thousand pieces. The goon crumpled to the floor as Alicia smirked. “Might need to defrag the hard drive after that!” She said teased as she started to bind the goon with the wires from the signal jammer.
Suddenly, her Mom flew past her, crashing into the wall with a thud. Alicia turned and saw that Hitomi and Ulla were moving towards them with a purpose in their step.
Alicia ran over and grabbed her Mom, helping her out of the rubble. “Where is MIST,” groaned Mesmera as she tried to pull herself together. “We need to get out of here,” she said as she brushed herself off.
Ulla and Hitomi charged again, swinging wildly for Mesmera. Both Sharon and Alicia dodged out of the way, however, the black armored girls turned around quickly, effectively trapping Alicia and Sharon against a wall.
Hitomi and Ulla started to advance again, preparing to strike. Alicia stepped in front of her mother and raised her fists. “Come on then, I can take both of you tin cans on!” Screamed Alicia.
“Hey,” started Sharon, only for Alicia to interrupt her.
“Don’t hold me back! I’m going to rip both of them limb from limb! Fancy metal suit means you are just a coward and there is nothing I hate more than tinned cowards!” Screamed Alicia. However, her words didn’t seem the phase the two girls at all.
Alicia’s heart fluttered and her muscles tingled as the girls came closer. Alicia braced herself for the pain of being hit. However, before Hitomi or Ulla could strike, the whole building started to shake.
“What is going on?” Shouted Alica as she stumbled around.
“I don’t know,” replied Mesmera.
A loud bang echoed through the museum as something crashed through the roof and smashed into the floor, sending out a shockwave that sent everyone flying.
Alicia and Mesmera pulled themselves up, they looked left and right frantically, trying to work out what was going on while making sure that Ulla and Hitomi couldn’t ambush them.
Alicia spotted Ulla and Hitomi stood on the other side of the museum, like her they were looking around, obviously trying to find the cause of the explosion.
“What was that?” Mumbled Mesmera, spotting a large crater in the floor of the museum. She waved her hand in an attempt to fan away some of the dust so she could breathe easily, her eyes stinging due to the debris in the air.
All four girls started at the crater, a mixture of shock and curiosity running through their bodies. As the dust slowly cleared a figure pushed itself up out of the crater.
“The Queen of Julea! The defender of Mechtoria! The Pearileos Galaxy’s ambassador to Earth! I’m Space Kitty!” Shouted the figure as she spun around and posed.
The girl was clad in a bright silver suit that almost looked like it was made out of liquid metal. Her head was covered by a silver helmet that was topped with two little cat ears.
“Ulla!” Giggled Space Kitty as she bounced on the spot for a few seconds before stopping. “You don’t smell right.” She added as her voice filled with rage.
Space Kitty barreled towards Ulla, short claws popping out of her gauntlets as she threw Ulla to the ground and started to punch. “You’re not Ulla! You’re not Ulla!” She shouted as sparks flew off Ulla’s armor.
“Let’s not waste this chance!” Shouted Mesmera running forward to help Space Kitty.
Hitomi punched Kitty in the back of the head, only for Kitty to turn around and glare at her. “Don’t you do that!” She shouted as she sprung into the air and flew forward, repeatedly hitting kicking Hitomi as she moved through the air.
Alicia spotted an opportunity and ran forward for a few feet before lunging into a powerful sliding tackle. Alicia’s foot smashed into the back of Hitomi’s ankle, causing the girl to fall to the floor.
“Nice move!” Said Space Kitty, as she landed gracefully.
“Thank you!” Grinned Alicia as she watched Space Kitty throw Hitomi across the room with one hand.
“Some help!” Shouted Mesmera, as she dodged Ulla’s punches.
“Get out of the way!” Shouted Space Kitty. “Quantum Strike!” She declared as she pressed the small computer on her wrist nine times. Each time she pressed it, a duplicate version of herself appeared next to her.
Once all nine Space Kitties were in a line, they all vanished. Alicia looked around in confusion. Suddenly Ulla started to stumble and spark as the Space Kitties appeared and hit her before vanishing again. It was like they were popping in and out of existence, striking so quickly that Ulla didn’t have time to react.
Ulla floundered a little as all nine Space Kitties appeared in the air in front of her. They all flew forward and kicked her in the face, sending her flying backward.
“Ulla!” Shouted Space Kitty. “You promised me you would show me what a margarita was!”
“She isn’t herself right now,” said Mesmera, only for her eyes to go wide. “Get out of the way!” She screamed.
Alicia turned and saw that Hitomi was dashing forward at horrific speed, flames were pouring out of the back of her armor as she sped towards Space Kitty. Alicia quickly grabbed Kitty by the arm and pulled her out of the way moments before Hitomi crashed into her.
Mesmera clenched her fists, presuming that Hitomi was going to turn around and attempt another attack. However, Hitomi did not turn around, in fact, she picked up Ulla up in her arms before crashing through the wall and speeding off down the street.
“Well that was rude,” sighed Mesmera.
“Guess she realized we had her number,” nodded Alicia as she stood up and brushed herself off.
“We should be off,” responded Mesmera as she motioned to the back door.
“Of course. Thanks for the help!” Grinned Alicia as she waved at Space Kitty.
“Hey!” Bounced Space Kitty, running up behind Alicia. “I’m coming with you!”
“You are?” Replied Alicia and Mesmera in unison.
“Sure!” Giggled Kitty. “I’ve got nowhere to go and anyone trying to make Ulla back into my Ulla is my friend!”
“I guess?” Replied Alicia. “I think we have space.”
“Well, we don’t really know who you are.” Added Mesmera. “Not every day someone falls through a roof and declares themselves your friend.”
“I’m Space Kitty!” Shouted Kitty, posing as she did. “I’m from the Pearileos Galaxy and I’m their ambassador to Earth!”
“So you’re from space?” Asked Alicia, not believing her ears.
“Exactly!” Bounced Space Kitty.
“So where does Ulla play into this? You two knew each other?” Questioned Mesmera.
“We were friends,” nodded Kitty. “When I first crashed on Earth Ulla took me in and taught me how to blend in with people. I lived with her! She taught me about trains and television, and rap music!”
“Of course she taught you about trains,” chuckled Mesmera, rolling her eyes.
“But not margaritas?” Asked Alicia.
“I had to go back to my planet, but she promised that next time I was back she would give me one! And then she contacted me and told me to come back, so I came as quickly as I could!”
“She contacted you?” Gasped Alicia, her eyes going wide.
“I left her a wavebeam transmitter so she could contact my planet easily if she ever needed anything,” nodded Kitty.
“Is that a big circle thing?” Asked Alicia.
“Uh-huh,” replied Kitty.
“Then she didn’t contact you!” Shouted Alicia. “We did!”
“Yes,” interrupted Mesmra. “As you saw Ulla is, well someone has taken control of Ulla’s mind. She was able to temporarily break free and direct me to the transmitter. We set it up, not knowing what it did.”
“Oh,” replied Kitty, her voice taking on a somber tone. “That makes sense.”
“It does?” Asked Mesmera.
“I was always the one who could beat the other girls.” Replied Space Kitty, all of the energy draining from her voice. “The last time someone tried to control Ulla, I was the one who freed her.”
“I see,” nodded Mesmera. “I think that is why she told me about the transmitter, as she knew you could help. ”
“Yeah,” said Kitty, rubbing her arm.
“Come and stay with us,” nodded Mesmera. “At least until you recover from your trip.”
“Yes!” Grinned Alicia. “I want to learn about your planet!”
“You do?!” Bounced Kitty, her excitement quickly returning.
“Not every day someone lands from space!” Nodded Alicia.
“But we should move before people come to clean this place up,” added Mesmera.
“Right!” Said Kitty, quickly following Alicia and Mesmera out of the door and into the alley.
“You might want to drop the costume,” said Alicia as they continued to walk.
“I know!” Smirked Kitty, pressing the device on her wrist. As she did her suit totally vanished revealing a girl who looked surprisingly human. She was clad in dark jeans and a t-shirt that declared “Cats do it purrfectly”.
“Cute!” Smiled Alicia.
“Lose the face mask,” said Sharon as she pulled her cowl off. Alicia blushed a little bit as she remembered that she still had part of a curtain wrapped around her face.
Once they arrived home, Sharon let out a sigh. “Welcome to our home Kitty,” smiled Sharon as she gestured into the living room, “make yourself comfortable.”
“You live together?!” Giggled Kitty, running into the living room. “You’re roommates like me and Ulla!”
“Not exactly,” chuckled Alicia, following Kitty. “That is Sharon, she is my Mom.”
“Really?” Blinked Kitty. “I wouldn’t have guessed that.”
“Oh,” blushed Sharon, waving her hand. “You are far too sweet.”
“No, I wouldn’t have guessed that.” Said Kitty, looking confused by Sharon’s reaction.
“I have to make a call, Alicia, help our guest please?” Said, Sharon, as she walked up the stairs.
“Of course!” Nodded Alicia, turning to Kitty. “Do you need food or drink or anything?”
“Water would be nice,” smiled Kitty, looking Alicia up and down. “Also you don’t need to hide, I understand!”
“What?” Asked Alicia, unsure if she heard Kitty correctly.
“You don’t need to hold that form. I’m fine with non-humanoids, I won’t be scared.” Replied Kitty, her smile growing wider.
“I,” blinked Alicia. “I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Oh,” nodded Kitty. “Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me!” She grinned as Alicia shrugged and walked into the kitchen, far too exhausted to try and work out what this alien girl meant.
“Crimson,” said Sharon over the phone. “What was that about? Was it a set-up? Or did you just want to watch me get destroyed?”
“We had some issues,” replied Crimson.
“Oh? What were those? Did you stop for coffee?” Growled Mesmera.
“No, they took down communications and then scrambled several helicopters. We tried to chase the helicopters, presuming they were planning on dropping more people into the museum.”
“Great,” sighed Mesmera. “While you played chase, I had to fight four of them. I left you two. Consider it repayment for dinner.”
“Thank you,” replied Crimson. “We’ve found them, and parts of some kind of computer?”
“It was a signal blocker. Until I used it as a weapon.” Said Mesmera.
“Wonderful,” replied Crimson. “I need to finish covering this up, however, I will call you if I need you.”
“I’m sure you will,” sighed Mesmera as she ended the call.
Gaige knocked on the door and waited for a response. “Enter,” shouted Crimson from behind the door. Gaige pushed the door open and walked into the office.
“We’ve finished,” she said. “All of their gear has been removed, they’ve been fully searched and they are currently being processed in the holding cells.”
“Perfect,” nodded Crimson. “Nevera?”
“On her way down.”
“Excellent, I shall come with you then.” Smiled Crimson as she rose from her desk and headed downstairs and into a metal room. The goons’ armor was laid out on a table along with the remnants of the signal blocker.
After a few minutes, Nevera walked in with Loft perched on her arm. “I’m glad you could make it,” smiled Crimson.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Loft is very excited.” Grinned Nevera as she extended out her arm. “Ready for dinner?”
“Of course,” squawked Loft robotically.
“Well it is all yours,” replied Crimson, pointing to the table.
“You heard her,” smiled Nevera. Loft quickly flew over to the table and started to walk around the objects, gently pecking at them. After a few seconds, Loft turned into a mass of small balls that swarmed around the items, quickly dissolving them. Once the table was empty Loft reformed in the center and looked towards Nevera.
“Wonderful data,” squawked Loft.
“Glad you like it,” smiled Nevera. “Care to share with us?”
“Sure,” replied Loft, quickly flying to a computer. Once it was close to one, a small swarm of orbs flew out of it and formed into a long cable that connected to the computer’s USB port.
The computer screen burst into life as data started to flash up on it. Crimson, Gaige, and Nevera quickly went over and started to read the data as it quickly scrolled across the screen.
“I know where their information comes from,” squawked Loft. “Their server IP and the tracking information from their GPS units let me narrow it down.” Continued Loft as a map appeared on the screen.
“Wonderful.” Grinned Crimson. “I think it is time we paid them a visit, don’t you ladies?”