Alicia let out a low mumbled groan as she turned over in bed and opened her eyes. It took her a few seconds to remember she was in a hotel room as opposed to her house.
Alicia sat up and stretched before looking around the room. There were wrappers everywhere, evidence of just how much junk food she had eaten last night while watching TV.
The TV was still on, it was promoting some form of mop that didn’t require water and would last a million years. Last time Alicia had checked it was a vampire movie, but that was several hours in the past.
Alicia grabbed her phone and checked it. She had no messages, something that she regarded as a very good thing. It meant that her Mom’s date had gone well at the very least.
Alicia put her phone down and grabbed the TV remote, turning the infomercial off before falling backward with a smirk on her face. She didn’t have to check out for several more hours and it seemed silly to pay for a hotel room if she wasn’t going to spend as much time in it as possible. Alicia pulled the duvet back over herself and closed her eyes once more, deciding to get a little more sleep.
“Onegai onegai, kizutsukenaide, Watashi no Hatto wa Chuku Chuku shichau no!” Sung Momo, as her music, caused the walls to shake.
“Momo!” Screamed Creme from the door of the lab.
“What boss?!” Shouted Momo as she wandered over.
“Oh, okay,” sighed Momo, reaching over and pressing the button to mute the music.
“Finally,” groaned Creme. “You realize half this floor is now deaf right?”
“None of them complained!” Huffed Momo.
“They likely did, but you couldn’t hear them over the music.” Replied Creme, rolling her eyes at Momo’s childishness.
Momo continued to huff as she stomped over towards one of her desks and grabbed a packet of bubble gum. She quickly opened it and threw a piece into her mouth.
“So, do you have anything?” Asked Creme, tapping her foot.
“Oh gosh boss,” giggled Momo between chews. “It's been going super! Super-duper even! Come here!” She said as she ran towards the other room.
The other room was lit like a rave, the goggles on Hitomi’s face were strobing with bright pink flashes as Hitomi twitched and spasmed.
“So, you know Parasite?”
“I know of her, yes.” Nodded Creme.
“Well, when goes into people’s heads she can pull out all their memories and I can then pull the memories out of her and sequence them!” Giggled Momo.
“I see,” nodded Creme, not fully understanding what Momo was talking about.
“And then you get this!” Cheered Momo, walking up next to the machine and grabbing a small metal can that she held out towards Creme like she was in a cheesy advert.
“Soda?” Sighed Creme. “Momo, you brought a can of soda.” She said as she clenched her fist.
“Didn’t buy it silly!” Giggled Momo. “I made it! My own brand!”
“Momo! We are a gang, not a startup!” Screamed Creme, finally losing her temper with the girl. “I don’t pay you to play chef and make your own soda! I pay you to fix the damn machine!”
“But I made it for you boss!” Whined Momo, her top lip wobbling as looked at Creme with puppy-dog eyes. “You’ll like it! Promise! Let me finish! Pretty-please?”
“Ugh, fine. But if this is something stupid.”
“It isn’t stupid!” Screamed Momo at the top of her lungs, stamping her foot as she did.
“Okay, tell me, what is it?” Replied Creme, slightly concerned about how angry Momo sounded.
“Thank you,” grinned Momo, her face instantly reverting back to her usual happy smile. “So, this is my own brand of soda! Synaptic Soda!” Smiled Momo, pointing to the custom label that featured a cute cartoon girl shouting the name.
“Okay,” nodded Creme, still slightly unsure what Momo was going on about.
“You shake it up, crack it open, and get the best refreshment ever!” Giggled Momo as she put the can down. “But the best part of Synaptic Soda is the key ingredient! Synaptic Sugar!”
“Synaptic Sugar?” Asked Creme, raising an eyebrow. “What is that when it at home?”
“So, the problem is,” giggled Momo as she walked over to a cabinet. “having sequenced memories is useless if they just sit there doing nothing! The only way they are useful is if we put them into someone else! So I was able to make Synaptic Sugar!” Said Momo as she dropped a small vial of powder onto the table.
Creme leaned in and looked at the vial. It did look exactly like sugar. So much like sugar that she was slightly worried that Momo had finally gone off the deep end.
“When consumed Synaptic Sugar messes with the brain’s chemistry! Reshaping it to fit the memories the sugar was made from!”
“I see,” grinned Creme. “That is very interesting. But I’m confused, where does the soda come into this?”
“Stability mostly,” grinned Momo. “Synaptic Sugar is really effective but it is quite the trip if you’re not used to it, the chemicals in Synaptic Soda help the conditioning and make it less. Intense.”
“Right,” nodded Creme, backing off slightly. “Who have you been testing this stuff on?”
“Fifth floor!” Giggled Momo. “Replaced their sugar with it!”
“Explains why half of them have gotten no work done.” Sighed Creme, rubbing the bridge of her nose.
“But it taught me so much! And it let me learn quite a bit about my new bestie!” Replied Momo as she rubbed the front of the machine that held Hitomi. “Isn’t it great boss?”
“Well Momo,” sighed Creme. “While I do love you and I’m sure your soda is great. I’ve not been paying you to make it, I need that gem replaced, please tell me you have something?”
“I’ve been distracted,” shrugged Momo. “Dealing with my bestie and building the synaptic sugar took a while and then I had to get the Mongers made for Massacre Maid. It's been busy-busy here!”
“Momo,” groaned Creme. “If we can’t get that gem replaced this whole thing goes up in smoke. Without it, we’re reliant on MIST handing the original over to us, and they’re not going to do that! We need an ace in our sleeve!”
“Relax boss!” Smiled Momo as she blew a bubble. “Everything is going to be okay, I’ll do it now! I’ll stay all night! My bestie and I can have a sleepover!”
“Ugh, yes. Sure.” Groaned Creme, digging her nails into her palm. “Have you seen Parasite? I need her to grab someone for me.”
“Nah, she’s trying to recover, she went all icky-sticky,” laughed Momo as she popped the gum bubble with a smirk.
“Of course, that makes total sense,” sighed Creme as she walked out of the lab and into the corridor. She walked down towards the stairwell as she silently fumed with anger. Once she was out of earshot of the lab she punched the wall and let out a scream. “Why do I let that girl off so easily?!”
Creme heard her voice echo off the concrete confines of the stairwell as she slowly started to calm down. She adjusted her jacket and took a deep breath. “It’s fine if she gets results, that is all that matters,” nodded Creme as she started to walk towards her office.
Alicia wandered back towards her house with a skip in her step. Today seemed to just be generally fantastic, though that might have just been the lingering sugar high from all the candy
She opened the door to her house and walked into the living room, only to jump back in shock when she saw Mara sitting on the couch.
“Oh gosh! I’m sorry!” Shouted Alicia.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” Shouted Mara in response, jumping up from the couch, revealing that she was wearing Sharon’s robe.
“Alicia, you’re home,” smiled Sharon as walked into the living room with a large bowl of popcorn. “We lost track of the time!”
“I can go if you want?” Asked Alicia, slowly recovering from her shock.
“Well we were about to watch “Bee women from Mars,” grinned Sharon. “You’re more than welcome to stay if you want.”
“You should!” Smiled Mara, awkwardly nodding.
“I’ve never heard of it, but sure!” Smiled Alicia.
“It was big when I was in college,” explained Sharon as she put the bowl down and sat in the middle of the couch. “I saw this film at the cheap theatre at least eight times.”
“I did as well,” laughed Mara. “I would get out of school and then pay a dollar to see it, often it was just me in there.”
“Cute,” smiled Alicia as Sharon grabbed the TV remote and pulled Mara and Alicia towards her.
“Movie with my girls,” she smiled as she started the film.
The movie was terribly dated, but Alicia didn’t mind, she had seen much worse and it was nice to see just how enthusiastic her Mom and Mara were about this random B-movie. They spent most of the film saying the lines along with the performers, even going as far as to try and imitate their voices.
The movie was about these strange women from Mars, who were descended from bees, though for reasons the plot never quite explained they could brainwash people in order to make them sell out Earth. During a scene where the head bee woman was trying to brainwash the dashing hero, Alicia could have sworn she saw Mara blush and bury her head into Sharon’s side.
As the film ended Sharon started to rub Alicia’s and Mara’s hair. “That was so good,” she said with a grin.
“I loved it,” nodded Alicia. “I can see why you two liked it so much, it was a lot of fun.
“I’m glad,” nodded Mara, pulling her head up from Sharon’s shoulder. “But I should really be going, give you your house back.”
“Oh don’t worry,” chuckled Alicia. “You can be here as often as you like.”
“Though you should change before you leave,” winked Sharon.
“Oh right!” Nodded Mara, looking down at her robe and blushing.
Once Mara was dressed and on her way home Alicia went up to Sharon. “So?” She asked.
“So what?” Replied Sharon.
“How did it go?” Asked Alicia, wiggling her eyebrows. “She stayed all night, that has to be a good sign!”
“Alicia!” Gasped Sharon, giving Alicia a playful shove as she did. “Don’t be nosey, But if you have to know, we had a lovely time.”
“Do you think there is going to be more dates?”
“I would hope so,” nodded Sharon.
“Oh great, remember I’ll need three months notice to come to a wedding, the train is expensive!”
“Alicia,” laughed Sharon. “We’re not getting married! Just dating! No commitment, just plain old normal dating!”
“Well, I’m just floating it,” winked Alicia. “Never say never. Though which one of you will wear the suit?”
“I guess me?” Replied Sharon with a chuckle. “Mara would likely wear her lab coat.”
“It is white, so it works!” Giggled Alicia. “We could make her a white lab wedding dress!”
“Oh, that would be good!”
“She could carry the bouquet in a test tube!”
“Why are we having this conversation?” Asked Sharon between laughs. “It isn’t going to happen. Hold your horses, missy!”
“Still, fun to imagine!” Nodded Alicia. “I need to do laundry, got anything that needs doing?”
“Stuff is in the hamper,” replied Sharon. “But why do you need to do laundry, you were only gone a night?”
“Well, my clothes got slightly more use than I intended.”
“Oh, right,” nodded Sharon, recalling the previous day’s events. “Make sure to really wash those panties.”
“I plan to, I found your blood in them,” chuckled Alicia. “Thankfully no one opened the bag if they did it would look like I committed a murder!”
Alicia spent the rest of the day doing the laundry and catching up on her chores, letting her mom float along on her cloud of bliss.
The next day Sharon had to go run errands, while she was still riding the wave of her successful date, she did have to keep up appearances in both the civilian and supervillain worlds and recent events had left her terribly behind on her to-do list.
Sharon made her way around the city, picking up groceries and paying off bills, even finding time to slip into a few clothing stores, hoping to find some clothes that would be appropriate for a date.
As Sharon made her way along the waterfront her eyes roamed the docks. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a figure roaming around the wreckage of the warehouse that she had fought at a few weeks prior. Sharon stopped and stared for a second, something about the figure’s movement seemed off.
Sharon sighed. “Duty calls,” she mumbled as she ran into an alcove and pulled on her mask and costume, tucking her purchases out of sight. Mesmera quickly ran towards the dock, doing her best to avoid detection by either the person on the dock or any police who happened to be in the area.
Once she was on the dock she was able to get a better view of the woman. She looked like some low-level thug, the type a gang would hire as muscle when they didn’t want to pay someone of Burst’s caliber. However, her movements were very erratic, making it very obvious that this was the work of Parasite.
“Hurry up,” growled the muscle.
“I’m looking! I’m looking!” Shouted another woman from inside the wreckage of the warehouse. “Why does she want this anyway?”
“Don’t question me!” Growled the muscle. “I know they left their lockboxes in there!”
“You could help you know?” grumbled the woman as she threw some random debris out of the wreckage.
“I can’t risk my form,” replied Parasite. “I need to hold this together.”
Mesmera watched as the second woman continued to root through the ruins of the fallen warehouse.
“They burnt the whole place down,” grumbled the woman. “Anything in here would have been reduced to ash.”
“They fireproofed it, I know they did, she remembers doing it,” nodded Parasite.
Mesmera continued to watch the scene play out, trying to think about just how she wanted to handle this situation. After their last meeting, she was keen to keep Parasite off of other people, however, this other woman was an unknown quantity.
Mesmera ducked down and started to sneak towards Parasite, hoping she could grab her and trance her before the other woman realized anything was up. Mesmera’s heart pounded in her chest as she held her breath, trying to make as little noise as possible.
After a few minutes of creeping, Mesmera got within a few feet of Parasite. She ran through her plan in her head, she was going to dive onto Parasite and cover her mouth, before turning her over and pinning her to the floor while she hypnotized her.
Mesmera focused on herself, letting her eyes turn silver as she lunged forward. However, a millisecond before her hands touched Parasite’s body a loud mechanical noise filled the area as a blur of yellow zoomed in front of Mesmera, taking Parasite with it.
Mesmera stood staring at the empty space for a few moments as her brain tried to catch up. When she turned to see where Parasite had gone, she was met with a familiar sight. Ulla was few feet away, standing over the limp body of Parasite, which had returned to its black, latex-like form.
“Come out now, you are under arrest!” Shouted Ulla, pointing towards the warehouse. A woman dressed like a stereotypical cheerleader popped her head out of the rubble.
“Ugh, I’m busy!” She shouted as she clambered out of the rubble.
“You can come quietly or I will take you down,” growled Ulla, her voice sounding more aggressive than usual.
“I’ve got places to be!” Giggled the cheerleader. “And prison so isn’t my scene!”
“You don’t get a say in the matter,” said Ulla as she started to march towards the cheerleader. “Hype Girl, I’m taking you in, quietly or not.”
As Ulla moved forward, Mesmera spotted Parasite starting to stir, as a long latex tentacle slowly made its way towards Ulla’s ankle. Mesmera ran forward and grabbed onto the tendril.
“No, you don’t!” Shouted Mesmera, dragging Parasite along the floor. Ulla turned for a moment, watching as the chaos unfolded around her.
“Seems this isn’t in your favor Hype Girl,” said Ulla. “Last chance!”
“Ugh, you are such a drama queen,” sighed Hype Girl, brushing some dust off of her outfit. “I’m going to show the boss that I’m the number one girl around here!”
Ulla started to march towards Hype Girl, obviously not scared of her. As she did Mesmera and Parasite started to wrestle on the floor. Parasite kept trying to expand her body, trying to wrap herself around Mesmera, however, Mesmera kept avoiding contact, doing her best to try and get control of the grapple.
“Get off me,” snarled Parasite.
“We both know I’m stronger than you,” grinned Mesmera. “Still crying out for Mother’s attention, are we?” She said as Parasite growled. “What? No response? It must be hard for you fighting me while you have someone in you, this must be tiring,” purred Mesmera, letting her eyes go silver.
Ulla continued to head towards Hype Girl, her fists clenched and ready for a fight. Hype Girl fiddled in her skirt and produced two shiny red pom-poms that she put on her hands.
“You ready?” Cheered Hype Girl. “Let’s go! Hype Girl, Hype Girl is the best! With my powers, I’m truly blessed! When I do my hyped-up dance everyone goes into a trance!” She said as she waved her pom-poms around. The pom-poms seemed to send out shimmering waves of red, almost as if they were projecting light around the docks.
Ulla stopped in her tracks, something about the rippling lights reminded her of the Aurora Borealis. It was such a beautiful sight, something that filled her with such a mixture of wonder and awe that she couldn’t pull her eyes away from it. Ulla’s helmet beeped a warning, but she ignored it, she was too busy staring at the pretty pom-poms as they waved and sparkled in the light.
“Cheerleaders are the best! Looking great and never stressed! I don’t want to hear your opinion, you’re going to be my minion!” Cheered Hype Girl as she danced, kicking her legs into the air as her pom-pom waving got more and more intense.
Ulla continued to stare at the glow from the pom-poms as the red sparkles danced across her eyes, her mind slowly ground to a halt as her mouth dropped open. “Cheerleaders are the best,” mumbled Ulla as she started to sway. The annoying beeping from her helmet started to fade into the background as Ulla watched the dance, the cheer almost echoing in her head.
Parasite kept trying to stab at Mesmera with her tendril, however, Mesmera was able to dodge out of the way every time, Parasite’s slow attacks further proof of her currently weakened state.
“You know,” said Mesmera as the tendril went a few inches to her left. “Maybe I should come in there with you two, it might be fun!”
“No,” growled Parasite, struggling to get out from under Mesmera.
“Oh, well your wiggling suggests that’s a good idea,” replied Mesmera, focusing and turning her eyes a deeper sade of silver, glaring right into Parasite. “Look into my eyes, feel me pushing into your mind, you know you can’t resist me, you’ve fallen to me before and that makes you so susceptible to my hypnosis.”
“No,” snarled Parasite, trying to squirm out from underneath Mesmera, but failing to do so.
“If you don’t let me in, I’m coming in,” continued Mesmera, the silver glow of her eyes reflecting in Parasite’s pupils. As she spoke Mesmera reached down and started to massage Parasite’s temples. “Yes, just relax, it must be so stressful holding this form, holding that girl inside of you, must really take it out of, don’t you just want to let go? Let go of all your tension, let go of all your stress.” She cooed softly.
Parasite continued to fight, however, her struggling was slowly growing weaker and weaker as the silver glow grew brighter in her eyes. As Mesmera rubbed her temples she let out a low soft moan, despite knowing that she shouldn’t relax, Mesmera’s voice seemed to override her thoughts, it felt like she was being forced to relax.
Mesmera smirked as she felt Parasite’s body grow softer. “Yes that’s it, that’s a good girl, I think you need a little nap, you’re so tired,” cooed Mesmera as she continued to circle her fingers around the girl’s temples. She could feel her fingers sliding into Parasite’s slowly liquifying form.
Parasite tried to pull herself back, doing her best to fight her quickly relaxing self. She tried to concentrate, to focus her thoughts on resistance, however just before she could, a soft yawn escaped her lips. The yawn broke her focus and sent her spiraling down towards sleep, she could feel her body giving in, but she didn’t care anymore, all she could do was stare at the pretty silver glow and let it wash over her mind.
“So sleepy,” said Mesmera softly as Parasite’s eyes glazed over. Mesmera teased her fingers inside Parasite. As her fingers roamed inside the sticky mass of latex she felt two firm tendrils. Mesmera gently pulled them out while continuing to coo. “That’s it, just so sleepy, so drowsy, you’ve not slept properly for weeks you poor thing.” She said softly as she pulled the tendrils out of Parasite’s head. Once they were out a decent amount Mesmera took a deep breath and leaned forward before pushing the tendrils into her ears.
Instantly the world started to fall away around her as she fell back into the strange world inside of Parasite. Mesmera did her best to continue to project her power into Parasite’s mind, trying to keep the girl as tired and sedated as possible.
In the void of nothingness Mesmera saw a door in front of her, she pushed on it gently and was instantly hit by the sounds of laughter and conversation as the door swung open.
Mesmera looked around, only to realize she was in a bar of some kind. All of the patrons seemed to be large and very muscular and all of them were glaring right at Mesmera. “Don’t mind me,” she said as she wandered over to the bar and sat on a stool.
“What can I get you stranger,” smiled a girl as she leaned over the bar. Mesmera instantly recognized this woman as the person Parasite had been imitating.
“Beer I guess,” nodded Mesmera.
“Ah, shucks,” replied the woman, rubbing the side of her head. “Don’t think we have any of that.”
“No beer?” Blinked Mesmera. “What do you have.”
“Well we do cocktails mostly,” smiled the bartender. “I’m pretty good at them, I can make you anything.”
“That is great,” smiled Mesmera, reaching into her suit and placing a few notes onto the bar. “Surprise me, and one for yourself.”
“Right away,” smiled the woman, grabbing several bottles off of the wall and pouring them into various little measuring cups before mixing them all together in a cocktail shaker.
“So,” said Mesmera over the noise of the shaker. “Had the place long?”
“Very new,” smiled the woman. “It is my pride and joy, I’ve been looking to open a cocktail bar for years.”
“Ouch,” sighed Mesmera, realizing she was going to have to ruin someone’s day. After a few moments, the woman put a martini glass filled with orange liquid in front of Mesmera.
“I call it the Sanguine High Paradise,” smiled the woman. “It is my signature.” Mesmera nodded as she lifted the glass to her lips and took a small sip.
The bartender looked on, obviously excited to see what this new customer thought of her signature drink. Mesmera smiled a wide smile as hints of orange and elderberry danced on her tongue, all followed by the refreshing fizz of tonic and the illicit hit of Gin.
“This is delicious!” Grinned Mesmera. “You have quite the talent!”
“Thank you,” smiled the bartender.
“So, the clientele,” said Mesmera as she pointed to the people behind her. “Slightly odd for a bar of this type.”
“We’re open to everyone,” smiled the woman.
“Look,” said Mesmera softly. “I might have some bad news. Have any of your customers turned a strange black color and become puddles of latex?”
“No?” Said the woman, backing up a little bit.
“They might be about to,” replied Mesmera, feeling a strange pulsing in her ears. As she felt this, the customers in the bar started to twitch and groan as their skin slowly morphed into shiny black latex.
“What is going on?!” Screamed the bartender as the latex figures started to come towards them.
“This isn’t real, you got trapped by a lady called Parasite and we’re currently in her head,” explained Mesmera as quickly as she could. “And Parasite is a very naughty girl!”
Mesmera focused her power, the silver glow of her eyes filling the room, several of the latex creatures started to slow as the silver from Mesmera’s gaze started to fill their eyes.
As one dived towards Mesmera a loud bang filled the room, suddenly a huge hole formed in the center of the latex creature as it tumbled to the ground, collapsing into a puddle.
“You’re barred.” Shouted the bartender as she hopped over the bar and stood next to Mesmera, a smoking shotgun in her hand. “None of you are welcome here!”
“Good move,” smiled Mesmera, focusing her gaze on the remaining figures. “And Parasite, sweetie, you can’t keep this up, all of these figures, all of this world, it must be so tiring for you, you really need a nap, to take a nice little rest, that’s why this world is so small isn’t it?”
The bartender continued to turn left and right, aiming her gun to make sure none of the figures could attack her or Mesmera. She wasn’t exactly sure what Mesmera was doing, but it felt like she was a better option than whatever these strange black creatures were.
“Yes, you are getting so sleepy,” continued Mesmera as she gazed into the latex figures. “You’re slowly running out of energy little girl, slowly giving in. You can’t hold us both in here, you were tired when we started. Now your exertion has doubled, how can hope to keep this up, it is time for bed, the sun is slowly setting and it is bedtime.”
The remaining figures started to bubble and melt into puddles on the floor as the bar slowly vanished, replaced by a white void. Once the bar totally vanished Parasite was stood before Mesmera and the bartender, stumbling around as she tried to come closer.
“Poor girl, so sleepy, I’m surprised you can stand, want Mommy to tuck you in?” Continued Mesmera as she walked towards Parasite.
“No, I’m not,” complained Parasite as she clumsily tried to grab onto Mesmera.
“Now now, don’t question your elders,” said Mesmera as she patronizingly patted Parasite on the head. “It is time for sleep,” she added as she lifted Parasite’s chin, forcing the girl to stare deeply into her eyes.
Parasite tried to scratch Mesmera, however, her tendril merely melted on contact as her whole body started to turn into a liquid. Part by part her body and the void started to melt away.
“Yes, go to sleep now little one,” cooed Mesmera as she watched. “Let those little eyes close, you need your beauty sleep, lots and lots of beauty sleep,” she said softly.
Ulla continued to stare at the light that radiated off of the bright red pom-poms, her eyes easily following them as Hype Girl danced around, kicking her legs into the air.
“You’re the bottom of the pecking order, being a nerd is like a disorder!” Cheered Hype Girl as she danced faster and faster. “No choice but to obey the queen bee! And in this school that bee is me!”
Ulla continued to sway, her mind slowing to a stop as Hype Girl’s words echoed in her ears, it was like she was speaking directly into Ulla’s brain, the rhymes made it so easy to follow and her argument made so much sense.
Images flashed across her mind, images of her in high school, of being a lowly nerd, wanting to do anything for the attention of the super cool kids, all of whom were lead by the utterly perfect cheerleader.
Ulla felt a stirring inside her, a desire that she hadn’t felt in years. A desire to be popular. A desire to have lunch with the popular kids. The desire grew so quickly that it overtook everything else, all Ulla wanted to do was get the attention of the popular girl, to make her happy, to do whatever she asked so she could be part of the clique.
The sparkling pom-poms continued to dance in front of Ulla’s face as the cheer looped over and over in Ulla’s mind, reinforcing her desire to be part of the group. To worship the ground the cheerleader walked on, in the vague hope that she would get even a second of positive attention from her.
“Do my work and kiss my shoe! Do whatever I ask of you!” Giggled Hype Girl as she watched Ulla follow the pom-poms, her arms hanging limply at her sides. “Every day and in every way, all you can do is obey!” Cheered Hype Girl as she posed, shaking her pom-poms furiously.
Ulla twitched and blinked as the rustling of the pom-poms brought her back to reality. The second her eyes made contact with Hype Girl, it was like the whole world went into soft focus. Hype Girl was so beautiful and so cool, Ulla could hardly contain herself, she wanted nothing more than to be as cool as Hype Girl.
“What you looking at dweeb?” Giggled Hype Girl.
“N,n,n, nothing!” Stuttered Ulla, rubbing her arm and looking at the floor. “I wasn’t staring, honest!”
“You’re pathetic,” laughed Hype Girl. “But hey, you want to do me a favor?”
“Anything for you!” Squealed Ulla, bouncing on the spot. “Please! I’ll do it! I’ll do it!” She said as her heart fluttered.
“Well train dweeb, I need you to find some lockboxes in that mess,” said Hype Girl as she pointed towards the wreckage of the warehouse. “Do it quick and you can take me to the mall.”
“Oh gosh! Oh gosh!” Gasped Ulla as a wave of anxiety washed over her. “Yes! Right away! Anything for you!” She said as she ran towards the wreckage, her mind filling with images of buying Hype Girl frozen yogurt. Her heart fluttered as she imagined Hype Girl thanking her for the yogurt, even talking to her for a couple of sentences. Maybe if Ulla really impressed her she could keep the spoon and worship it, maybe even buy more stuff for the pretty cheerleader.
Ulla dived into the wreckage, throwing burnt debris and bent rebar left and right as she searched for anything that resembled a lockbox. Her mind wandered to images of washing Hype Girl’s uniform or cleaning her shoes, even sniffing them when no one was looking.
Mesmera and the girl pulled themselves out of the sticky puddle that now classified as Parasite’s body. Mesmera brushed herself off and smiled. “Okay, back in reality now,” she nodded at the girl. “Do you mind if I ask you.”
“Hey losers!” Shouted a voice from behind Mesmera. Mesmera turned and saw Hype Girl standing around as Ulla dug through the wreckage of the warehouse.
“Excuse me,” sighed Mesmera to the girl. “We’ll talk in a minute, I have to sort this out.”
“Hey losers!” Shouted Hype Girl again. “Parasite may be annoying but I’ve got to get her back to the boss. So you two better be able to carry her!”
“We’re not going to do that,” replied Mesmera, walking towards Hype Girl.
“Ugh, stop whining Grandma, you’re going to do it!”
“That was just rude,” sighed Mesmera, rubbing the bridge of her nose.
Hype Girl started to shake her pom-poms again, the red glow radiating out from them and illuminating the dock. “You don’t stand a chance, I’m going to put you in a trance, me and you it’s no contest, my power is totally the best!”
The waves of red hit Mesmera, knocking her off balance for a few seconds, however, these few seconds were long enough for her to realize that Hype Girl’s power was similar to her own. Mesmera quickly pulled herself together and focused on channeling her power, letting the glow fill her eyes.
“Nice trick,” teased Mesmera. “Now let me show you how I do it!” She said as glared right at Hype Girl.
“I’m not dumb enough to fall for that!” Shouted Hype Girl, her eyes going slightly wider as she stared at Mesmera. “I’m not some kind of dummy.”
“Just sleepy, and keen to take a nap,” purred Mesmera softly. “Just feeling so exhausted.”
“I am pretty tired,” replied Hype Girl, her eyes fluttering for a second. Ulla stopped digging through the wreckage, suddenly realizing what she was doing. Her thoughts about Hype Girl suddenly seemed so alien, there was no way she would obsess over someone so mean and selfish and what did it matter if she was a dork, she had been out of high school for years!
Suddenly Hype Girl realized what happened and shook her head. “No! I’m good to go!” She shouted. Suddenly Ulla’s mind filled with images of carrying Hype Girl’s books, her heart fluttering at the thought of being allowed to go to one of Hype Girl’s parties as she quickly ducked back down and started to rummage for the lockbox once more.
“Are you sure?” Asked Mesmera softly, “it has been such a long day, so long and so tiring. You could almost float off on a cloud of warm comfort.”
“No!” Shouted Hype Girl. “I’m wide awake!” She added, before turning to the warehouse. “Train dork! Over here!”
“Yes your perfectness,” shouted Ulla as she scrambled out of the rubble and ran towards the cheerleader.
“If you can kill this old crone I’ll let you buy me lunch!” Laughed Hype Girl. Ulla’s heart nearly stopped due to the wave of pure joy that washed over her body, the idea of taking Hype Girl for lunch and paying for it was the best thing ever, it was nearly a date, everyone would think she was popular if that happened!
“Yes!” Shouted Ulla, turning towards Mesmera.
“Oh gosh, here we go again,” sighed Mesmera, trying to think of a plan of attack. Part of her wanted to use the trigger she had implanted in Ulla, but she wasn’t sure if it would work while Ulla was under Hype Girl’s control.
Mesmera scanned the dock, looking for anything that could help her out. Suddenly she saw a chunk of rubble laying a few meters away from her and a plan started to form.
“Hey Ulla, come on, we’re buddies!” Shouted Mesmera, putting her hands up and starting to walk towards the rubble, not taking her eyes off Ulla for a second.
“I have to do what the Hype queen says,” mumbled Ulla, clenching her fist as she moved closer, her mind still besieged by images of buying the cheerleader lunch.
“You don’t, I think you’re pretty awesome, we don’t need her.” Continued Mesmera.
“Kill her!” Screamed Hype Girl, interrupting Mesmera’s rambling. “If you ever want to be cool you’ll kill her right now!”
“Yes, your awesomeness!” Screamed Ulla, the idea of being cool sending a shiver down her spine. She formed a fist and ran as fast as she could towards Mesmera, pushing her fist forward in an attempt to punch the woman in the head. At the last moment, Mesmera ducked, the fist going flying over her cowl. However, the speed of Ulla’s charge meant that her body crashed into Mesmera, sending the lighter woman flying across the dock.
“That’s it! Hit her again! Hit her again!” Shouted Hype Girl, starting to shake her pom-poms. “Crush, kill maim destroy! Your dominance brings me joy! Beat her into toffee and I’ll let you buy me coffee!” Cheered Hype Girl, filling Ulla’s mind with even more blissful images of fawning over Hype Girl, spending hours with her at the mall, pampering her, and giving her everything she desired.
Mesmera pulled herself up off the floor, a smirk forming on her face. “All you got Ulla? You’re getting weaker,” she coughed. “Last time you actually came close to beating me, I’ve had cocktails stronger than you.”
Ulla twisted her foot around, obviously getting ready to launch another attack. She hadn’t even been listening to what Mesmera was saying, it didn’t really matter to her. If Mesmera was breathing, she didn’t get to buy coffee for her cheerleader, if she didn’t get to buy her coffee then she wouldn’t get the chance to go to homecoming with her and that meant she would never break into the popular girl clique and that meant she would be going to prom alone. And Ulla refused to let that happen.
Mesmera feinted left and right, trying to get a read on Ulla’s plan. Suddenly Ulla ran forward, leaping forward into a flying kick, Mesmera saw this as her chance and quickly ran towards Ulla’s foot. A few seconds before the kick hit, Mesmera lifted her arm and threw the rubble towards Hype Girl with all the force she could muster.
The kick hit Mesmera in the ribs and hurled her to the ground with a loud crack. Hype Girl laughed, only to see the lump of concrete flying towards her. Hype Girl gasped but didn’t have time to move before the limp of concrete smashed into her skull, knocking her to the ground.
Ulla’s thoughts suddenly flipped, leaving her utterly confused as to why she had been so obsessed with not being a nerd, she couldn’t go to homecoming anyway, she was far too old. Suddenly Ulla realized what she had just done and looked down at Mesmera.
“Mesmera, umm,” started Ulla, not totally sure of what to say. She grabbed her and lifted her up off the concrete, only for Mesmera to push her off.
“Go arrest Hype Girl,” groaned Mesmera. “Polarize your visor to stop her power,” she added between gasps.
“Right!” Nodded Ulla, running towards the fallen cheerleader. Mesmera stumbled her way across the dock, looking for both the woman she had rescued and the puddle of Parasite.
To her dismay, both had seemingly fled during the fight with Hype Girl. Mesmera sighed and started to run, keen to not stay around too long in case Ulla decided to try and take her in, trigger or not, she needed some time to lick her wounds.
Ulla cuffed Hype Girl and sealed her pom-poms into a bag, hoping that it would be enough to prevent Hype Girl escaping custody. Once it was done she activated her radio. “Ulla to headquarters. I need a pickup, I’ve pulled in Hype Girl, turns out our records are a little off. Don’t worry about me, I’ve got something I want to do before I come back,” she said as she turned off her microphone and turned around.
Her eyes roamed the dock, only to find it totally empty apart from her and Hype Girl. Ulla sighed and shook her head. “I was hoping this would be easier,” she said as her armor vanished in a flash of light. “Time to do this the other way,” she sighed to herself as she pulled a small computer out of her pocket.
Alicia wandered towards the gym, doing her best to keep her anxiety under control. She had been considering just not turning up to this week’s lesson or canceling her membership altogether, but that felt like it would make it more obvious that she knew about Dragón’s activities.
She pushed the gym door open softly, only to spot that Dragón and Ivanna were already stood in one of the rings, laughing about something. Alicia didn’t get a few steps inside before Ivanna turned and yelled towards her.
“Alicia!” She shouted as she waved to the girl. “Come, come! We have a fun session lined up!” Alicia nodded and quickly headed towards the ring, dropping her bag to the ground before climbing in with the girls.
“What do we have planned?” She asked, forcing a smile.
“As you seem adept at leg takedowns,” said Dragón, “I was wondering if we could do a sequence with you on the offense.”
“But we haven’t done leg takedowns yet?” Blinked Alicia.
“Not with Dragón,” smiled Ivanna, slapping Alicia on the back. “But we saw what you did to that gang member.”
“What gang member?” Gulped Alicia.
“The one from the helicopter,” nodded Dragón. “You don’t need to lie to us.”
“Yes, don’t act coy,” laughed Ivanna. “Your mask was a good attempt, but Alicia, a mask is useless unless you change your voice.”
A sudden wave of realization hit Alicia, she hadn’t thought of trying to cover her voice when she confronted the gang member in the alleyway. She mentally kicked herself, she should have picked up that her Mother put on a different voice when she was Mesmera.
“Well, I just saw you and your friend running towards it and I thought I should help you,” smiled Alicia, trying her best to hide her nerves. “Did you get what you needed?”
“Red Right Hand will think twice before destroying our gym again,” nodded Ivanna. “The second we saw the helicopter, we had to make the most of the opportunity.”
“Vengador was you?” Gasped Alicia, suddenly putting two and two together.
“I’m surprised you didn’t recognize my physique!” Laughed Vengador, slapping Alicia on the back once more.
“Your disguise is pretty good!” Smiled Alicia, falling forward a little from the slap.
“Excellent, why don’t we start?” Asked Ivanna, nodding towards Alicia. “Go change and then we’ll get going.”
“On it!” Smiled Alicia as she dashed into one of the changing rooms. As she changed Alicia pondered how she should approach this situation, it seemed like Ivanna and Dragón thought she was at the bank due to some random happenstance. She decided to not push the topic too hard in the hope that she could avoid having to out her mother to these two people, especially when she wasn’t sure of their allegiances.
Once Alicia was changed she walked back out to the ring and started to follow Ivanna’s orders. It did feel slightly weird being the one on the offensive, especially now she knew that Dragón had powers.
The sequence was pretty simple, in many ways it was a recreation of the scene in the alley. Dragón would try and run at Alicia and she would trip her, before pinning her to the ground. After they had done it several times, Ivanna shouted from outside the ring.
“Flair! Climb onto the rope and then land on her!”
“How would I do that?” Said Alicia, watching as Dragón got back into position.
“Climb onto the ropes, and then jump off and land on your back, just like when you fall onto the mat,” explained Ivanna. “You can do it!”
“Okay!” Grinned Alicia. She bent down and watched as Dragón sprinted at her, at the right moment Alicia grabbed her leg and pulled it sideways, catching Dragón’s body and lowering it to the floor.
Alicia took a deep breath and climbed up onto the rope and jumped, just like she had been told to do. As she dived through the air, Alicia felt strangely light, almost as if she was a balloon just moving along with the breeze. However, before Alicia could finish the thought she crashed down onto the mat with a bang.
“Excellent! Excellent!” Shouted Ivanna, applauding loudly from her position near the ring apron. “Now, let’s work on the bag while you cool off,” she added as Alicia smiled and helped Dragón up.
Sharon walked around the city slowly, her whole body was sore after the fights with Parasite and Ulla, but she didn’t want to go home without getting all of her errands done.
However, after an hour Sharon needed to sit down for a while to rest her throbbing feet. She wandered into a coffee shop and sat down at a corner table, breathing a sigh of relief as she did.
Sharon pondered what she was going to get. Part of her really wanted another Sanguine High Paradise, though considering the bar was illusionary and the creator nowhere to be found it seemed like she was highly unlikely to get one. Sharon turned her head to check the menu, only for her heart to skip a beat. Ulla had just walked into the coffee shop.
Sharon did her best to look calm, pulling out her phone and pretending to be distracted as she followed Ulla out of the corner of her eye. Thankfully Ulla had her glasses on, suggesting that she was here in a civilian capacity and not looking for a fight.
After a few seconds of looking around Ulla started to move towards Sharon’s table. Sharon’s heart started to beat faster and faster like it was about to jump out of her chest. She considered running but realized that would only make her more obvious. To her dismay, Ulla came right up to her table and sat opposite her.
“Hi,” said Ulla softly.
“Can I help you?” Replied Sharon, trying to act as innocently as possible.
“I know who you are,” replied Ulla firmly. Sharon’s heart jumped into her throat, her eyes darting left and right, quickly trying to formulate an exit plan. “Don’t worry.” Added Ulla. “I’m not taking you in, I have a personal question.”
“I think you have me confused with someone else,” said Sharon politely.
Ulla sighed and pulled a receipt and a pen out of her pocket before writing a quick note and passing it to Sharon. Sharon looked at the note. “I know you are Mesmera,” it said.
Sharon tried to stay calm, still mentally formulating an escape plan. She could maybe try and trigger Ulla and then run, but that would draw unwanted attention and it would mean she wouldn’t know just how Ulla had tracked her down.
“What do you want,” said Sharon firmly.
“Just to talk. I promise,” answered Ulla, her voice seeming more nervous than usual. “No tricks, no traps, I’m here alone,” she whispered softly.
“We can’t talk here,” sighed Sharon, realizing that a crowded coffee shop wasn’t the best place to have a private conversation about their secret identities. She also realized that she would have a better chance of hypnotizing or triggering Ulla if she could get her alone somewhere. “How do I know I can trust you?”
“Because I need your help.” Replied Ulla as she gently kicked Sharon’s shin under the table.
“What is that about?” Growled Sharon, taking the kick to be an act of aggression.
“Under the table,” nodded Ulla, motioning her eyes down. Sharon slowly turned her head so she could look under the table, making sure to keep Ulla’s hands in sight at all times. As she looked under the table she quickly realized what Ulla had wanted to draw her attention to. Ulla was holding her trenchcoat open, revealing that she wasn’t wearing her system, meaning that for now, Ulla was just a regular woman.
“I see,” nodded Sharon as she sat back up. “We can go for a walk around Park Lake, nice and quiet,” she said, forcing a smile onto her face.
“Thank you,” smiled Ulla. “Did you buy coffee yet?”
“No,” said Sharon firmly, unsure why Ulla was asking such questions. Ulla reached into her pocket and started to fiddle around. Sharon’s muscles tensed, preparing to strike. After a few moments, Ulla placed a small pile of coins on the table in front of Sharon.
“It is on me,” she said, her smile seeming oddly genuine.
“A strange way of doing it.” Mumbled Sharon as she looked between Ulla and the coins.
“If I came and gave you a cup full of unidentified liquid, would you drink it?” Asked Ulla.
“You make a fair point,” nodded Sharon, letting out a little sigh as she pushed the coins back. “Cream and two sugars,” she said softly.
“You want me to?” Blinked Ulla.
“Sign of trust,” nodded Sharon, watching as Ulla beamed at her, quickly picking up the coins and walking to the counter.
Sharon watched her buy the coffee with a keen eye, feeling slightly bad about her small deception. She didn’t need to trust Ulla, once they were alone she could use Ulla’s trigger to avoid any major conflicts. However, that didn’t mean she couldn’t try and make the girl feel more comfortable if only to make her put her guard down.
After a few minutes, Ulla came back and placed a cup and a paper bag in front of Sharon. “Chocolate cookie,” smiled Ulla. “I saw them and couldn’t resist, but you can go check at the counter to verify they sell them.”
Sharon picked up the cup and the bag and smiled up at Ulla. “I trust you,” she said as she led Ulla out of the coffee shop and towards the park. Sharon walked briskly, trying to get Ulla away from people as quickly as possible.
Once they reached the lake Sharon breathed a sigh of relief, the park was quiet, with nothing more than a handful of dog walkers around. “So,” said Sharon as she sipped her coffee. “How did you track me down?”
“Tracker on your suit, I put it on when I picked you up after the fight with Hype Girl,” explained Ulla. “It is private, not connected to the MIST computers, once we’re done I’ll destroy it.”
“I see,” nodded Sharon. “Not the most friendly thing to do.”
“I’m sorry, I just wanted to talk to you and you ran off before I got the chance.”
“I presumed you had come to arrest me.”
“Finding you there was good luck honestly, I was called in due to reports of yelling from near the docks and well, I recognized Parasite pretty much instantly.”
“Not a subtle girl,” nodded Sharon. “So, what did you want to talk to me about?”
“You’ve saved my life twice now,” replied Ulla, looking out over the water. “You intervened when Hitomi attacked me and then broke me free of Hype Girl’s control. Neither of which you needed to do.”
“Right,” nodded Sharon, slightly confused as to where this conversation was going.
“I just want to know why,” sighed Ulla. “Why are you putting yourself in harm’s way for me?”
Sharon pondered the question for a few moments, watching as the dragonflies flittered around the trees. She knew why she helped at the bank, but she couldn’t exactly tell Ulla about using her as a hypnotized cab service.
“Well,” sighed Sharon. “I understand what it is like to have very few people in this world, and the fear that comes with losing them. I couldn’t let you get beaten to death by your own sister, especially when it is clear she isn’t in her right mind.”
“I’m sorry,” replied Ulla, gently patting Sharon on the shoulder. Sharon stiffened a little, half expecting Ulla to try and throw her to the floor. However, after a few seconds, Ulla removed her hand and continued to walk.
“Nothing to be sorry for,” smiled Sharon. “I did what felt right in the situation.”
“Why were you at the bank?”
“No reason,” replied Sharon, running her answers through in her head so as not to incriminate herself. “I just turned up and saw the chaos unfold and well, I work with several of the people you went in to capture.”
“They were not in their right minds either, they were acting like zombies.”
“They were, yes.” Nodded Sharon.
“And the whole Red Right Hand thing,” added Ulla. “You were there when they first made themselves known.”
“I was, it was on that very dock.”
“Look,” sighed Ulla. “I don’t know how to put this. But Red Right Hand has my sister, they’ve brainwashed her or something, the whole bank job was a trap for me, a way for them to deliver a hostage note.”
“What are their demands?” Asked Sharon. Ulla fished a phone out of her pocket and passed it to Sharon, starting the video playing as she did.
Sharon watched it play out, only for her heart to sink when she saw the gem on screen. Could all of this be due to that stupid hunk of rock? Even if it wasn’t she needed to get rid of it, it had been nothing but bad luck since she found it.
“I want her back,” nodded Ulla, interrupting Sharon’s thoughts. “And you seem to be the best at mind control.”
“I might be able to help you.” Replied Sharon as she pushed the phone back into Ulla’s hands. “I know where the gem is.”
“You do?!” Gasped Ulla, turning and grabbing Sharon by the shoulders. “Where is it?!”
“Easy, easy,” replied Sharon, gently lifting Ulla’s hands off of her. “I’m not telling, but I can get it for you.”
“I’m sorry,” nodded Ulla, taking some deep breaths, obviously sensing she had overstepped a boundary by grabbing Sharon. “Please, I will do anything for that gem.”
“There are conditions,” replied Sharon. “I’ll do the handoff to you, on your own. Just like this.” She explained. “Make a cover story for where you found it, I don’t want to be involved at all.”
“It’s a deal,” smiled Ulla. “Whatever it takes to get Hitomi back.”
“Good,” nodded Sharon. “Then I’ll arrange it. Though I do have one question.”
“What does it do?”
“I wish I knew,” sighed Ulla. “Our lab techs can’t work it out. The information in the video suggests it is weird, but there isn’t enough data to draw any meaningful conclusions from it. All of this is compounded by the rest of the video. The leader appears in none of our records, we can’t even find a record of anyone called Creme who fits her look and age.”
“Well, people in our line of work do tend to make up their names,” replied Sharon.
“Right, but very rarely does someone suddenly end up running a gang of this size without some history. For example, Hype Girl, we ran her record before I fought her. She tends to work alone, petty crime stuff, jewelry stores and that kind of thing, her suddenly having a boss is very unusual behavior and suggests Creme has some pull.”
“Your records didn’t warn you to block out her pom-poms?” Asked Sharon with surprise.
“Our records suggested she fought using blades hidden in them, not that she had hypnotic powers.” Replied Ulla.
“Interesting,” nodded Sharon. “Your records have anything on Parasite? She has become a thorn in my side recently.”
“Nothing much, the first time we encountered her was when people started to turn up out cold around the city.”
“Right,” nodded Sharon, quickly realizing that she had gotten so distracted by Mara’s flirting, she had never asked her the question she had planned to ask her when she went to her office.
“I should be off,” said Ulla gently. “I’ll deactivate my tracker and you can throw it into the lake to be doubly sure.”
“Okay, I’ll do that.”
“Actually,” added Ulla, reaching into her pocket and pulling out a card. “This is a personal number, we can use it to make the drop. It isn’t tracked so don’t worry about where you call from.”
“Thank you,” smiled Sharon, taking the card as slipping it into her pocket.
“This was nice” grinned Ulla. “You know, if it wasn’t for our jobs, I would suggest we did this again at some point,” she said as she walked towards the exit of the park.
Sharon blinked a few times, trying to make heads or tails of Ulla’s last statement. Once Ulla was out of sight, Sharon opened her bag and looked over her suit, quickly spotting the small tracker. Sharon pulled it off and dropped it into the lake, watching as it slowly sank to the bottom.
“Hey, bestie! Wakey! wakey!” Shouted Momo as she knocked on the clear door of the machine. Hitomi blinked as she looked out into the lab, the bright lights burning her eyes. Her head was spinning as she tried to work out what was going on.
“Hey, you!” Giggled Momo as she waved at Hitomi once more. “We’re going to have a lot of fun tonight!”
Suddenly a black mass squirmed its way into Momo’s lab, slowly dragging itself across the tiled floor with a moist squelching noise. Momo turned and looked at the puddle, quickly falling into giggles.
“Parasite, what have I told you about being a puddle in my lab, show yourself!” She said between giggles. The puddle started to vibrate and bubble as it slowly formed into Parasite. However, it was immediately obvious that Parasite was injured, her body was riddled with large holes and her one arm was hanging on by a single strand of latex.
“Gumball,” gurgled Parasite.
“Aww, you want your candy?” Chuckled Momo. “Did you get what the boss wanted?”
“I got the information, but Hype Girl got caught, Ulla turned up,” replied Parasite, gasping heavily between words.
“Aww, that’s sucky! Why don’t you come take a seat and we’ll get all those thoughts out of you!”
Parasite stumbled towards a chair, leaving a dark black trail behind her as she did. Once Parasite was sat down Momo wandered over to a cupboard and pulled out a helmet. She then walked over and pressed the helmet onto Parasite’s head, lowering the visor over her eyes.
“Gumball,” gurgled Parasite.
“In a minute,” giggled Momo as she attached a long cable to the top of the helmet and plugged it into a large machine. Once it was all plugged in, Momo tapped a few buttons on a computer and skipped over to one of the candy jars. “Pink or yellow?”
“Don’t care,” replied Parasite her voice growing weaker.
“Pink or yellow!” Shouted Momo.
“Pink! Pink!” Murmured Parasite.
“Ooo, good choice!” Smiled Momo, picking out a pink gumball and walking over to Parasite. “Open your mouth!”
Parasite opened her mouth as she shook in the chair. Momo pushed the ball into Parasite’s mouth and watched as she quickly started to chew, obviously keen to swallow the gumball as quickly as possible.
“Okay, watch the birdie!” Said Momo as she pressed a button on the side of the helmet. Suddenly a bright pink light started to flash into Parasite’s eyes. Momo clapped her hands as she watched the flash grow slowly more and more intense. After a few minutes Parasite stiffened as her mouth fell open.
Momo wandered over to the computer and smirked to herself, looking over the diagram of Parasite’s brain that was being displayed on the screen. “Ooo, you have some super-duper memories in here! First things first, let’s get all of that nice Ulla data out of your skull.”
Momo pressed a button and Parasite let out a low groan as the flashing from the visor increased in speed, the light drilling directly into her brain to drain out all the memories of the fight.
“Not much here,” sighed Momo as she reviewed the data. “This isn’t going to make for very good sugar,” she added as she tapped buttons. “Maybe as part of a soda, then I could make a good mix of memories.”
Hitomi could only watch from her glass prison as Momo continued the process, the pink light from the visor giving the whole room a pink tint. It was so bright that Hitomi couldn’t even look at it without her eyes hurting.
After a while, Momo turned from the computer and walked over to Parasite, lifting the helmet off of the girl’s head. Parasite’s eyes were totally glazed over, it was almost like she was looking straight through Momo.
“Feeling better?” Giggled Momo, waving her hand in front of Parasite’s face. “Hello? Someone in there?” She added in a mocking tone before pulling Parasite out of the chair. “Just go to bed you goof!”
“Yes. Bed.” Replied Parasite in a dull monotone before stumbling out of the room.
Momo turned and winked at Hitomi before putting her music back on. Hitomi watched with fear as Momo started to work on a strange machine in another part of the lab. Hitomi tried to struggle free, but the metal bonds holding her in place refused to break or even bend.
After a few hours, a loud dinging noise radiated through the lab, shaking Momo from her work. “It’s done!” She shouted, skipping back towards Hitomi.
Momo went up to the computer and reached down under the desk, coming up a few seconds later with a soda can in her hands. “My new Synaptic Soda!” She said as she held the can towards the glass front of the machine.
Hitomi looked on with confusion, her heart racing as she tried to work out what Momo was up to. Momo slowly walked towards the machine, a sinister smile forming on her face. She tapped the keypad and the door slid open as Hitomi’s bonds disengaged.
Hitomi gasped and look at Momo, clenching her fists, the feeling of cold air on her skin a welcome blessing after days locked in the tiny machine.
“So,” smiled Momo. “This soda should give you such a sugar rush! And get you ready!”
“I’m not going to drink it,” replied Hitomi. “What’s going on, this wasn’t what you promised me.”
“You don’t get a say, friends don’t let friends ignore important research!” Interrupted Momo, wagging her finger at Hitomi.
“You can’t keep me locked in here!” Shouted Hitomi, “you said this would be quick, that I could use my system!”
“I’ve not kept you locked in here,” responded Momo, her tone growing more and more aggressive. “I’ve let you out a load of times!”
“I don’t remember that,” squinted Hitomi, racking her brains to try and remember.
“Well, of course, you don’t,” giggled Momo. “Side effect of the process. Now it is soda time!”
“No, I’m not doing this anymore,” Replied Hitomi.
“You don’t get a choice!” Huffed Momo, putting her hands on her hips.
“No! I’m going, right now!” Shouted Hitomi, trying to step out of the machine, only for Momo to push her right back in.
“Stay!” Screeched Momo.
“No!” Yelled Hitomi, trying to punch Momo in the face. However, her arm froze in mid-air, her hand millimeters from Momo’s cheek.
“Nuh-uh!” Grinned Momo. “Best friend protocol! You can’t hurt me!”
Hitomi continued to try and punch Momo, but her arm refused to move, no matter how hard she focused she couldn’t get her arm to listen to her brain.
“Now,” said Momo as she gently pushed Hitomi’s arm down. “Get back inside.”
“I won’t,” replied Hitomi, her body filling with fear as a wave of helplessness crashed over her.
“I wasn’t asking,” laughed Momo as she shoved Hitomi back into the machine, the bonds instantly clicking shut around Hitomi’s ankles and wrists. Momo stretched into the machine and pulled a tube out of the wall.
Hitomi shook in her bonds, unsure what to do, she felt trapped and scared. She watched helplessly as Momo reached into her lab coat and produced a needle that she attached to the end of the tube. Momo smirked as she flicked the needle with a finger, letting its metallic timbre echo around the machine. Once the noise faded, Momo grabbed onto Hitomi’s arm and pushed the needle into it.
Hitomi yelped with pain, her fear growing more intense by the second. Momo then grabbed the helmet and slipped it over Hitomi’s head, plunging her into total darkness.
“It’s going to be okay,” giggled Momo. “This is going to be uber-fun!” She said as she walked away from Hitomi. In the darkness of the helmet, all Hitomi had was her fear and the pounding of her heart.
Suddenly the visor burst into life, a pink light drilling right into Hitomi’s mind. It was so bright it hurt to look at, but she couldn’t look away from it, her whole vision was filled with the burning pink light.
Hitomi squirmed and screamed out, trying to do all she could to escape from the light. Suddenly the pink glow started to slide from left to right in front of her stinging eyes.
“Watch the birdie,” giggled Momo, her voice coming out of two speakers built into the helmet. Hitomi wanted to resist, but she couldn’t help but follow the bright pink light’s pendulous motion. She gritted her teeth, trying to block the light out, trying to think of anything else but the pattern that swayed in front of her.
Hitomi resisted for what felt like hours, focusing all of her willpower in an attempt to fight whatever Momo was trying to do. Suddenly Hitomi felt an intense vibration between her legs. She let out a gasp, trying to work out what was going on as pleasure crashed through her body.
The pleasure was enough to break Hitomi’s concentration, her eyes started to follow the light as it waved back and forth. Something about the movement was strangely mesmerizing and the vibration between her legs made it nearly impossible for her to feel anything but pleasure.
As the light moved it seemed to get brighter and more intense, Hitomi’s eyes wanted to blink but they couldn’t, something about the light forced her to keep them open.
“Goody!” Cooed Momo as the vibrations got more powerful, sending shocks of pleasure through Hitomi’s body. Suddenly Hitomi felt a cold chill run through the needle and into her arm, a weird numbness radiating out from the injection site as her mind started to spin.
The vibration continued to make Hitomi tingle, it was like it was rubbing all of her erogenous zones at once, the cool sensation only served to make the pleasure all the more intense and mind-bending. Hitomi’s body was totally cold apart from the burning hot pleasure that was radiating out from between her legs.
Hitomi found herself focusing on the pleasure, starting to pant as her body grew more and more aroused. She knew it was a trap but her mind was so desperate to cling onto any sensation it could find that she couldn’t block it out no matter how hard she tried.
Hitomi’s brain spun faster and faster, she was struggling to remember which way was up and which way was down, she wasn’t even sure what her own body was anymore.
Suddenly a bright pink flash broke through her confusion. Hitomi’s eyes rolled into her head as the cold took over her entire body. As Hitomi’s eyes returned to normal she found herself in a massive white void.
“Where am I?” Mumbled Hitomi, the soft hum between her legs making her knees feel weak.
“Welcome!” Gigged Momo. Hitomi turned and saw that an 8-Bit version of Momo was stood next to her. “I want to test you.”
“Test me?” Blinked Hitomi.
“Testing is in progress!” Replied the sprite as a rush of erotic bliss ran through Hitomi’s body. As Hitomi squirmed, Ulla appeared on the other side of the room.
“Ulla?” Mumbled Hitomi.
“You’re under arrest!” Shouted Ulla, pointing at Hitomi, transforming into her armor.
“I’m not,” groaned Hitomi. “We don’t fight.”
“You know,” interrupted the Momo sprite. “This needs a better setting!” Suddenly the whole room flashed a bright white. When the light faded the room was totally different, they were now in a grand gothic greenhouse with roses growing beneath their feet.
“Perfect!” Shouted Momo, her sprite now resembling a two-dimensional drawing.
“I can’t,” mumbled Hitomi, trying to pull her head together and work out what was going on.
“You don’t get a say,” replied the drawing of Momo. Suddenly a bright pink spiraling pattern appeared in front of Hitomi. She knew she should turn away, but she couldn’t seem to, the spiraling pattern was just so mesmerizing.
Hitomi watched the spiral as it spun in front of her, she could feel her mind slowly fading, her thoughts growing quieter and quieter. The spiral started to pulse softly and each pulse seemed to cause the vibration between her legs to increase in intensity for a few brief seconds.
“You don’t have a choice, your mind belongs to me, I am in your head,” giggled Momo.
“I,” groaned Hitomi as the vibrations pulsed once more.
“I am in your mind,” said Momo firmly, the spiral pulsing in time with her words.
“Mind,” said Hitomi, her breathing becoming more and more frayed as the pleasure in her body pushed her closer and closer to the edge.
“Repeat after me,” grinned Momo. “My mind is not my own.”
“My mind,” moaned Hitomi, doing her best to try and fight Momo’s command, however, she couldn’t seem to focus enough to resist. “My mind is not my own,” finished Hitomi, only for a jolt of pleasure to run through her body.
“I am an obedient puppet,” said Momo.
“I am an obedient puppet,” groaned Hitomi, feeling yet another jolt of pleasure run through her body as the spiral pulled her deeper and deeper.
“I must obey commands.”
“I must obey commands,” repeated Hitomi, not even stopping to consider the answer. The pleasure hit harder as Hitomi started to shudder and groan, she felt better than she had ever felt before, the pleasure was so intense that she couldn’t even understand the words she was saying, all she wanted was more pleasure and she would stop at nothing to get it.
“I will comply with my training.”
“I will comply with my training.”
“I will submit my body to training.”
“I will submit my body to training”
“I will let my body be guided by the training.”
“I will let my body be guided by the training”
“I will obey.”
“I will obey!” Screamed Hitomi as an orgasm crashed over her. She felt herself sliding out of control of her body, but she didn’t care, she was euphoric and never wanted to feel anything else.
Hitomi’s body moved forward and clashed with Ulla, copying her move for move as they started to fight, it was almost as if Hitomi’s body knew what Ulla was going to do before she did it.
Hitomi’s mind, however, knew nothing but pleasure. She was floating a few inches away from her body, wrapped in a cool blanket of bliss as the vibrations continued, the euphoria twisting her entire being as it hit her over and over.
Momo giggled as she watched Hitomi squirm in her bonds, the faint hum of the vibrator echoing around the room as the pink flashes rhythmically refracted through the glass door.
A loud ding drew Momo’s attention away from Hitomi’s brainwashing. She wandered over to her computer and reached under her desk, pulling out another soda can. She ran her finger across the label. “Mesmera Synaptic Soda,” chuckled Momo. “I think this is going to be very useful, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger after all.”