Mara and Alicia continued to stare at the TV, totally mesmerized by the scene playing out in front of them. After a few minutes of silence, Mara jumped to her feet and started to look around.
“Car keys,” she shouted as she ran into the hall and grabbed Sharon’s keys off of the rack. “Alicia, stay put don’t panic. I’m going to go get Sharon okay?”
“I,” blinked Alicia her stomach churning as her mind tried to make sense of her situation. Before she could say anything Mara had run out of the door and dived into the car, the sound of squealing tires echoing as she drove off. “I’ve got to help Mom!” Shouted Alicia, quickly running upstairs.
As she pushed into her Mom’s bedroom, she looked around frantically. “Where is it?” She shouted as she threw clothes out of the hamper and flung the wardrobe doors open.
“What do you need?” Asked Kitty, looking between her computer and Alicia.
“The suit my mother brought me,” shouted Alicia. “We need to get to Bluebird park!”
“I see,” nodded Kitty, a smirk coming to her face. Suddenly Alicia spotted something out of the corner of her eye. It was an outfit that resembled the aliens from that terrible sci-fi movie that she had watched with Mara and her Mother.
“It will do!” Shouted Alicia, yanking off her clothes and starting to pull on the outfit, yanking the mask over her face before looking in the mirror. In any normal circumstance, Alicia would have said she looked stupid, however, the outfit obscured Alicia’s face and gave her some basic padding which was all Alicia wanted right now.
Alicia ran out of the bedroom and down the stairs, feeling the yellow chiffon and silly wings bounce on her back as she dashed out of the door and turned towards the city.
“Bluebird park is the other way!” Shouted Kitty.
“I need to get some backup first!” Screamed Alicia as her run became a sprint.
The tires squealed as Mara took the corner, weaving around traffic as she raced to her office, trying to go as quickly as she could without getting pulled over. When she reached the building she slammed on the brakes, parking across four spaces as she ran out of the car and up to her office.
Mara scrambled up the stairs and pushed her door open, causing it to slam into the wall. She quickly went to the reception desk and yanked the drawer right off its runners before tipping it onto the desk. As the contents clattered out onto the desk Mara grabbed the wrench and ran into her lab.
Once she was in the lab, Mara went to one of the wall cabinets and swung the wrench at it with all of her might. With a loud and echoing crunch, the wood started to splinter and crack. Mara pulled the wrench back and smashed the cabinet once more, grunting loudly as the wood let out another loud crack.
Mara started to strike the cabinet faster and faster, the sound of the strikes echoing through the room as the cabinet slowly succumbed to the impacts and started to fall off the wall, spraying its contents everywhere.
As the things smashed on the floor Mara started to yank at the remaining wood, pulling the raw plugs out of the wall as she threw broken chunks of wood left and right. Once the majority of the cabinet was removed, a white panel was visible in the wall.
Mara grabbed the wrench once more and started to smash at the panel, causing it to splinter and fragment as the heavy metal of the wrench hit it over and over.
After a few moments of furious violence a hole formed in the middle of the panel. Mara threw the wrench to the floor and clambered up onto the counter, before reaching up into the hole and pulling out a box with a strap.
Mara looked at the box for a few seconds, a small hint of doubt creeping across her face. She shook her head and pushed the doubt down as she put the strap over her shoulder and dived off of the counter and ran to the door.
As she reached the door Mara stopped in her tracks. She quickly turned and ran back into the room, grabbing the wrench from the floor and putting it into the bag before sprinting out of her office as fast as she could.
Alicia’s heart pounded as she moved through the streets. It felt like her heart was going to burst out of her chest at any moment. Her mind swam as her feet moved her towards where she wanted to go, could she really hope to save her Mom? She didn’t have a power and this was all so new to her. Alicia took a deep breath and pushed those thoughts down, she was going to do this, power or no power.
As she turned the corner Alicia spotted the gym and forcefully pushed the door open. She saw Ivanna and Dragón stood next to one of the rings, they were both staring at the news feed playing on Ivanna’s phone.
Ivanna turned and looked towards the door, only to jump when she saw Alicia in her mask. “Who are you?” She shouted, lifting her fists up and ducking down, getting ready to fight.
“It’s me!” Shouted Alicia, pulling her mask up and revealing her face.
“An unusual outfit,” said Dragón as she walked up to Alicia.
“Guys,” said Alicia, as she took some deep breaths. “The thing at the business park, they have my Mom.” Said Alicia, doing her best to avoid falling into a total panic.
“They what?” Shouted Ivanna, clenching her fists tightly.
“They have her captive!” Nodded Alicia. “It means she is in a building with that thing!” She added, furiously pointing to the black creature that was the main focus of the news footage. “I need help to get her back.”
“You’ve got it,” nodded Ivanna, marching over to her desk and grabbing her mask and costume.
“Thank you so much,” smiled Alicia as her lips started to wobble.
“Don’t thank us,” grinned Dragón as she moved up to Alicia and hugged her. “No one messes with us. And you’re one of us. So they have to go through me and Ivanna as well.”
“Right,” mumbled Alicia, trying to hold back a sudden torrent of tears as her mood swung wildly, her whole body tingled and burned with a mess of emotions as she tried to make sense of what was going on.
After a few minutes, Ivanna marched out of the locker room in her mask and leotard. “We’ll get your mother back,” nodded Ivanna, slapping Alicia on the back as she did.
Something about the slap energized Alicia, strengthening her resolve, at that moment she felt like she could destroy anything put in her path, she was going to get her Mom back, come hell or high water.
“What is that thing?” Shouted Creme as she cowered in the stairwell with Mesmera.
“Parasite,” growled Mesmera as she gritted her teeth.
“It is?” Blinked Creme. “She isn’t that big!”
“She was like that when I last saw her,’ replied Mesmera, looking over Creme with suspicion.
“She was?” Replied Creme, coughing a little bit from all of the debris. “I’ve not seen her like that.”
“You’ve not seen her like that? She is very hard to miss.” Continued Mesmera as she turned and peaked her head around the door to try and work out what was going on outside.
The monstrous Parasite was still stood on the roof, growling and whipping her tendrils at anyone who came close. The MIST agents had been pushed to the very edge of the roof and were obviously trying to work out how to deal with this creature while keeping it contained.
Thankfully, the sight of the monster effortlessly taking down a helicopter had caused the press choppers to back off, not wanting to meet the same fate as the Red Right Hand chopper that was now a burning wreckage on the roof.
Suddenly Lady Oak ran forward from the MIST line, raising her arms as a load of roots and weeds burst from the concrete. “Forest! Protect me!” She screamed as she quickly juked towards Parasite.
The creature growled and lunged at Lady Oak, missing her by mere centimeters, its tendrils crashing into the floor once more. The roots summoned by Lady Oak did their best to entangle and hold Parasite however the creature easily ripped them out of the floor before turning to face Lady Oak again.
“Come on!’ Shouted Lady Oak as she raised her hands once more, causing a load of thorny vines to whip out of the floor and strike Parasite. “Come on!” She shouted again.
The thorns did not seem to hurt or even phase the creature, merely angering it further, making its growls and roars grow louder. The creature started to move towards Lady Oak with murder in its eyes. As it moved it ripped the vines clean out of the ground.
Lady Oak continued to back up towards the edge of the roof, watching as Parasite lumbered towards her. She continued to summon roots from the ground, doing her best to find a weakness. However, nothing seemed to stop the hulking beast.
As the Parasite got close Lady Oak looked left and right, thoughts obviously dashing through her mind at high speed. Parasite’s tendrils fired forward, keen to rip the woman in two just like they had done to the helicopter.
Lady Oak leaned backward, letting herself fall off of the roof. The MIST agents gasped as they saw her fall, however, they quickly spotted roots rising out of the ground, catching Lady Oak before she hit the ground.
Before they could be relieved, Parasite jumped off the roof and crashed down onto the concrete below. Lady Oak started to shout again, waving her arms and starting to back up.
“Come on!” She shouted. “Want to fight? Fight me!” She said as she continued to wave her hands to summon various roots and plants from the ground.
“This is our chance!” Shouted Carrion as she ran towards the door. “We need to try and take the building.”
“Aye!” Shouted Medica. “I’ll wait until ta’ team can get Crimson outta here!”
“Right!” Nodded Huntress, moving towards the stairs.
Suddenly, Ulla and Hitomi walked out onto the roof, the flames of the helicopter wreckage illuminating their deep black armor. They stood in front of the door, staring right through their former friends.
“Out of my way,” shouted Carrion. “I don’t want to hurt you.” She shouted, but the girls didn’t react.
“What are those two doing?” Asked Mesmera as she watched Hitomi and Ulla walk past her.
“Momo said they were going to stop MIST,” said Creme as she watched the pair of girls confront the MIST agents.
“That is what they are going to do,” interrupted Momo from a little way down the stairs.
“Momo!” Gasped Creme as the sounds of combat started to echo once more. “What happened to Parasite!”
“I gave her a little power boost!” Giggled Momo. “She is much stronger now!”
“Momo!” Screamed Creme. “She destroyed our escape! We’re stuck now!”
“No biggie! We’re winning! MIST doesn’t stand a chance against us!” She said before skipping off down the stairs.
“Is the route to your lab clear?” Asked Creme.
“Sure!” Replied Momo as she continued to skip.
“Let’s go!” Shouted Creme, yanking Mesmera by the arm and starting to follow Momo.
“They’ve walled the place up,” said Alicia as she Dragón and Ivanna crept up to the side of the business park. The police had formed a large cordon in an attempt to keep people away from the wall, however, they didn’t have nearly enough officers to watch the entire thing making it easy for the girls to jump it.
“We can go over the back,” nodded Dragón as she moved through the undergrowth.
“We should try and cut the power,” added Ivanna. “Get ourselves an advantage.” Suddenly the group spotted Parasite looming over the wall, her tendrils stabbing forward at some unseen foe.
“That,” gasped Alicia. “What is that?”
“I don’t know,” replied Ivanna.
“Not the only issue,” added Dragón, pointing up to the roof. Alicia and Ivanna looked up, only to see utter chaos unfolding. Gravel and metal were being thrown everywhere as several people fought on top of the building.
“Seems we won’t be keeping our cover,” sighed Ivanna. “We’ll still go over the back.”
“Right,” came another voice, making all three girls jump. Alicia spun around only to see that Kitty was stood behind them.
“Kitty!” Shouted Alicia, suddenly realizing that she had lost track of Kitty when she was running to the gym.
“I’ve been scouting!” She smiled as her computer let out a beep. Kitty blinked and tapped her computer, letting it project a little screen out in front of her. “Alicia, do you feel okay?”
“What?” Replied Alicia, unsure why Kitty had suddenly changed the subject. “I’m fine?”
“Right,” nodded Kitty, turning the projection off. “There is that big monster down here and I can detect Ulla on the roof. Her signature is faint, but there.”
“Okay,” nodded Alicia.
“I want to go get Ulla,” added Kitty, her voice instantly losing all of the bubbly excitement it normally had.
“Okay,” said Alicia softly. “We’ll back you up and try and keep any more people from bothering you.”
“Perfect,” growled Kitty, quickly warping away. Ivanna and Dragón looked at Alicia for a few moments, both of them slightly confused about who Kitty was.
“A friend?” Asked Ivanna.
“Sort of!” Smiled Alicia before waving her hand and moving towards the wall. “Let’s go!”
Creme dragged Mesmera into the lab before locking the door behind her. “Momo, we need to start the machine now!” She shouted between breaths.
“Why?” Replied Momo, glaring daggers into Mesmera. “Why did you bring her?”
“We need all the backup we can get!” Shouted Creme as the building rumbled again. “Now get the machine started! We need to stop MIST!”
“Why won’t you listen to me?” Growled Momo.
“Because I am your boss Momo! You do what I say!” Replied Creme marching over to the machine and starting to fiddle with it. “How do you turn this thing on!”
“I need to turn the breaker off,” sighed Momo as she walked to the other side of the lab and started to fiddle with some wiring in the wall. Mesmera moved closer to the machine and looked it over.
“What does this thing do?” She asked, looking at Creme.
“I don’t fully understand it,” said Creme as she started to fiddle with the switches. “But Momo tells me it is an energy manipulator. With this, we’ll be able to level a city with a single word, wiping whole countries off of the map.
“That is amazing,” gasped Mesmera, trying to formulate a plan in her head. Suddenly Mesmera felt an arm wrap around her neck as she was pulled backward. She let out a shout and started to struggle, trying to work out who was pulling on her.
“Momo!” Shouted Creme. “What are you doing?”
“I’m not letting her loose around my machine!” Shouted Momo as she dragged Mesmera back towards the second room of the lab. Mesmera let herself be dragged a little bit, keen to see if she could continue to drive a wedge between Momo and Creme as the longer they spent bickering the longer it would take them to start the machine.
“Put her down!” Shouted Creme as Momo continued to drag Mesmera into the other room.
“No!” Shouted Momo as she opened the glass door of the brainwashing chamber. “She’ll ruin everything!” Continued Momo as she shoved Mesmera into the chair and started to bind her tightly.
“Momo!” Yelled Creme, obviously getting beyond frustrated with the girl. “You’re wasting time! The time we don’t have! If we don’t get this machine working MIST are going to blow the whole building sky high!”
“Yeah, Momo!” Shouted Mesmera as she struggled in the restraints.
“Shut up!” Shouted Momo, slapping Mesmera across the face before slamming the glass door shut and storming back over to the machine.
“Awww, I want to help,” groaned Mesmera from inside the glass cabinet.
“Shut up!” Shouted Momo as she started to flip switches on the machine. The whole thing started to vibrate as the gem begin to intensely glow. Mesmera could only watch on as the machine let out a loud and high pitched whirr and started to rock gently.
“Wonderful!” Laughed Creme. “It is beautiful!” She said with a wide smile as the machine continued to glow and whirr.
Momo stepped back and watched as the machine continued to work. “Just needs to warm up,” she said as she looked between the machine, Creme, and Mesmera.
“How do we use it?” Asked Creme.
“We need to direct the beam when it is charged,” nodded Momo, growing obviously agitated as she glared at Mesmera. “We’ll need a target.”
“I thought you had worked this out,” replied Creme, looking at Momo.
“Not been able to test it,” snapped Momo. Creme just rolled her eyes and started to walk around the lab as she waited for the machine to charge.
Alicia, Ivanna, and Dragón huddled against the wall and looked around, trying to make sure they wouldn’t be spotted. The monster’s tendrils were still towering over the wall, but it seemed distracted by something at the front of the building.
“I’ll get up and help you over,” nodded Dragón, jumping into the air and floating slowly upward until she landed on the top of the wall. She then bent down and offered out her hand. “Alicia, come with me.”
“Okay!” Smiled Alicia, jumping up and grabbing onto Dragón’s hand and starting to clamber up the wall. Once she was at the top, she copied Dragón and offered her hand to Ivanna. It took both girls’ strength, but they quickly got Ivanna up and over the wall and into the park.
“Backdoor,” nodded Alicia quickly making her way towards the metal door. She yanked on it several times, only to find that it was locked.
“Allow me,” said Ivanna, backing up a few feet before putting her shoulder down and charging at the door, smashing it off of its hinges and sending it flying into the room.
“Nice one,” grinned Alicia as she moved into the room and looked around. “Storage of some form,” nodded Alicia, waving the other two inside.
“Interesting,” said Dragón as she looked around. “Doesn’t seem to be power in here.”
“Basement maybe?” Said Alicia.
“Good plan,” replied Ivanna marching out of the room and into the reception area. As they entered they spotted one of the Red Right Hand goons stumbling around the room. They were obviously not thinking straight as they kept bumping into the desk and into the walls.
However, as the girls walked into the room the goon turned and let out a low gurgle before pitching towards the group. Ivanna pushed Alicia back and moved forward to confront the figure.
The goon didn’t seem to be phased by Ivanna’s size. She raised her arm and tried to slash at her, almost like she was attempting to slap Ivanna in the face. However, before her hand could make contact Ivanna grabbed onto the figure’s wrist and lifted her into the air before throwing her down onto the table.
The table gave way due to the force of the slam, the sound echoing through the room. Ivanna smirked as she looked down at the figure. “That is what you get!” She shouted.
“Up or down,” asked Dragón.
“Down,” said Alicia without thinking.
“Right, let’s go!” Said Ivanna, running down into the basement. “Wonder where they store things,” said Ivanna, only to spot a few more of the goons lumbering towards her.
“Company!” Shouted Dragón, quickly running forward and dropkicking one of them in the chest. As Alicia and Ivanna moved forward to help Dragón, one of the remaining goons swung both its arms forward in an attempt to hit Alicia.
“Alicia!” Shouted Ivanna as she shoved Alicia out of the way. At the same time, Dragón jumped up and grabbed Alicia by the waist and pulled her to the floor.
Ivanna dodged the blow and punched the goon, sending her stumbling backward towards one of the other goons. Alicia’s muscles tingled, a burning rage filled her body. She jumped up from the floor and ran towards the goon and lept at them. She flew through the air for a few feet before her shoulder collided with their chest, sending them sailing backward into the other goon and into the wall.
“Impressive!” Cheered Ivanna as she lifted the third goon over her head and threw her on top of the two that Alicia had downed. Alicia looked at the fallen figure in awe, her tackle had left a massive dent in the metal armor.
“I’m strong again!” Shouted Alicia.
“How do you,” started Dragón, only for Alicia to cut her off.
“It doesn’t matter! I’m strong and nothing is going to stop me from getting my Mom back!”
Huntress swung for Ulla, only for Ulla to grab her fist and squeeze it tightly. Huntress let out a shout as Ulla effortlessly crushed her hand. Carrion ducked Hitomi’s hook and ran over to help Huntress.
However, before Carrion could reach her friend, Hitomi kneed her in the lower back, causing Carrion to collapse to the floor, as Huntress continued to scream out in pain.
“Get off of her!” Shouted Lady Aria as she swung her gauntlet at Ulla, knocking her back a few steps. Huntress fell to the floor, holding her damaged hand. “Move!” Shouted Aria as she looked down at Huntress.
Ulla used that moment of distraction to quickly lunge forward and grab Lady Aria by the throat, squeezing firmly on her neck. Aria went to smash Ulla, however as she pulled her arm back, Hitomi grabbed onto it, preventing her from attacking.
“Let me go!” Shouted Aria as she tried to struggle free of Hitomi’s grip. But no matter how hard she struggled, she couldn’t seem to make the girl let go. Suddenly, Ulla removed one of her hands from Aria’s throat and drew it back before using it to deliver a powerful uppercut right into Aria’s chest. The force of the blow sent Aria flying backward as the air was forced out of her body.
Hitomi and Ulla moved closer to Aria, obviously going to attack the fallen girl. Aria tried to push herself up off the ground, trying to block out the stinging pain that filled all of her muscles.
Suddenly a streak of silver flew in front of Aria, causing Ulla and Hitomi’s armor to spark as they fell to the floor. “What?” Mumbled Aria, trying to make sense of what was going on. She saw a figure appear on top of the stairs, even though her vision was blurred she instantly knew who it was. “Kitty?”
“Friends don’t let friends be controlled,” said Kitty as she pointed at Ulla. “I’m going to take you down, for your own good!” She shouted as she raised her arm and pressed her computer. “Star change!”
As the flash radiated out across the rooftop Medic ran forward, grabbing Aria and Huntress and starting to pull them back towards the edge of the rooftop.
“Yer know her?” Asked Medic as Ulla and Hitomi turned to face Kitty.
“Old friend,” gasped Aria as she tried to get her breath back. Kitty’s silver armor caught the sun as she quickly vanished and appeared in front of Ulla, her fists becoming a blur as blow after blow bounced off the girl’s helmet.
Hitomi tried to grab onto Kitty, only for her hands to go straight through the girl. Before she had time to question what had just happened another Kitty appeared behind her and kicked her in the back of the knee before swinging her fist downward and hitting her on the back of the head.
As the sparks flew off of Hitomi’s helmet, Kitty grabbed her and spun her around grabbing onto the CCC device that was still embedded in her system.
As she did a wave of electricity ran out of the device and across both girls. Kitty’s suit started to glow as the shock ran through her whole body as she furiously pulled at the device. Hitomi twitched and thrashed as the arcing electricity caused her suit to smoke. Her flailing arms hit Kitty a few times before another surge of electricity sent both girls flying, the device still embedded in Hitomi’s system.
“Counter-measures,” coughed Aria as she leaned on Medic. “We’ve got to disable it somehow.”
The crowd huddled around the police cordon, trying to work out what was going on in the business park. Various police officers did their best to disperse the crowd and maintain the perimeter, despite their own fear and confusion.
“Come on, nothing to see here folks,” said the one officer as she waved her hands at the crowd of people.
“But what is that!” Shouted one of the civilians, pointing towards one of the black tendrils that towered over the wall.
“Likely nothing,” replied the Officer, doing their best to cover for the fact that she had no idea what it was either. “So you should all just go home.”
The crowd mumbled once more as they looked towards the park. Suddenly one of the crowd pointed up and shouted. “What’s that?!” The officer turned her head and looked towards where the person was pointing.
She couldn’t quite make it out, but it seemed like people were moving on the roof of the building, though it was hard to make them out due to all of the sparks and dust.
“Likely nothing, nothing to worry about,” said the officer, returning to her script. “Just head home and let us deal with it,” she added, trying to sound as firm as possible.
Several people shouted at the officer, however, the sound of an engine distracted her. At first, she hoped it was some backup, however, she quickly realized that the engine was revving aggressively and coming towards her at high speed.
The cop went to shout something, but before she could a car barrelled across the dirt at the side of the road and honked its horn. People ran out of the way as the car sped up. The cop was unsure how to react, she was frozen with confusion and fear.
The car crashed through the barricade and sped off towards the giant wall. “What was that?” Shouted the officer as she watched the car continue to drive away.
Mara gritted her teeth as she pushed the accelerator down harder. It wasn’t a subtle way to make an entrance but right now she didn’t care, she was going to tear through every single person who stood between her and Sharon, no matter what it took.
As the wall grew bigger and bigger on the horizon Mara considered her options. Part of her considered pulling up and using the car as a way to climb over the wall, but she quickly dismissed that idea, her rage suggesting a more violent and more effective option.
Mara unhooked the seatbelt and reached into the glove box, pulling out the car manual before reaching down and pulling up the floormat, using the heavy manual and the mat to pin the car’s accelerator down as it sped towards the wall.
When the car was a few feet from the wall Mara opened the door and rolled out of the car, bouncing along the grass for a few feet. The car plowed into the wall, the sounds of crunching metal filling the area as the car broke through the concrete and started to smoke.
Mara quickly jumped up and ran towards the wall, ducking into the hole the car had made, doing her best to not choke on the smoke as she ran past the burning wreckage of the car.
As Mara made her way inside the wall she caught a glimpse of the chaos that was unfolding. The sounds of combat filled the air and on the other side of the compound she could Parasite chasing Lady Oak, her tendrils wildly lashing out at the girl.
Dust and gravel were being flung off the roof as after images of Kitty appeared along the sides of the building, almost as if she was dodging and trying to get behind something.
Suddenly the car exploded pulling Mara back to reality and refocusing her on her task. She needed to get to Sharon. She quickly ran into the building, hoping that she could find where they were holding her girlfriend.
Creme paced around the room, looking at the machine with interest. “How long will it take?”
“As long as it takes,” groaned Momo, glaring at Mesmera. “It takes as long as it takes.” She said as she pulled at her pigtails, obviously on the verge of collapsing in on herself.
Suddenly the sound of an explosion caused Creme to jump and grab onto one of the tables. “She was right! MIST is going to blow up the building! We need this operational now!”
Momo looked around, obviously confused by what was going on. “It still needs to charge!” She shouted.
“Need a bigger battery!” Laughed Mesmera from the chamber, her smirk growing wider. Suddenly Momo smashed her hands against the table and marched over to Mesmera, swinging the glass door open.
“Shut up!” Screamed Momo, slapping Mesmera around the face again. “I’ve had it with you! Always getting in the way of every single thing I try and do!” Shouted Momo at the top of her lungs. She grabbed a helmet from a nearby table and pushed it onto Mesmera’s head.
Mesmera instantly worked out what was coming. She took a deep breath and focused herself. Just as she did a bright pink spiraling pattern appeared in front of her, flashing intensely as it spun round and round.
Mesmera retreated into her own head. “The Anzac biscuit was a popular treat during the war, as it was easy to send on naval voyages due to the ingredients not spoiling, thus avoiding the old weevil biscuit problem that was the bane of seamen during the age of sail.” Mumbled Mesmera as she blocked the spiral out. “Also, Weevil biscuit was my favorite prog-rock band. Sure their later albums got boring and repetitive, but their live show was fun, provided you brought the right supplies of water and Acid.”
Despite the helmet being thick and heavy, Mesmera was sure she could hear Momo shouting something, however, she just blocked it out and continued to talk from memory. “Of course, there is also the Anzac wafer but this is a different type of scrumptious treat, if you know someone who confuses the two then it is your duty to disown them and cast them out, lest they pollute the social order.” Rambled Mesmera as she did her best to ignore the spiral. Suddenly Mesmera felt something soft get shoved into her mouth, informing her that Momo had been shouting and was obviously frustrated by her recipes.
“Momo!” Growled Creme, grabbing the girl by the shoulder. “What are you doing?!”
“She needs to shut up!” Screamed Momo, shoving Creme off. “She always gets in the way!”
“Gets in the way?” Blinked Creme. “What do you mean?”
“She gets in the way!” Repeated Momo, walking over to the machine, and flipping the switches. “We need to make this more powerful! We need to send a message!”
Ivanna, Dragón, and Alicia continued to move through the building, doing their best to find the fuse box. Every so often they would encounter one of the foot soldiers who had been separated from their group. The girls quickly dealt with each of them, Alicia’s newfound strength allowing her to lift and throw them as if they were an old napkin.
Eventually, they found a circuit breaker hidden away in a service cupboard in a storage area. The group moved inside and looked it over. “Let’s destroy it,” smirked Ivanna.
“Good call,” nodded Alicia. “Let’s prevent them from getting any power!” Alicia ripped the door off of the box and started to flip the switches. As she did the lights in the area went off, plunging the room into darkness. Once all the switches were switched off, Dragón and Ivanna started to pull the fuses out, stamping on them as they did.
As Ivanna pulled the last one out Alicia ran into the storage area and grabbed a can of paint. “Back off!” She shouted as she opened the lid and threw the contents of the can all over the box before throwing the can into the box with all her force, denting both objects.
“Excellent,” smiled Dragón, “This should give us an advantage!”
“Let’s make the most of it!” Shouted Alicia, punching her palm. “Let’s go to the roof!”
“Yes! Take the fight to them!” Shouted Ivanna, quickly moving out of the room.
As the lights flickered off Creme gasped. “They’ve cut our power!” She shouted as the machine let out a low whirr as it stopped glowing.
“It’s fine,” sighed Momo as the lights flickered back on. “I’ve been running on my own power grid for a while,” she said as she went back and fiddled with the machine some more.
“We need to move people here,” shouted Creme. “They’re obviously planning a major charge.”
“We’ll be fine!” Growled Momo.
“No!” Shouted Creme. “Listen to me! We need to call people here!”
“Ugh, stop it!” Replied Momo. “We’ll be fine! Bringing people here means MIST comes here! Let them fight outside!”
“I am the boss Momo!” Screeched Creme, grabbing her phone and hammering in a number. “Where is Massacre Maid?! She should be helping!”
“I don’t know!” Shouted Momo again. “I don’t keep track of everyone!”
Kitty continued to flit around the rooftop, landing strikes on Hitomi and Ulla. However, she seemed totally unable to subdue them. Every time she went to grab the object from their system electricity would wash over her suit and send her flying.
The other MIST agents did their best to keep things under control, however, the damage was starting to add up, leaving more and more of them unable to fight.
Kitty flew through the air and tried to kick Ulla in the face, however, Ulla grabbed the girl’s ankle and slammed Kitty into the floor. Kitty shouted in pain as the concrete cracked from the impact. Ulla and Hitomi then surrounded the girl and started to kick her.
“No!” Shouted Aria, moving in to try and help Kitty despite her injured state. Carrion followed close behind, her armor sparking and smoking due to the damage she had sustained.
As they got within touching distance of the other two girls a scythe flew through the air and hit Lady Aria, causing her to fall to her knees in pain. The scythe then turned and ripped a hole in Carrion’s armor exposing her skin.
“MIST flunkies!” Shouted Massacre Maid as she emerged from the stairs. “Today is the day you fall and suffer!” She laughed as she watched Hitomi and Ulla continue to kick Kitty as she rolled around the floor, putting her hands up, trying to stop the kicks making contact with her face.
Massacre Maid caught her scythe and threw it again, causing the blade to loop around the rooftop and hit every MIST member in the chest. The MIST agents crumpled to the floor, most of them hardly able to stand, let alone fight anymore. Massacre just laughed as she saw the wounded and drained agents, her smile growing wider as she considered her options.
As she laughed Ulla grabbed Kitty and threw her towards the other MIST girls, watching as she painfully collided with Carrion. Ulla and Hitomi stood next to Massacre and prepared to finish what they started. Massacre lifted her scythe into the air. “It is over for you!” She cackled.
“I don’t think so,” came a voice from behind Massacre. She turned to see three figures who had somehow climbed atop the entrance to the stairs.
“More of you?” She growled.
“We’re not MIST,” said Dragón as she flicked the tail on her mask.
“Criminals beware, face the might of El Cóndor Vengador!” Shouted Ivanna as she flexed her muscles.
“The resplendent rudo! Dragón Danzante!” Yelled Dragón as she raised her hand into the air before looked towards Alicia. Alicia looked around for a second, before realizing why Dragón and Ivanna were staring at her.
“I don’t have a name yet!” Shouted Alicia. “But when I do, you’ll be sorry!” She said, shaking her fist towards Massacre.
“Queen Bee!” Shouted Ivanna as she slapped Alicia on the back.
“Fear her sting!” Added Dragón, grabbing Alicia’s wrist and raising her hand into the air.
“Right! Let’s go with that!” Smiled Alicia, feeling a tingle of excitement inside her.
“Touching,” sighed Massacre, rolling her eyes. “But those are going to be terrible last words!”
“We’ll see!” Shouted Ivanna as she jumped towards Massacre and swung for her. Massacre was able to get her scythe up just in time to block the blow, but Ivanna continued to push against her, causing her to slowly slide back across the rooftop.
Alicia and Dragón each focused on one of the armored girls. Alicia decided to do what had worked last time and dived at Hitomi’s ankle, hoping to take the girl off of her feet. As Alicia made contact with Hitomi’s ankle, Hitomi stumbled and backed up a few steps, only to try and stamp down on Alicia’s prone form. Alicia reacted on instinct, putting her hands up.
As Hitomi’s foot made contact with Alicia’s hand, she braced herself, expecting to get kicked in the face. However, as Hitomi pushed down, Alicia found that she could easily keep the foot away from her body. Alicia gasped as her heart started to pound, she started to push back against Hitomi and found that she was able to push the foot away from her.
“Oh right,” grinned Alicia. “I’m strong now!” She shouted as she pushed with all of her might, sending Hitomi flying into the air. Alicia pulled herself up off the floor and smirked as Hitomi hit the floor.
Kitty looked up from her position on the floor before rolling over and projecting a screen from her computer. Alicia looked at her before turning and running to Ulla. Alicia wrapped her arms around Ulla’s waist and twisted her hips, throwing Ulla to the floor.
Massacre and Ivanna continued to struggle, both trying to get an advantage over the other. Alicia started to move to help Ivanna, however, out of the corner of her eye she spotted Hitomi getting back up.
Alicia ducked down and ran towards Hitomi and divided forward. As Alicia dived she realized how light she felt, almost like she could dive the length of the rooftop in a single bound. Alicia’s shoulder slammed into Hitomi’s chest, a metallic crunch echoing around the rooftop as Hitomi was knocked clean off her feet, flying back so far that she fell off of the rooftop.
Alicia looked around in shock. She realized she felt strong, but would never have guessed she was that strong. Kitty pulled herself to her feet and let out a pained chuckle. “Turns out I was close when I said you were an alien,” she coughed.
“Kitty! This isn’t the time!” Shouted Alicia.
“Might be useful!’ Said Kitty as her computer project up a small screen, “your body changes, when you tou—,” she started, only for the scythe to sail past Alicia’s head and nail Kitty in the chest, causing her armor to erupt in sparks.
Alicia turned to face Massacre Maid, only to realize that she had knocked Ivanna over while Alicia was distracted by her strength. She also realized that Ulla and Dragón were entangled on the floor, Dragón obviously attempting the arm hold she had used on Alicia.
“Now, time to finish you all off!” Shouted Massacre, lifting her scythe. Alicia’s head spun as her muscles tingled, Kitty’s words echoing in her head as a wave of realization crashed over her.
Massacre swept her hand forward, releasing her scythe with an evil smirk. Alicia charged forward, dodging out of the way of the scythe before diving at Massacre, extending out her hand to slap the girl on the face.
Massacre yelped and stumbled but quickly returned to her smug smile. “You missed,” she laughed, watching as the injured MIST agents tried to cower or move away from the scythe.
However, moments before the scythe hit the cowering girls it turned around and headed back towards Massacre Maid. Massacre’s eyes went wide with shock, she held out her hand to catch the scythe, however, it flew over her head.
“Hey,” Giggled Alicia. “This thing is connected to your head! Neat!” She grinned as she twirled the scythe around in her hand.
“How did you,” blinked Massacre as she stood dumbfounded.
“Turns out, I was wrong about my power!” Smiled Alicia, as she ran forward and slashed Massacre with the scythe. “I’m not strong! I’m a thief!” She explained as the blade of the scythe scraped up Massacre’s chest, causing her to cry out in pain. “I’ve just been stealing one power over and over,” added Alicia as she picked Massacre up on the scythe blade and slammed her into the floor, before using the sharp point to pin the girl’s maid uniform to the ground.
“How did you?” Said Ivanna as she lifted herself off the floor.
“Help here!” Shouted Dragón as she continued to wrestle with Ulla on the damaged ground, doing her best to prevent the other girl from rejoining the fray.
“Right!” Shouted Alicia and Ivanna in unison. Both girls grabbed onto Ulla and yanked her off of Dragón, despite her squirming and struggling. Ivanna tried to get a firm grip so she could throw Ulla, however, Ulla elbowed her in the face several times, causing her to stumble. This stumble meant that Alicia’s grip weakened enough to let Ulla escape.
Ulla stared through Alicia for a few moments. Alicia twisted her foot on the ground, getting a firm footing as she stared the girl down, her brain flashing back to her fight with Kitty the day earlier. “If I can handle the alien, I can handle the train,” smirked Alica. “Bring it!”
However, rather than attacking, Ulla suddenly stiffened before turning around and marching stiffly down the stairs and back into the building. “You better run!” Shouted Alicia as she quickly turned and started to tend to the various injured people.
“Alicia,” coughed Kitty as she was helped up. “Listen to me.”
“I can listen once everyone is out of here.” Replied Alica, looking over the edge of the roof and spotting the hole left by Mara’s car crash. “We can move people out of there!” Shouted Alicia.
“We need to get them downstairs!” Groaned Medic.
“We can escort you,” replied Alicia, pointing to Ivanna and Dragón.
“Why should we trust you,” moaned Aria as she pressed on one of her wounds.
“I just threw someone off a roof for you. I think that means we’re pretty much on the same page!” Sighed Alicia as she rolled her eyes.
“Yes,” shouted Huntress. “Please,” she begged, still holding her broken hand.
“Aye, the lass is our best shot.” Nodded Medic, her mech suit billowing smoke.
“Thanks for agreeing with me!” Smirked Alicia as Kitty’s armor vanished. “You okay Kitty?”
“I’m good!” Smiled Kitty. “I need to let my suit repair itself.” She nodded as she helped the rest of the group up to their feet.
“Let’s move,” nodded Ivanna, heading off back down the stairs. All of the MIST agents stumbled to their feet and started to move behind Ivanna, none of them looking particularly confident about the situation.
“I was nearly right about you being an alien,” giggled Kitty as she and Alicia walked behind the group.
“What is it with you and thinking I’m an alien?” Sighed Alicia, her eyes darting left and right.
“Because your genetics keep changing,” replied Kitty, opening doors as she went past them to make sure no one was hiding. “You’ve changed since I arrived.”
“Right,” blinked Alicia, trying to understand the point Kitty was trying to make. “When I touch people right? Like I got strong in the ring as I was touching Ivanna. She hit me today and I got strong. I smacked Massacre in the face and got control of her blade.”
“Sort of,” nodded Kitty. “It seems to be based on two people,” she said as she projected up a little screen that replayed Ivanna, Dragón, and Alicia introducing themselves to Massacre maid.
The screen showed a series of genetic markers next to each girl and while it changed a little when Ivanna slapped Alicia on the pack, it was Dragón grabbing her wrist that made the structure totally morph.
“Wow,” gasped Alicia as a realization hit her. “That’s why I feel light! I’ve got both their powers!”
“It seemed that way,” grinned Kitty as she turned the screen off. “I thought you were a shapeshifter at first, especially when we fought. My strikes were altering your genetics.”
“So, I can touch any two people and get their powers?” Asked Alicia as she checked around a corridor.
“I’m not sure,” replied Kitty. “Based on my data it seems to like your genetics need to balance the two.”
“Right, right,” sighed Alicia. “Never simple is it?”
“Call them back now!” Screamed Creme, glaring at Momo over the table.
“Why won’t you listen!” Shouted Momo, pulling at her pigtails. “I can’t be brilliant if you keep pestering me! I know what we are doing! You have no idea how long I’ve worked for this!”
“I am your boss!” Stamped Creme. “You will listen to me, or I will hand you over to MIST myself! You are replaceable Momo! I don’t care how good you are in the lab, you will listen to me!”
“Fine!” Groaned Momo as she grabbed the small remote from her pocket and pressed the button down. “Besties, to the lab.” She said firmly before staring at Creme. “Happy now?”
“I’m slowly losing my patience Momo,” replied Creme. “This is all your fault. If it wasn’t for you, we would be in a helicopter and miles away from here!”
“How dare you!” Screamed Momo, yanking a drawer open and pulling out some handcuffs. “You will not question me!” She screamed as she slapped Creme across the face and clicked the cuff onto her wrist before attaching the other end to the leg of the table.
The sudden blow stunned Creme, who slumped against the table for a few moments, her emotions flipping and twisting as she tried to pull her wrist out of the cuff it was trapped in.
Momo then turned to face the brainwashing booth, the rage burning in her eyes. She stormed over to the machine and threw the door open. “And you! You!” She screamed, punching Mesmera in the stomach.
Mesmera coughed a little bit as Momo grabbed a load of pads and wires and started to stick the pads on Mesmera’s body and plugged the wires into the machine, slowly rubbing her hands over Mesmera’s vulnerable body as she did.
As the last pad was stuck on, Hitomi and Ulla walked into the room. “We are here like you commanded.” Said the girls in unison.
“Great!” Laughed Momo. “Watch this!” She shouted as she pressed a button on the machine. Electricity started to flow through the wires and into Mesmera causing her to scream and spasm.
In her head Mesmera continued to try and focus on her recipes, doing all she could to block out the pain. “This is no different to burning myself on the oven when I’m making a delicious lemon cake. When I mix the flour and the sugar and the lemon juice, some might get into a cut and this is the same as that. No different at all,” she continued as she screamed again, all of her muscles filled with white-hot pain.
“Hit her!” Shouted Momo, looking towards Ulla. “Hit her!” She shouted again as Ulla pulled her fist back and punched Mesmera in the stomach, causing her to groan as the air was forced out of her lungs. Before Mesmera could try and get her breath back another shock ran across her muscles, causing her to cry out.
Mesmera could feel herself starting to slip as the spiral continued to spin and flash before her eyes, doing its best to pull Mesmera into a hypnotic trance. Mesmera gritted her teeth and tried to focus on her recipes.
However, whenever she started to get her focus back, another wave of electricity would wash over her, causing her muscles to burn with pain. She felt her mind starting to unravel as the spiral seemed to drag her eyes towards the center, almost like it was promising her freedom from the pain in return for her submission.
She bit down on her lip as best she could, forcing the thoughts out of her mind, she wasn’t going to give in. She was stronger than this and better than this, she wasn’t going to let some pretender in a tutu be better at mind control than she was.
Mesmera screamed again as more electricity ran through her body. Momo just giggled as she watched Mesmera twitch around in pain, almost rejoicing in the display of agony.
“Get your hands off of her.” Came a voice from the other side of the lab. Momo turned only to see Mara stood in the doorway, her face full of red-hot anger.
“Who are you?” Groaned Creme as she tried to stand up.
“It doesn’t matter,” replied Mara. “You’ve made a very grave mistake.”
“I don’t think we have,” replied Creme, yanking on the handcuff every few seconds. “Red Right Hand will rule this city! Surrender to us and we may grant you mercy.” Continued Creme. Suddenly a crackling noise filled the room as Creme stiffened and collapsed onto the floor.
Mara’s turned only to spot Momo stood a few feet behind Creme with a discharged stun gun in her hand. “Whoopsie doopsie,” smirked Momo. “My finger slipped.”
“What?” Groaned Creme, only for Momo to viciously kick her in the chest.
“I’m done with you!” Shouted Momo. “This isn’t worth it, I thought you were a good idea, but it turns out you just get in the way.”
“I’m your boss,” mumbled Creme as she tried to pick herself up off the floor, however as she got onto her knees Momo kicked her in the head, a sickening crack echoing around the room.
“You’re nothing. You were nothing when I met you and you are less than nothing now!” Screamed Momo. “Melinda Kemp was nothing! She was a stain on the drain of humanity!” Continued Momo.
“What?” Murmured Creme, a strange sharp throbbing pain forming in her brain. It was like her brain was trying to rip itself apart like an old memory was fighting to come to the surface.
“When I met you, you were down and out. You wanted to be an author but had no talent. No drive. Nothing special. I made you!” Screamed Momo, grabbing Creme by the hair and yanking her head up so she was looking directly into Momo’s eyes.
“I,” blinked Creme, a tear running down her cheek, her mind felt like it was about to shatter like glass.
“Of course, you don’t remember.” Cackled Momo. “You’re far too stupid, it has been in front of you the whole time! And you didn’t realize, because you are a dumb waste of space who even failed at being my human shield!”
“But, no,” blinked Creme, trying to make sense of what Momo was talking about.
“You didn’t see it, because you are worthless!” Shouted Momo as she reached towards a shelf and pulled off her bunny doll. “Creme d’Argent.” She said as she shoved the doll into Creme’s face. “Creme d’Argent, Creme d’Argent is the name of a type of bunny! You’ve been staring at your namesake in my lab for months and your dumb brain didn’t even pick up on it!”
“No,” moaned Creme as her eyes rolled up into her head. Half-remembered memories and images flashed through her mind. Images of meeting Momo, offering to work for her in exchange for a room, of Momo forcing a helmet on her head.
Creme let out a whine as her brain throbbed, it felt like it was going to burst into flames at any moment. She had no idea what to do or how she should feel, she didn’t even know what was real anymore.
“Stop this, right now,” shouted Mara, interrupting Momo’s shouting.
“Why should I?” Replied Momo, growling at Mara.
“This has all got out of hand,” replied Mara. “This needs to end. All of it.”
“What are you going to do about it?” Laughed Momo as she let go of Creme’s hair and kicked her in the kidney. “Besties, deal with our guest.”
“Yes your wonderfulness,” replied Ulla and Hitomi in a monotone, starting to move towards Mara.
Mara let out a sigh and undid the latch on the box and pulled the lid open. In one flowing movement she reached into the box and yanked out what seemed to be a metallic case crossed with a cellphone.
Mara thrust her hand out and pressed a button on the device, causing it to flip open. “Emergency! Armor on!” Shouted Mara as a humanoid hologram shot forward and then flew backward and engulfed Mara, quickly forming armor around her.
“Well well well,” smirked Momo, looking over the light blue armor. “Bring her in alive girls, I think she’ll be a great friend.”
Ulla ran forward and swung her fist out, trying to jab Mara in the face. However, Mara stepped out of the way of the blow, letting Ulla run past her before grabbing onto the girl’s arm and kicking her in the back of the knee.
Hitomi quickly charged at Mara, swinging her fist down as if she was going to try and crush Mara’s skull. At the last second, Mara dodged out of the way, causing Hitomi to hit Ulla instead, sending the girl face first into the floor of the lab.
Mara quickly opened a panel on her arm and flipped some dip switches. “Wreck Claw!” Said a voice from inside her armor as a bay on her right arm popped up, revealing a large grappling hook.
Hitomi turned, obviously trying to refocus on Mara, however, before she could do anything the hook fired out from Mara’s arm, quickly wrapping around Hitomi’s chest.
Mara pulled on the chain, dragging Hitomi towards her before she started to run past the girl, causing the chain to loop around Hitomi’s neck. Once she was behind Hitomi, Mara retracted the chain and jumped into the air, driving her knees into Hitomi’s back before pulling the girl down to the floor.
Ulla started to struggle to her feet, only for Mara to scramble forward and wrap the chain around her legs before yanking on it, causing Ulla to crash back down to the ground.
Mara quickly started to twist the chain around Ulla’s neck, pulling back on it to choke both girls simultaneously. As she pulled, she slowly started to back up, extending the chain a few inches at a time. When she a few feet away from the kneeling girls, Mara flicked the switches again and jumped forward.
The chain started to rattle as it retracted at high speed. However, it didn’t seem able to move both Ulla and Hitomi, thus the retraction pulled Mara forward through the air, allowing her to extend her feet and kick both Ulla and Hitomi in the back of the head, her feet pushing both of their faces down into lab floor with a loud crash.
As she stood on the heads of the two girls, Mara glared at Momo. The chain automatically cut loose, dropping to the floor. “Now for you.” She growled her armor melted away.
“What?” Said Momo, looking around the room furiously as she backed up. “You think MIST is going to stop me? You think you can stop my plan?”
“You have the wrong idea,” sneered Mara as she walked forward, reaching into the box and pulling out the wrench. “This isn’t MIST vs Red Right Hand. This isn’t good vs evil. This isn’t political, this isn’t biblical, this isn’t some grand gesture. It isn’t symbolic or part of a plan. The simple fact is that you hurt my girlfriend. And now I’m going to break you in half.”
Momo tried to run towards the other side of the lab, however, Mara was faster. She quickly got in front of Momo and swung the wrench into Momo’s shoulder. As the wrench hit her skin, the room echoed with a loud cracking sound as Momo crumpled to the floor.
Mara stood over Momo and held the wrench aloft, the anger in her eyes burning a hole into Momo. However, after a few seconds, Mara looked into the other room of the lab. “You don’t deserve to come first.” She said as she quickly ran across to the machine and yanked the helmet and the pads off of Mesmera’s body.
Mesmera stared forward blankly as the helmet came off, still doing her best to focus inward. However, after a few seconds, she started to blink as she looked around. As her eyes met Mara’s her cheeks went red.
“Darling,” she said softly.
“I’m here,” nodded Mara, wrapping her hands around Mesmera and helping her out of the machine.
“You didn’t,” started Sharon, only for Mara to put her finger on her lips.
“I wanted to.” Said Mara gently. “If I can’t guarantee you’ll come back, then I’ll just have to come with you.”
“Right,” nodded Mesmera, trying to get her footing. She looked at Mara a little more, only for a loud crash to draw her attention to the other room.
Mara and Mesmera ran into the room, only to see Momo slumped on the one table, next to a toppled over the bookshelf. Momo’s face was twisted into a horrific grimace as she glared at Mesmera and Mara.
“You will all pay,” she screamed as she fumbled with the bunny doll. “Sure I wasn’t done, but it is good enough.” She screamed as she ripped the back of the doll open and produced a large silver injector.
“What is that,” gasped Mesmera as she tried to get into a position to hypnotize Momo.
“Every single power in Ruby City is mine, I am every single one of you but better. Ruby city shall herald to the world the ascension of God. Empress. Momo!” Screamed Momo as she pressed something on the can, causing several large needles to push out of the bottom. Before anyone could react, Momo used her one working arm to drive the needles into her neck, the needles quickly filling with synaptic soda.
“No!” Shouted Mara, attempting to dash forward, only to be dragged back by Mesmera.
“Take cover, this could get worse!” Shouted Mesmera as she cowered behind the wall. Momo started to twitch and spasm as her skin started to ripple, her eyes took on a deep pink glow.
Suddenly Momo let out a loud screech as tendrils burst from her back and she started to grow in size. “Worship me!” Screamed Momo as her voice went deeper. “My cuteness will take over the world!” She screamed as her body continued its horrific metamorphosis.
Momo’s tendrils shot forward and smashed into the wall before ripping a massive hole in it, the tendrils shredding the bricks into small chunks of rubble as they did. Momo then walked out of the hole, her evil laugh fading as she moved further away.
“What the hell is that,” gasped Mara as she looked around the lab.
“She was stealing powers,” replied Momo. “That is what Parasite was, a test. She told her she would get my powers, but it turned her into a horrific monster.”
“Who is outside,” said Mara.
“Great,” sighed Mesmera. “I dropped a building on her.”
“Well, when I arrived she was fighting with one of the MIST members,” said Mara.
Suddenly, Ulla and Hitomi started to stir. Mara slowly approached them, keen to see if she could try and reason with the two girls. However, just as they got to their feet, the strange devices on their systems let out a loud noise.
“C! C! C!” Controlled Chaos! Candy!” It shouted as two small arms popped out of the sides of it. These arms ejected two small needles that quickly plunged into Ulla and Hitomi.
“She is using that stuff on them!” Shouted Mesmera, running up and trying to stop the needles from injecting the girls. However, the second she grabbed onto it, an electric shock ran through her body sending her flying back.
Hitomi and Ulla’s armor changed again, taking on a bright pink hue as more spikes burst forth from them, the metal starting to look almost biological like it was shifting and forming like an odd second skin.
“We are coming to you, Empress,” said Hitomi and Ulla as they quickly ran out of the hole in the wall.
“No,” growled Mara, quickly running to a computer and starting to hammer on the keyboard.
“What are you doing?” Coughed Sharon.
“Cocky girl who thinks she is better than anyone else might leave her plans lying around.” Said Mara before smirking. “And she thinks everyone else is too dumb to understand her stuff, she just hasn’t met me yet.”
“You’re the best,” grinned Mesmera.
“And I know how to get it off. Well, I know how to stop it shocking you!” Nodded Mara as her eyes darted across the screen.
After Mara had quickly skimmed the documents she ran through the hole in the wall, with Mesmera only a few steps behind her.
Alicia and Kitty watched as the MIST members limped through the hole in the wall. As they kept watch Alicia spotted the car’s chared number plate and gasped.
“That’s my Mom’s car!” She said only to gasp again. “That Mara took!”
“She did seem keen to help,” replied Kitty.
Alicia went to speak, only for the sounds of crashing bricks to bring her back to reality. She looked around quickly, only to spot the hole in the wall and the now demonic Momo landing on the floor.
Momo was now at least twelve foot tall and was a distorted mockery of a human figure, each of her steps made the floor shake as she looked around and let out a loud bellow.
“What is that?!” Shouted Ivanna.
“I don’t know, but it is ugly!” Replied Alicia. “With that and the black one, we need to move quickly and take one down, Root lady won’t be able to keep two of them distracted!”
Alicia quickly ran to Ivana and Dragón and grabbed both of them firmly by the arm, feeling a strange feeling overtaking her again. “I’m going to go to the roof, get a better look!” Shouted Alicia as she quickly ran and jumped, doing her best to channel Dragón’s power as she flew up into the air.
“We’ll go help stop the other Monster,” nodded Dragón as she and Ivanna ran to the other side of the building.
Suddenly, the strange new forms of Hitomi and Ulla jumped out of the building and stood next to their now gigantic creator. “Ruby City! Fear my name!” Yelled Momo.
“Fear your dress sense more like,” shouted Alicia from the roof, her heart pounding in her chest.
“A new MIST puppet, disgusting,” growled Momo as she looked up at Alicia. “You think you can stop me? I’m all of MIST. I’m the perfect package!”
“Well,” smirked Alicia. “I’m Mesmera’s apprentice and she has taught me three very important lessons.” She said as she stood on the very edge of the roof. “First!” grinned Alicia. “Don’t be good and modest about it, if you’re good at something, be cocky, make sure everyone knows you’re the best. Second! Pair your brilliant wit with a brain that can think the impossible.” Continued Alicia as she paced a little bit. “And third, never stop talking. If you talk, people listen! Words are the way to the mind. And even if you didn’t have a plan at the start of the sentence, you might have one by the end! By the way. I didn’t have a plan, but I do now!”
Alicia leaped off the roof and used Dragón’s powers to pull herself down to Earth at high speed, landing on Momo’s shoulders with a loud thud. Momo shook and tried to throw Alicia off, however, Alicia was able to hold on, scratching and clawing at Momo as she did.
“Tentacle me!” Shouted Alicia. “Come on coward! Use them!” She added, punching Momo right in the eye.
“You’ll pay for this!” Screamed Momo as she stumbled around.
Mesmera and Mara burst out of the building’s front door as they started to attack Ulla and Hitomi. “Help us!” Shouted Mara, waving towards the MIST agents. “Bio locks! They detect to make sure she is taking them off, we need to subdue all of them!” She shouted as she dodged one of Ulla’s punches.
“Bio locks eh?” Shouted Alicia as she punched Momo in the cheek again. “I think I can help!”
“You can do nothing!” Growled Momo as she swung her hand onto her shoulder, trying to crush Alicia like a bug. However, Alicia dodged out of the way at the last minute before clambering up onto Momo’s hand.
“Too late!” She laughed as she slowly started to climb down Momo’s body.
Mesmera looked up as she heard Momo bickering, only to spot the familiar costume coming down towards her. “Oh my god,” she said, starting to giggle. “Well, I didn’t expect that!” She said.
“Look out!” Shouted Aria as she ran back from her wall, tackling Ulla to the floor seconds before her uppercut could make contact with Mesmera’s chin. “Everyone in!” She shouted.
The rest of the MIST agents started to pour back in through the wall, all of them starting to attack Momo’s legs and ankles. “What are you doing!” Shouted Momo as she stumbled backward, obviously unused to her gigantic size.
Alicia jumped off of Momo and landed on the floor next to her Mom. “Kitty!” She shouted. “Did it take?”
Kitty started to appear and disappear, several clones of her kicking and striking up and down Momo’s body. One of these images looked at the screen on her computer and shouted down. “With Mesmera!”
“Right!” Smiled Alicia, offering out her hand. “Give me some skin?”
“Interesting outfit,” grinned Mesmera as she pulled off her glove and held Alicia’s hand.
“Short notice,” replied Alicia as she felt the tingling take over her muscles. “I need you to try and hold them in place, then I can try and take them off.”
“They are designed to only allow her to do it.” Interrupted Mara.
“Trust me, on this,” replied Alicia.
“Sure,” nodded Mara. “I can hold them,” she said as she fished the device out of the box. “Emergency! Armor on!” She shouted as her armor formed around her.
“Emergency?” Gasped Carrion, the other MIST agents turning and looking on in shock.
Momo’s tendrils started to move to attack, planning on using the distraction to hit several of the agents at once. However, before she could attack a shout from behind her caught her attention.
“Make a friend!” Screamed Ivanna as she threw Parasite towards Momo, causing the two giant girls to crash into each other. As Momo toppled over the MIST agents fled, keen to not get crushed by her falling form.
As Momo fell forward, Parasite started to melt, her black latex mixing with Momo’s flesh-colored body, causing both of their forms to ripple and warp. Momo started to shrink a little as her body twisted into all sorts of weird and horrific shapes. The MIST agents looked on as Momo climbed to her feet and ran off back into the building, letting out a horrible gurgling noise as she did.
“Stop her getting back out.” Shouted Aria, gesturing to the others as they formed a wall around the door.
As they did this Ulla and Hitomi ran forward, both of them trying to follow Momo back into the half-destroyed building. However, before they could Mara activated her grappling hook again and fired it out, looping it around both girls before running behind them, holding them in place.
Mesmera focused her power, letting her eyes turn silver as she faced both girls. “Just relax, just relax,” she cooed softly. “We’re going to help, we’re going to make everything better.” Alicia started to move forward slowly, watching as the girls struggled in the chain.
“Yeah, it is okay,” smiled Alicia, feeling her eyes start to change. “We’re going to help you, we’re friends.” She said as the girls continued to thrash and growl.
“Friends,” smiled Mesmera. “We want to help. We both know you don’t like this. We’re going to stop it. Just look into my eyes and let it wash over you, let me drag you in.”
“Our eyes.” Corrected Alicia. “We’re going to help, we know you both prefer to fight evil. That you don’t want to be like this.”
“And that you want to relax,” added Mesmera.
“Yes relax, surrender,” said Alicia, trying to recall what her Mom had said when she hypnotized her. The girls continued to thrash and fight in the chain, however, Mara was able to hold them in place.
As Alicia got close, she reached out and grabbed onto the red things. Electricity started to arc over and the girls. All of them screamed, but Alicia fought against the pain.
“Don’t stop! Don’t stop!” She screamed at her Mom. “I can do this! Don’t stop!”
“Right!” Nodded Mesmera. “Look and feel me pushing into your head. Into your mind, we’re here for you, embrace us, let us into you, let us into your mind,” she said doing her best to keep her focus.
Suddenly the devices let out a click as they disengaged. Alicia fell backward as a massive wave of energy radiated out from the two girls knocking Mesmera and Mara to the floor as a blinding flash swept across the park.
Alicia stumbled up, trying to get her vision back, silently praying that her plan had worked. As the world slowly came back into focus she saw two very normal women sat in the chains in front of her.
“I did it!” Shouted Alicia, thrusting her fist into the air. “I did it!”
“You did!” Shouted Mesmera, running up and grabbing Alicia around the waist. “So proud of you!”
“What is,” mumbled Ulla as she looked at her hands.
“It is okay,” nodded Mara as she walked over to Ulla and rubbed her head.
“Emergency?” Gasped Ulla as she looked up. “Did I, die? Is this an illusion? Is she messing with my head?”
“Nah,” replied Mara, turning her armor off. “I couldn’t sit by and let everyone I care about get hurt.”
Ulla jumped up and hugged Mara tightly. “I’ve missed you so much.”
“I’m sorry,” replied Mara softly. “But you’ve been doing pretty good on your own. I’ve been keeping an eye on you.”
“Thank you,” replied Ulla, obviously getting emotional. “Though I need to do something,” she whispered as she pushed off of Mara. “I don’t let anyone use me as a tool.”
“Ulla’s back!” Shouted Kitty, jumping across and hugging Ulla tight.
“You made quite the entrance Kitty,” smiled Ulla.
“You saw?” Gasped Kitty.
“Yeah,” nodded Ulla. “But hey, Mesmera, well done for understanding my rambling. Maybe once this is done we can discuss a job offer.”
“We’ll see,” Smiled Mesmera as Aria rolled her eyes.
“First we need to show this freak that you don’t mess with us,” said Ulla as she started to march towards the door, only for Hitomi to put her hand on Ulla’s shoulder.
“I want to come as well.” She said.
“Hitomi, no, it is dangerous and without your system, you’ll get hurt.”
“Don’t you dare,” growled Hitomi. “She used me just as much! I can’t just sit here and wait!”
“I can’t risk you getting hurt again.” Replied Ulla firmly. “I have to keep you safe.”
“You don’t! I’m not some broken bird you have to shield from the world! Let me!”
As the girls started to argue Alica walked up to them and took a deep breath, feeling the strange tingling washing over her body as she got close to them. “I, have an idea.” She said, interrupting the two girls.
“What is it?” Asked Ulla, obviously keen to stop the argument.
“Hitomi, want to do something really risky?” Asked Alicia with a smirk.
“Will it let me show Momo where she can shove her friendship?”
“Oh, it will.” Smiled Alicia.
“Let’s do it!” Nodded Hitomi, watching as Alicia ran up and grabbed both girls by the hand. Alicia focused, trying to work out if she could hold both of their powers at once. After a few seconds, she turned and looked at Kitty.
Kitty smiled and nodded at Alicia before pointing to her computer. “Great!” Smiled Alicia.
“What did you do?” Asked Hitomi.
“I’ll tell you if it works!” Grinned Alica.
“Right, let’s go track her down,” nodded Ulla. Waving to Mesmera, Aria, Kitty, Alicia, Mara, and Hitomi. “Try and get her surrounded, we need to contain her.”
“Just like the old days,” smiled Mara, leading the way into the building.
“We’ll keep moving the injured,” nodded Ivanna as she slapped Dragón on the back and gave Alicia a thumbs up, watching as she went into the building.
Momo stumbled through the corridors of the building, trying to work out what was going on, her body constantly twisting and warping as she tried to make sense of where she was, a strange aggression filling her body.
“You’ve ruined me!” She gurgled as her tendrils turned from solid to liquid and back again. “Your cohesion issues transferred,” she continued as she toppled into a wall. “I was perfect!”
Momo continued to walk, feeling a strange sensation of fury washing over her with each and every step, her tendrils, and limbs warping and changing more and more by the second.
“There you are,” echoed a voice from down the corridor. Momo turned and saw the girls standing there, something about seeing them sent her into an uncontrollable rage. She let out a growl as her body grew larger, tendrils bursting out of her back and shoulders.
“You’ll never stop me! I will destroy you all! Ruby city will suffer because of your disgusting ugliness!” She shouted.
“I don’t think so,” replied Ulla. “Ready girls?”
“Ready!” They all shouted as they lined up. Alicia moved up behind Hitomi and wrapped her arms around the girl’s waist before nodding at her.
“Star change!” Shouted Kitty as she raised her arm and pressed on her computer.
“Emergency! Armor on!” Said, Mara, as she lifted the silver box.
“Full steam!” Added Ulla, as she pressed the ticket into her belt.
“Turbo Charge!” Yelled Hitomi as she and Alicia pulled back the switch together.
“Destruction on!” Shouted Lady Aria as she pulled a switch on her gauntlets. The whole corridor was filled with a blindingly bright light as a cacophony of sounds filled the area.
Momo stumbled against the wall, the noise and light only serving to thicken the red mist that filled her mind and vision. As the light died down Momo saw the transformed woman glaring at her.
“Spreading peace throughout the stars! The Pearileos Galaxy’s ambassador to Earth! Space Kitty!” Shouted Kitty as she thrust her arms into the air.
“Advanced safety and rescue operative. Emergency! Standing by!” Shouted Mara as she flipped some switches on her suit.
“Stand behind the yellow line, please! Express Knight Ulla is here!” Shouted Ulla as she posed.
“Turbocharged and ready for action!” Shouted Hitomi, moving around a little bit as if she was trying to confirm that her suit actually was working. She then turned to the side and pointed at Momo.
“I said you would all be sorry when I had a name!” Said Alicia’s voice from inside Hitomi.
“Hey,” replied Hitomi. “We’re together.”
“Yep!” Said, Alicia, as Hitomi’s head nodded.
“How did you know?”
“Lucky guess!” Chuckled Alicia.
“Mind if I bring you along for the ride for a bit?” Asked Hitomi as she slammed her fists together.
“Oh, I’m more than ready for this road trip!” Shouted Alicia.
Aria looked at the combined Alicia and Hitomi and rolled her eyes before raising her gauntlets. “Grace, dignity, and destruction! The crushing countess! Lady Aria!”
Mesmera stood at the end of the line, looking over her friends for a few moments before looking at Momo and shrugging. “I just don’t like you.” She said before running towards Momo.
Momo let out an animal-like roar as her tendrils started to slash wildly, crushing through the walls as they lunged at the incoming attackers. The women grabbed on to them and tried to hold them back, however, the tendrils were too strong and easily pushed the girls off of them.
“We need a different plan!” Shouted Ulla, as she grabbed onto one of the sharply pointed tendrils.
“I have an idea!” Grinned Mesmera, “try and stun her, and I’ll try something!” She said as she narrowly avoided getting impaled on a spike.
“Right!” Shouted Ulla, starting to strike wildly at the tendrils. “Give her all you’ve got!”
“Right!” Shouted Hitomi as a loud revving noise echoed from her suit. “Kitty clear me a path!”
“On it!” Nodded Kitty, suddenly warping around the room and striking at the tendrils in front of Hitomi. Hitomi crouched down as a set of wheels appeared on the bottom of her boots, as the revving reach a crescendo she sped forward and shoulder checked Momo, sending her flying into a wall.
As Momo bounced off the brickwork, Mara aimed her arm and fired another grappling hook at Momo, entangling her in the chain. Momo started to struggle as the girls slowly advanced on her.
“Look at me,” smiled Mesmera as her eyes went silver. “Yes, look me in the eyes, deep into my eyes. Aren’t you so tired, so sleepy? Don’t you feel so very heavy and sleepy little girl?” Cooed Mesmera, sounding more like a mother than a supervillain.
“That won’t work on me” squirmed and kicked Momo. “I’m not dumb!” She growled as more tendrils started to push out of her back. But as they did, Hitomi, Ulla, Kitty, and Aria quickly grabbed onto them and pinned them against the wall.
“Sleepy little girl,” cooed Mesmera. “So sleepy. Oh so tired, my words just dancing in her tired little mind, helping her slowly fall asleep.”
“You won’t,” groaned Momo as her body started to ripple and liquify.
“I’m not asking for you,” smiled Mesmera. “I’m talking to Parasite, who is such a sleepy little girl, all she wants to do is take a nap, so obsessive and just in need of a strong and maternal figure to help her take a little nap.”
“No!” Growled Momo as the silver started to glow in her eyes. “No! I won’t.”
“Hush now little one, just take a little nap. Just a little nap.” Said Memsera gently as the silver spirals filled Momo’s eyes totally as her tendrils liquified, a black latex puddle falling out of her back as Momo’s eyes rolled up into her head.
“I’m in your mind, yes sleep, sleep deeply,” cooed Mesmera as Momo slumped forward.
The girls all let go and looked down on Momo and the puddle of Parasite as they snored gently. “That was amazing,” mumbled Ulla.
“Get someone to arrest them before they wake up,” replied Mesmera as she took a deep breath and started to walk out of the building, keen to put this whole day behind her.
Hitomi’s armor dissolved, revealing Alicia stood behind her. “Sorry to cut and run,” smiled Alicia. “I’ve got places to be.”
“Thanks for the help,” smiled Hitomi, offering out her hand. “We should do this again sometime.”
“Sure,” winked Alicia as she shook Hitomi’s hand.
As the girls slowly made their way outside they found that the air was swarming with Helicopters as various police officers and MIST helpers descended out of them, obviously keen to try and cover up the day’s events.
Mara wrapped her arm around Mesmera as they walked. “You were amazing,” she whispered softly.
“I have great inspiration,” replied Mesmera. “I wouldn’t have done it without you.”
“Flirt,” giggle Mara. “But Alicia in that outfit.”
“I know!” Laughed Sharon. “I guess she found it in my wardrobe.”
“Does she know?”
“I don’t think so.” Replied Sharon. “I’ll have to tell her gently.”
“Emergency!” Shouted Ulla from behind the pair. “You’re not going to stay?”
“I,” sighed Mara as she turned to look at Ulla. “Not right now. But I’ll be back. Promise. I just need to rest.”
“I understand.” Nodded Ulla. “When you feel ready. Come and find me, okay?”
“I will.” Said Mara as she gently hugged Ulla before continuing to walk with Mesmera.The short hug gave Alicia time to catch up with her Mom, the grin on her face getting bigger by the second.
“Want to go home and watch a movie?” Asked Sharon, looking between Alicia and Mara.
“Oh, about that.” Coughed Mara. “Your car might be slightly damaged.”
“Huh?” Asked Mesmera. Mara turned and pointed towards the burnt-out wreckage that was embedded in the wall.
“That is how you got in?” Gasped Alicia. “That is badass!”
“Well I got a little overexcited,” mumbled Mara.
“It's fine,” smiled Mesmera, kissing Mara’s helmet. “We’ll walk.”
“No need.” Replied Crimson as she limped towards the girls, using Medic and Lady Oak as human crutches. “Allow me,” she said as she threw some keys towards Mesmera.
“What?” Blinked Mesmera as she reached down and picked them up.
“One of our vans.” Nodded Crimson. “No funny business or anything. Yours to use. When you’re done just park it somewhere and let us know.”
“Very kind of you,” said Mesmera suspiciously.
“You deserve it,” replied Crimson.
“And no fun arrestin’ yer if ya already got beat,” laughed Medic.
“Thank you,” replied Mara, leading Sharon towards the hole in the wall and into the van. As they all buckled in Sharon let out a sigh, starting to decompress after the long day.
“Anyone need anything?” Said, Mara, as she started to drive.
“Ice cream,” replied Alicia.
“I could go for that,” smiled Sharon.
“Ice cream and then straight to bed,” continued Alicia, stretching a little bit in the seat and making an obviously fake yawn.
“It was tiring but I don’t think I need to,” started Sharon, only to be cut off by Mara.
“Ice cream and then straight to bed.” She said firmly.
“Ice cream and then straight to bed,” replied Mara seductively, winking at Sharon.
“Oh,” giggled Sharon, blushing slightly. “Oh, Alicia, you might want a shower, and to let me wash that outfit.”
“Yeah, it has some blood on it,” replied Alicia before sniffing herself. “And it stinks.”
“Yes,” lied Sharon. “To get the blood out and make it nice and fresh.” She nodded as they drove towards home.