Alica chugged the can and grabbed the ball. “Alright! Let’s do this!” She screamed as she threw the ball as hard as she could. The ball twirled through the air and bounced off the wall with a soft thunk.
“Ugh,” sighed Alicia as she watched the ball slowly roll back towards her. She had tried every legal method she could find to get herself excited, but none of them seemed to make her any stronger, her pitching was as bad as it had always been.
“What’s up?” Asked Sharon as she wandered out into the garden.
“I’m trying to get that strength again,” replied Alicia. “I just can’t.”
“It’s okay.” Nodded Sharon, pulling Alicia into a hug. “You’ll work it out.”
“I’ve recreated everything I can think of,” mumbled Alicia. “I’ve got my heart rate high, I’ve gotten myself tired, I’ve gotten pumped. None of it has any effect.”
“Right,” nodded Sharon as she pondered for a few minutes. “Maybe we could roleplay?”
“Huh?” Blinked Alicia, looking up at her mother.
“Well, maybe we are missing a small detail?” Smiled Sharon. “You’ve ruled out the biggest factors, but maybe in the heat of the moment you missed something small?”
“I guess,” nodded Alicia.
“So, we’ll roleplay it, act it out second by second and see what else could have set it off.”
“Sure,” sighed Alicia. “I guess it can’t hurt, I’ve already done everything I can think of.”
“Right,” smiled Sharon. “Actually, would you object to me hypnotizing you?”
“I wouldn’t object, but why do you want to?” Asked Alicia in confusion.
“Well, then we can help you remember the moment in greater detail, so we don’t miss a single thing.” Smiled Sharon.
“Oh, that makes sense,” giggled Alicia. “You know for someone who made a point of only hypnotizing me once, you seem very keen to do it recently.”
“Well it is different now you know about it and are old enough to consent to it,” replied Sharon as she went to the bedroom and grabbed a couple of pillows and a pile of sheets.
Sharon moved down to the living room and started to shuffle the chairs around. Alicia was confused but after a few minutes, she realized what her mother was attempting to do. She was trying to recreate a ring using the chairs and the sheets.
Alicia started to help her Mom out, and within an hour they had a ring set up in the living room. Once it was done Sharon stepped back and admired her work. “So,” she started. “Who was there?”
“It was me, Ivanna, and Dragón,” nodded Alicia.
“Okay,” said Sharon, grabbing two pillows as she did. “So this floral one can be Ivanna and Dragón can be blue. Does she have a name?”
“I,” blinked Alicia. “I actually don’t know, Ivanna introduced her as that, and she hasn’t corrected me. She never takes her mask off, so I presume she is pretty okay with that being her name.”
“Interesting,” nodded Sharon. “So where were they at the start?”
“Ivanna was on the edge of the ring and Dragón was in the middle, I was in between them,” explained Alicia, pointing to the positions.
“Perfect,” grinned Sharon, putting the pillows where Alicia pointed. Once they were in the correct position she walked up to Alicia. “So, you ready?”
“For you to hypnotize me?” Chuckled Alicia. “This is going to make my “what I did this summer” essay sound really weird.”
“Oh it is fine before you go back to school I’ll hypnotize you into thinking we went to a water park.” Teased Sharon.
“You really have lost your fear of hypnotizing me,” giggled Alicia. “Let’s do this!”
“Okay, come and give me a hug.” Said, Sharon, pulling Alicia into her arms. As she squeezed Alicia tightly, she channeled her power and allowed her eyes to go silver. “Just look into my eyes sweetie,” purred Sharon as Alicia gazed into her eyes.
Sharon watched as Alicia’s facial muscles instantly relaxed, her eyes glazing over as the silver glow danced over her retina. “Good,” cooed Sharon, rubbing Alicia’s hair as she let the glow do its work, making sure she didn’t send Alicia too deep. “Just listen to me,” purred Sharon. “Cast your mind back to that day, to that workout. Just letting it play over in your head like a movie, a movie we are going to recreate with these pillows.”
“Yes,” mumbled Alicia as she looked up into her mother’s eyes.
“And because this is a movie, we can slow it down, letting us look at each frame in turn. Letting us work out exactly what happened, understood?”
“Yes,” nodded Alicia as Sharon let her go.
“Then let’s start!” Smiled Sharon. Alicia ducked down into her attack position, her glazed eyes moving quickly as if she was trying to work out what was going on around her.
“Dragón charges at me,” mumbled Alicia as Sharon slowly moved towards her with the pillow. Alicia yanked the pillow out of Sharon’s hand and threw it to the floor and grabbed at an invisible arm only she could see. “I wanted to get her into an arm hold,” mumbled Alicia.
“Did you?” Asked Sharon.
“Yeah, but then,” started Alicia as she rolled off the pillow. “She escaped and knocked me over.
“Right,” nodded Sharon, moving the pillow and gently bopping Alicia with it.
“She grabbed my arm, pulled on my fingers really hard.” Continued Alicia, squirming on the floor under the pillow.
“To open my hand, to get more leverage on my arm,” groaned Alicia.
“Okay,” nodded Sharon. “Did you escape?”
“I tripped her,” replied Alicia, waving her leg around. “Then I got up and tried to move my hand as it felt weird.”
“Right, okay,” smiled Sharon.
Suddenly Alicia started to move in slow motion, diving at the pillow that represented Ivanna. However, she was moving much slower than she had been in the ring, and thus her grand leap became nothing more than a cute tiny hop.
“What was that?” Asked Sharon softly.
“Had to push Ivanna off the apron,” mumbled Alicia. “One of my goals. Jumped and pushed at her center of mass.”
“Very nice,” smiled Sharon as she watched Alicia turn to face her.
“Dragón is going to run at me and try and dropkick me.” Whispered Alicia as Sharon grabbed the pillow and moved towards Alicia. Once Sharon was close, Alicia reached out and grabbed the pillow and started to spin around, lightly slapping Sharon with the pillow every rotation.
“Great,” said Sharon between slaps. “So was this when you felt strong?”
“Yes,” mumbled Alicia as she let go of the pillow and watched it fly over the sheets and hit the wall. “Ivanna stuck up on me and grabbed me by the waist.” Added Alicia as Sharon quickly grabbed the Ivanna pillow and wrapped it around Alicia’s waist.
“So what did you do, did you still feel strong?”
“I did,” murmured Alicia, sounding slightly smug about it. “I grabbed her wrists and broke her grip,” continued Alicia as mimed pulling at the pillow. “But I kept hold of her and then fell back,” she said as she slowly dropped to the floor and yanked her arm, snatching the pillow away as she did.
“Wonderful,” smiled Sharon, pondering the scene in her head. “And that was the last time you were strong?”
“Yeah,” mumbled Alicia. “Was weak when I tried it later.”
“Interesting,” nodded Sharon, tapping her chin. “Why don’t we cycle this back to the start and go through it again.” Said, Sharon, as she picked up the pillows and put them back in their starting positions.
Alicia and Sharon ran through the scene several times, Sharon trying her best to spot anything Alicia might have missed as she watched her daughter mindlessly wrestle with the pillows.
“Okay,” smiled Sharon, walking up behind Alicia and rubbing her shoulders. “Just relax, just relax,” she cooed, feeling Alicia go limp in her arms. “And you can just come back into reality, taking deep breaths and feeling so refreshed.” Continued Sharon as she guided Alicia back onto the couch.
As Alicia came to she blinked her eyes and yawned. “Did you spot anything?”
“Not really,” sighed Sharon. “Your hands featured heavily, but I don’t think pulling on or grabbing your hands sets it off. Same for your waist.”
“Yeah,” nodded Alicia. “I don’t get it.”
“Very few people do, very few people do,” replied Sharon as she rubbed Alicia’s hair. “Why don’t I put the kettle on and we can watch TV, let the problem bounce around the subconscious for a bit.”
“Sure,” replied Alicia, obviously frustrated with her inability to work out the cause of her sudden burst of strength.
“You clean up while I make the tea,” smiled Sharon, rubbing Alicia’s shoulder before standing up and walking into the kitchen.
Alicia pulled herself up from the couch and started to untangle the sheets and deconstruct the makeshift ring that Sharon had built. As she started to untangle the last one, Sharon burst back into the room.
“TV! TV, turn the TV on!” She shouted.
“What?” Blinked Alica, fumbling for the remote and pressing the on button. The screen quickly lit up, showing a woman at a news desk, however, her voice wasn’t coming through correctly, every few seconds a large burst of static would pour out of the speakers. “Is our TV busted?”
“No, wait,” said Sharon, looking obviously freaked out. After a few bursts of static, the picture started to flicker, quickly changing to a different image. No longer was it the cheap, cheerful local news set, instead, the screen showed an office desk.
A woman walked into the shot, with two figures stood behind her. Sharon instantly recognized them. It was the black armored Hitomi and a black armored version of Ulla.
“Hello,” said the woman, her voice tinged with static. “My name is Creme d’Argent and I am the leader of the Red Right Hand. Ruby City is very different from how you see it,” she said with a smirk. “And if our demands are not met, not only will all the secrets be let out of their cages but,” she continued, only for the signal to be cut off by a test card.
“We’re sorry for any distress caused,” came a male voice over the test card. “A scheduler error has caused some people within the state to accidentally receive a broadcast of our affiliates’ midnight movie. We apologize for any distress caused and will aim to get you back to your scheduled broadcast as soon as we can.”
“What was that?” Asked Alicia, looking towards Sharon. Sharon’s eyes were wide, almost like she was on the verge of crying.
“She has Ulla,” mumbled Sharon.
“The MIST lady?”
“Yes, I,” mumbled Sharon, struggling to put words together. “We’ve spent some time together, and we talked during the handoff.”
“I thought you two couldn’t get on?” Blinked Alicia, trying to work out what was going on.
“We had a small truce,” said Sharon gently. “She is a nice girl and,” she mumbled before shaking her head.
“I need to save her,” replied Sharon. “She needs help and I’m going to help her.”
“How?” Replied Alicia. “How did you even know about the TV?”
“Mara spotted it at a convenience store and sent me a text,” said Sharon.
“So, they can hijack TVs,” nodded Alicia. “Wouldn’t that mean they are at the TV station?”
“I guess so,” replied Sharon. “But she obviously didn’t finish, what else was she going to say?”
“I wish I knew,” sighed Alicia.
“I’m going to go investigate,” declared Sharon as she ran to grab her costume.
“Are we ready?” Nodded the woman in pink as she placed her sword into an umbrella stand.
“I think we are all present,” nodded Electric Arrow as she sat down in one of the chairs and looked over the rest of the table.
“Aye,” nodded Medic as she idly fiddled with a butterfly knife.
“Perfect, then please lock the door Miss Phillips and then I shall activate the RF jammers.”
“Yes, Ma’am!” Nodded a woman from the back of the room as she quickly locked the door and stood at attention next to it.
“I am calling this emergency meeting of MIST to order. We’ll begin with a sound off to verify attendance for the record,” nodded the woman in pink as she adjusted her hat. “Crimson Lux, present and acting chair.”
“Medic, present,” nodded Ailith.
Electric Arrow, present,” nodded the other girl as everyone else at the table took a deep breath, preparing to answer.
“Lady Aria, present.”
“Lady Oak, present.”
“Chole Turza, present.”
“Nevera and Loft, present,” nodded the woman at the end of the table.
“Maria Phillips, present and acting security head.” Said the woman by the door as she saluted towards the women sat at the table.
“Not present,” sighed Crimson. “Ulla, for reasons I think we all know.”
“Aye, the girl got herself into bother,” nodded Medic.
“Correct,” responded Crimson as she picked up a small remote. “Earlier today Red Right Hand hijacked the local network signal and attempted to broadcast a video message, thankfully the gentlemen at the station were able to shut the intrusion out before the message could finish.”
“And their cover seems to be working,” nodded Chole as tapped a pen on the table. “I looked through some social media and it seems that anyone who saw it is just brushing it off as a mix-up.”
“Wonderful,” replied Crimson. “We were able to get the full broadcast due to quick thinking by the engineers.” Crimson pressed a button on the remote and a projector whirred into life, projecting an image of Creme onto the screen at the front of the room.
“Hello. My name is Creme d’Argent and I am the leader of the Red Right Hand. Ruby City is very different from how you see it. And if our demands are not met, not only will all the secrets be let out of their cages but they will not come out quietly. They will come out in a destructive wave that will bring Ruby City to its knees! Your silent guardians have already defected to me,” grinned Creme as she pointed back towards Ulla and Hitomi. “And that is not our only weapon, should you refuse our demands then we shall unleash our full power.” Laughed Creme as the video faded to black.
“So what do they have planned?” Asked Huntress.
“Seems like they want to out the whole thing,” replied Gaige. “Bring all this into the mainstream.”
“This seems like a lot of work just for that,” sighed Nevera, leaning back in her chair. “What does it hurt if a few more people know about us?”
“Because,” sighed Crimson. “We saw what happened when even rumors of superpowers go national. A massive upsurge in copycats and vigilantes.”
“As well people being idiots thinking jamming their fingers into an outlet will give them superpowers,” mumbled Medic.
“You wouldn’t go to the trouble of taking down Ulla and Hitomi if you merely wanted publicity,” added Lady Oak. “Attacking them makes enemies of all of us, mere publicity could have been gotten without the risk of forcible retribution.”
“Which they are getting,” growled Lady Aria.
“Aria, calm,” interrupted Gaige. “We’re going to get Ulla back and make them pay for this.”
“Exactly,” nodded Crimson as she slapped the desk. “We are not going to take this lying down. Hence why Lady Oak and myself have formulated a plan.”
“Correct,” nodded Lady Oak. “We are going on a hunt for a priority target. Our aim is to capture her and bring her in alive and functional.” Explained Lady Oak, looking at Medic as she did.
“I’ll bring them in, but I’m not promising functionality,” smirked Medic. “But hey, I break them, I fix them.”
“Right,” sighed Lady Oak. “She is considered a hard one to catch. Very dangerous, so we’ll be taking a large team.”
“Yes, we’ll work on surrounding her and then go from there.” Added Crimson as she pressed a button, changing the projected image to one of a woman. “Our key target is Mesmera. As Lady Oak said, we need her brought in and functional.”
“How we going to find her?” Asked Huntress.
“We’ve put out a bulletin with the local emergency services as well as having our guys keep their eye on all media channels. Whenever one of her hallmarks are spotted the information will be forwarded to us and we’ll move out.” Explained Lady Oak.
“On that note,” Smiled Crimson. “All leave is canceled, we’ll be on battle stations until the target is in our hands.” She said as all of the women around the table sighed and shook their heads.
Mesmera did her best to creep up on the TV station, trying to hide her costume under a long coat. She didn’t think that Creme or any of her people would be hanging around this long after the broadcast, but they might have left behind evidence that would allow Mesmera to track them down.
As she got close to the door of the building, Mesmera realized that the place was swarming with guards and police. It was obvious that the earlier intrusion had shaken the station and that they were not taking any chances with security.
Mesmeria sighed and wandered around the back, hoping that she could find an easier way to sneak in. As she turned the corner she spotted a girl climbing off a moped with a large insulated bag.
“Who searches the lunch lady?” Smirked Mesmera to herself as she ran towards the woman. “Excuse me!” She shouted.
The girl turned and gave Memsera a disapproving look, her badly fitting baseball cap hardly staying put on her head. “What do you want?”
“Sorry, I’m lost!” Said Mesmera, putting on her best attempt at a foreign accent. “I’m looking for the gallery of modern arts? I took a left at the bus stop but now I end up going round and round.”
“Modern arts?” Blinked the delivery woman. “You are miles off, that is the other side of the city! What bus were you even on!”
“But my map!” Mumbled Mesmera, fishing her phone out of her pocket. “My map says this way!”
“Well your map is in the wrong lady,” replied the woman, leaning closer to Mesmera. “Let me see that.”
“Okay,” smirked Mesmera. “Look closely,” she said as she held the phone slightly under the woman’s line of vision. The woman rolled her eyes and bent forward a little more in the hope she could actually read the map the woman was trying to show her.
As the woman bent over to get a better look at the screen, Mesmera pulled the phone down and grabbed onto the woman’s arm, yanking it forward. “What?” Exclaimed the woman as she tumbled forward towards Mesmera’s face.
The woman’s brain skipped a beat as she fell towards Mesmera. It tried to work out what it should do, but before it could work out anything Mesmera’s eyes turned silver.
“It’s okay, I will show you the way,” purred Mesmera as she wrapped her arms around the delivery girl’s waist, holding her tight. “Just look into my eyes and I will help you understand, I will help you learn,” continued Mesmera as she slowly started to rock the girl back and forth. “Yes look into my eyes and I will help you learn.”
“Learn,” mumbled the delivery girl as she gazed into Mesmera’s eyes, letting the warm silver glow wrap around her mind and slowly dissolve her thoughts. Her brain was lost and totally unsure of how to react to the situation that was unfolding, but something about Mesmera’s eyes made her not care about the confusion or the weirdness of the situation, all she wanted to do was stare deeper and deeper.
“Yes,” continued Mesmera, watching as the girl’s eyes went wide and glazed over. Mesmera gently held the girl’s cap and started to rotate her head in a large circle. “Just give up your thoughts,” said Mesmera softly as she continued to gaze at the girl. “Just feel them flying out of your mind.”
The delivery girl’s arms flopped limply at her sides as her head was spun around. The repetitive, dizzying movement mixed in with the beauty of Mesmera’s gaze confused her brain, causing all of her thoughts to succumb to a warm and fuzzy numbness that radiated through her skull. Her mouth dropped open as her head continued to rotate, her thoughts pouring out of her like water out of a broken pipe.
“So wonderful,” smiled Mesmera. “Don’t think, just listen. You are so tense, I bet you’ve needed to take a break for weeks but have just been far too busy. You poor thing.”
“Very busy,” gurgled the delivery girl.
“When did you last have a day off sweetie?” Asked Mesmera as she quickly reversed the direction of her rotation.
“Months ago,” mumbled the delivery girl, a trickle of drool running down her chin.
“What if I was to offer you a paid day off, and a wonderful sweet cake,” smiled Mesmera. “Wouldn’t that be lovely?”
“So nice,” mumbled the delivery girl.
“Yes, so all I need you to do is look me in the eyes and listen,” smiled Mesmera, stopping the rotation. “I know about a secret cafe. One that is very exclusive. I’ll tell you the address, but you’ll need to wear my clothes to get in. But that is okay. I’ll keep yours safe while you go and enjoy your delicious cake.”
“Okay,” mumbled the girl as her hands clumsily moved up to start undressing.
“Not yet, just relax,” giggled Mesmera as she moved the girl’s arms back down. “To get to this place, I need you to promise me something. I need you to forget ever meeting me, to forget about giving me your clothes. Because if my cafe finds out that I’ve told people about it, they’ll ban me. Can you do that for me, sweetie? Can you forget for me?”
“Forget for you,” slurred the woman, softly nodding her head.
“Yes,” grinned Mesmera. “Just go enjoy your cake like normal and then in two hours come back here and collect your clothes like nothing happened, and just forget everything, okay?”
“Okay,” slurred the Delivery girl as she started to undress, this time unhindered by Mesmera. As the delivery girl pulled off her clothes Mesmera removed her coat and held it towards the delivery girl.
Once the girl was naked she pulled Mesmera’s coat on and looked blankly at Mesmera. “Right, meet you here in two hours, the cafe with the cake is McKenzies on forth avenue.” Explained Mesmera, suggesting the first cafe she knew that served cake. “Try the chocolate, it is great,” she added as she slipped a twenty-dollar bill into the girl’s pocket. “Have fun!”
“Have fun,” mumbled the girl as she stumbled out of the alley.
“Wake up and have fun!” Shouted Mesmera. Instantly the girl’s posture became more firm and her step less clumsy as her brain slowly returned to the waking world.
Once the girl was out of the alley Mesmera quickly pulled the outfit on over her clothes, making sure to hide her hair under the cap. Luckily for Mesmera, it seemed like that delivery company had gone for a “one size fits all” approach to employee wear as the outfit was several sizes too big.
Mesmera picked the bag up off the floor and stuffed her mask into it. She then threw the bag over her shoulder and started to wander around to the front of the building. As she reached the door the security guard put his arm across the opening.
“We’re going to need to ask you some questions,” he said with exhaustion in his voice. “Sorry, we had a security scare earlier.”
“Sure, what do you need?” Smiled Mesmera.
“Name and reason for visiting?”
“Beth Sampson,” Replied Mesmera, quickly pulling a name out of thin air. “I’m here to deliver Indian take-out to the standards and practices department.” She smiled as she pulled the receipt off of the insulated bag and held it out to face the guard.
“Sure, I’ll go make a call.” Nodded the guard as he walked into the building and pulled out a phone. After a few minutes, the guard pulled the door open and waved Mesmera in. “You’re good to go, sorry for the delay. They are on the seventh floor, the elevator is straight ahead.”
“Don’t worry about it,” smiled Mesmera as she walked past the man and towards the elevator. “You can never be too careful these days.”
Mesmera made her way up a few floors before walking out of the elevator, deciding that her best bet was to find the broadcasting center, presuming that would be the best place to start looking for evidence.
Mesmera wandered around trying to find a building directory. After finding nothing for several minutes, Mesmera approached an intern and smiled. “Hi,” she grinned. “Can you give me directions to where your broadcast center is?”
“Umm, why do you want to know?” Blinked the intern, looking slightly confused by the question.
“Delivering food to the IT department!” Smiled Mesmera, holding up the bag as if to drive home the point.
“Oh!” Grinned the Intern. “Sure, they are floor eighteen, just to the right, you can’t miss them, look for the massive rooms full of computers.”
“Thanks!” Replied Mesmera as she wandered back into the elevator, feeling slightly smug about how well this plan was working for her.
As she arrived on the eighteenth floor Mesmera instantly realized what that intern had meant, the broadcast center was totally unmissable, it was a room full of servers and it even had the name written on the door in large letters.
Mesmera looked around, trying to work out if she could sneak into the room and look for evidence without anyone spotting her. While she could hear distant voices and typing, there didn’t seem to be anyone hanging around the corridor.
Suddenly Mesmera spotted someone out of the corner of her eye. She was wandering around the server room obviously doing her best to look busy. Mesmera moved closer and knocked on the door softly, hoping that she could get the woman to leave the room while she looked for evidence.
The woman jumped and turned away, doing her best to look like she was inspecting one of the servers. Mesmera watched with interest and knocked again a few seconds later.
A whole range of emotions ran over the woman’s face as she turned her eyes to look at Mesmera. It was very clear she didn’t want to interact with the random woman at the door but realized that she couldn’t pretend that she hadn’t seen or heard her.
The woman let out a sigh as she walked towards the door and pulled it open. The second the door was open Mesmera stumbled inside, pushing past the woman. Once she reached the end of the room she acted surprised and turned around.
“This is not the elevator?” Blinked Mesmera, trying to sound as dumb as possible.
“The lift?” Asked the woman with a heavy sigh. “No, of course, this isn’t the lift.”
“The man told me this was the way to the elevator,” replied Mesmera. “I have to deliver food and I was told it was this floor?”
“Well, it isn’t!” Shouted the woman, obviously frustrated. Mesmera used this time to look the woman over. At first glance, she seemed like any other employee of the station, however, her name badge made Mesmera suspicious.
While the picture matched the woman’s face, her department was listed as accounting, which made it odd for her to be hanging around inspecting random servers.
“Where are the standards and practices people?” Said Mesmera as she held out the sheet of paper. “I have their food! It is very important!”
“Well take it to them,” huffed the woman, her body language growing more and more suspicious by the second.
“But what floor? I was told to come here and ask?” Said Mesmera, trying to play as dumb as possible.
“Fifth!” Screamed the woman. “Fifth floor. Just go there and stop bothering me!”
“Oh, okay,” said Mesmera as she stumbled towards the door, trying to think of how to approach this situation. Mesmera was convinced that something was up with this woman and she really wanted to get to the bottom of it.
As she opened the door, Mesmera turned back towards the woman. “You do computers?” She asked. The woman growled as she turned to face Mesmera.
“I do, but it is none of your business, deliver your food before I call security on you.”
“I was going to ask if you could fix my phone.” Grinned Mesmera. “It loads really slowly and calls are full of static.”
“I can’t fix your phone! Go away!” Screamed the woman, her eyes filled with rage.
“Is everything okay over here?” Came a voice from slightly down the corridor. Mesmera turned around, only to see a blonde woman carrying a tablet was quickly making her way towards them.
“I’m trying to deliver food and can’t find the floor,” smiled Mesmera.
“Right, and you?” replied the blonde woman as she pointed towards the woman in the server room.
“I’m inspecting the servers and their upload speed,” replied the woman with a smile.
“Why?” Asked the blonde woman.
“Because we need to keep the network running?” Blinked the other woman.
“But it isn’t your job.” Replied the blonde.
“What do you mean?”
“Because you work in accounting Katey, what are you doing up here?”
“As I said, checking on the network to re-order equipment.” Said the woman, growing obviously more flustered.
“Cut the crap,” replied the blonde. “I do all the ordering for IT and your boss would talk to me if anything was up. Look, Eric dumped you, and hanging around our office isn’t going to change that.”
“I don’t care about Eric,” replied the woman, growing more defensive as she started to step backward.
“Then why are you messing around with my servers,” questioned the blonde, stepping into the room and cornering the woman. “I’ve got half a mind to report you to HR for this.”
“You wouldn’t,” murmured the woman, pressing herself against the wall.
“I think I will, I can’t have you ruining my department’s reputation because you can’t take no for an answer.”
Suddenly Mesmera spotted something. When the strange woman closed her fist her skin seemed to ripple for a few seconds, almost like her skin was made out of a liquid.
Mesmera quickly realized that this wasn’t a normal employee dealing with unrequited love, this was Parasite. Mesmera looked around, trying to find a place to quickly yank her mask on so could get Parasite away from all of these people before she hurt someone.
She looked around quickly, trying to find a place to hide. She saw a restroom a little down the corridor and decided to take her chance. She grabbed the bag off the floor and quickly moved towards the door, doing her best to keep the cap down so it obscured as much of her face as possible.
Once she was in the bathroom Mesmera quickly looked around to make sure she was alone. Once she was sure that no one else was around, she pulled the delivery outfit off and pulled on her mask, hiding the outfit and bag of food in one of the bathroom stalls.
As she put her hand on the doorknob she heard a scream from outside. Mesmera took a deep breath and burst out of the bathroom quickly running back towards the server room.
The situation was very different to the one that Mesmera had snuck away from. No longer was the blonde shouting at another employee, she was now being held aloft by Parasite’s shiny long tendrils.
“You never learn do you!” Shouted Mesmera as she ran towards Parasite.
“You,” growled Parasite, throwing the woman to the floor. “Why do you always get in my way?”
“In your way? Why do you keep getting in mine? Got a crush?” Smirked Mesmera.
“You’ve crossed me for the last time,” screamed Parasite extending her tendrils towards Mesmera, trying to grab hold of her. Mesmera quickly moved out of the way, taking cover behind one of the servers.
Parasite’s tendrils punctured through the metal with a loud crunching noise. However, before the latex could reach Mesmera, an electric shock ran through the tendrils, making Parasite shake and scream in agony.
“You are pretty dumb,” laughed Mesmera, emerging from her hiding spot and smirking. “Maybe your brain is made out of melted latex?” She added, doing her best to enrage Parasite.
Part of Mesmera wanted to hypnotize Parasite then and there, however, she didn’t want to risk someone getting hurt in the cross-fire. While she was confident in her ability to control Parasite she couldn’t guarantee what other station employees would do if they happened upon her and this strange latex figure.
“How dare you,” growled Parasite, as she rose up off the floor, filling the whole room with the smell of burning rubber.
“How dare I point out the fact you suck?” Giggled Mesmera, trying to formulate a plan.
“I am going to destroy you!” Screamed Parasite, moving forward. As she moved her body shifted a little, certain limbs rippled and changed in size, some parts even turned to liquid for a few brief moments.
Mesmera quickly turned and started to run away as fast as she could. “You can try, but you can’t catch me!” She shouted as she moved away from Parasite at high speed.
Mesmera started to shout as ran through the corridor. hoping that this would make people move out of the way or remain in their offices. “Excuse me, coming through, just testing the emergency escape route!” She screamed as she ran past several busy offices.
Behind her, she could hear Parasite chasing her down. Each of the Parasite’s footsteps made a soft squelching sound and it seemed to be coming closer with each second.
Eventually, Mesmera found a fire escape and rammed through it, quickly charging down the stairs, hoping that she could find a backdoor that would allow her to lead Parasite out of the city.
“Out of my way! Get off the stairs!” Screamed Mesmera as she stumbled down towards the ground floor, “we’re moving photocopiers!” She added as she watched several employees exit the stairwell in confusion.
Once she reached the ground floor Mesmera kicked the door open and started to run, turning around to see Parasite very close behind her. Mesmera’s heart pounded as she led Parasite through several back alleyways, hoping to lead her towards the industrial area.
“Stop running,” yelled Parasite.
“Why can’t keep up?” Gasped Mesmera as she took a sharp left turn.
“I can do this all day, you will tire and then I will have you!” Growled Parasite.
“You will tire me out just by being boring!” Laughed Mesmera between breaths.
After a few minutes of running, Mesmera ended up near a few old industrial buildings. The area wasn’t totally abandoned however it was much less busy than the television center.
Mesmera ran into the center of one of the concrete loading docks and crumped to the floor, panting heavily. Parasite arrived in the area a few seconds later, a smile forming on her face as she saw Mesmera on the floor.
“I did tell you,” cackled Parasite. “You couldn’t run from me forever.” She stood over Mesmera’s vulnerable form and smirked to herself as one of her tendrils stretched out and wrapped around Mesmera’s waist, lifting her into the air.
“You’re mine,” laughed Parasite, her body starting to grow and stretch. “And I’m going to learn all of your secrets, I’m going to ruin you.” She explained as her latex stretched closer to Mesmera, getting ready to engulf her.
However, seconds, before she was cocooned, Mesmera turned her head and smirked, her eyes going a deep silver. “For someone who said they were not going to get double-crossed again, you really don’t see traps coming, do you little one?” Chuckled Mesmera as her silver gaze bore into Parasite. “Maybe you just need a nap?”
Parasite let out a groan as the silver glow made her mind fog over. She tried to fight it but she found it so hard to pull her gaze away from the spiraling vortex of Mesmera’s eyes. She stumbled backward, her body returning to its normal form as the tendril retracted and dropped Mesmera to the floor.
Mesmera quickly brushed herself off and stood up with a smirk. “Yes, so sleepy, so tired, you’ve run for too long and now you need to take a nice nap,” giggled Mesmera.
“I,” moaned Parasite, trying to pull her thoughts together as she stumbled around, a puddle of liquid latex forming around her feet.
“Just take a nap,” cooed Mesmera. “So sleepy, such a little sleepy head.”
“Sleepy,” mumbled Parasite as her body started to melt into a puddle.
“Yes, heavy and tired, can’t keep it up much longer.” Said Mesmera softly, keeping her distance from the weakened woman in an attempt to avoid a counter-attack.
“So heavy,” mumbled Parasite as her torso started to melt. As her belly button dissolved a metal can fell out of her body and hit the floor with a loud clang.
The noise made Mesmera jump backward, presuming the can was some kind of explosive. The noise and Mesmera’s sudden movement allowed Parasite to snap out of her trance. Her eyes went wide as she saw the can.
“I’m going to destroy you,” she groaned as she grabbed the can and cracked it open with a loud hiss. She lifted the can into the air and poured the can’s dark contents into her mouth.
Mesmera looked at Parasite with confusion, her heart rate increasing as she tried to work out what Parasite had just done. Parasite cackled as her body quickly returned to its solid and humanoid form.
“You will do what I say!” Said Parasite as she leaned forward and glared at Mesmera. However, nothing seemed to happen, Mesmera looked on with confusion, trying to work out if Parasite had finally lost it.
“No, I’m won’t?” Said Mesmera. “I understand you want to imitate me, but I’m the one with hypnotic powers around here.”
“Not anymore,” replied Parasite, squinting her eyes as she continued to glare at Mesmera. Suddenly a loud cracking noise came from inside Parasite, causing her eyes to go wide. “I,” mumbled Parasite as a few more sickening cracks echoed through her body.
Parasite stiffened as her face twisted into a horrific grimace. Suddenly four thick, sharp legs burst out of her back as Parasite started to grow in size, letting out a low gurgling growl as she did.
“What the hell?” Gasped Mesmera. “You’ve got even uglier!”
Parasite didn’t respond to the insult as her body continued to transform, her latex rippled and twisted as a thick carapace formed around the new legs. By the time the transformation had finished, Parasite resembled a hulking beast, her face was just a black void and the four large spiked tendrils thrashed around wildly before digging themselves into the floor, lifting Parasite a few feet into the air.
Parasite let out a loud growl and dashed towards Mesmera, using her new spiked tendrils rather than her legs.
Mesmera dashed into a warehouse in an attempt to avoid this new creature, her mind racing as she tried to work out what she had just witnessed. She quickly clambered up a ladder and onto an overhead gantry, hoping that Parasite wouldn’t be able to climb.
Parasite burst into the warehouse, instantly looking up at Mesmera and growling like some kind of rabid animal. Mesmera stood as far back as she could, trying to buy herself some time to plan.
As Mesmera considered her options, Parasite moved forward, her legs hanging limply as the spikes from her back dug into the floor with each step. As she reached the ladder, one of the spikes stretched out to try and climb up the rungs, however, the tendril ripped the ladder clean off of the gantry, causing it to partially collapse.
Parasite let out another growl as she threw the ladder to the side with enough force to embed the ladder into the wall with a loud crunch. Parasite then moved to the wall and started to use her new tendrils to climb up the wall towards Mesmera.
The whole building shook as Parasite’s tendrils punctured the metal, Mesmera started to move again, realizing that she could likely use this to her advantage. She quickly ran towards the end of the gantry and started to jump up and down.
“Come here ugly!” She shouted, waving her arms wildly. “Come to get me! I’m right here!” She yelled. Parasite clambered onto the balcony and started to move across to Mesmera.
When Parasite got into striking distance Mesmera turned her eyes silver. “Look me in the eyes,” she said as she swayed back and forth quickly. Parasite stumbled a little bit as the silver filled her eyes, however, the spiked tendril still lashed out towards Mesmera, who quickly jumped off of the gantry to avoid the spike.
The tendril embedded in the wall with a loud crunch, the spike totally breaking through the wall. “Just as I thought,” nodded Mesmera. “Seems your new bits function separately from your brain!” She shouted, watching as Parasite pulled the tendril out of the wall, ripping part of the metal out with her. “What you waiting for? Don’t your new bits want to come and stab me?”
Parasite let out another savage growl as she jumped off the gantry and landed a little in front of Mesmera, cracking the concrete as she landed. As Parasite’s new tentacles moved to strike, Mesmera turned her eyes silver again for a few moments before rolling out of the way, causing Parasite to puncture the wall once more.
“So if they are not linked to the old brain, what is controlling them,” mumbled Mesmera. “Old parasite seems to almost be a passenger,” she continued as she ran to the other side of the building and started to jump and wave her arms again, causing Parasite to charge once more.
Mesmera repeated the strategy, waiting until Parasite was close and then quickly turning her eyes silver for a few seconds before jumping out of the way. “Seems that trying to hypnotize you throws you off a little,” pondered Mesmera as the building started to shake and creak. “Talking of being thrown off,” she added as she sprinted towards the door.
Parasite ripped a hole in the wall as she freed her tendril and started to charge again, running at Mesmera as fast as she could. Mesmera focused all of her power and took a deep breath, doing her best to prepare herself for what was about to happen. Parasite wobbled a little bit as the silver filled her eyes, suddenly one of the spiked tendrils gave out from under her, causing her to roll towards Mesmera.
Without thinking Mesmera jumped out of the warehouse, avoiding one of Parasite’s new limbs by mere centimeters. Parasite crashed into the side of the door, cracking the support beam in two. The whole warehouse shook wildly as the roof started to collapse due to the damage. Several beams crashed down onto Parasite as Mesmera pulled herself up off the ground.
With a large creaking sound the roof gave way, raining debris down onto the prone body of the latex woman. Dust filled the loading bay as the building continued to implode in on itself, Mesmera covered her mouth and tried to peer through the dust to keep track of Parasite, however, the cloud was too thick, forcing Mesmera to retreat.
By the time she had gotten far enough back to breathe the building had totally collapsed and the dust was starting to settle. Mesmera watched with a mixture of curiosity and anxiety, hoping that the collapse had shaken Parasite out of whatever fugue state she was in.
“Oh come on,” shouted Mesmera. “I know you Parasite, a little bit of rubble isn’t going to do you in.” The loading bay remained eerily quiet for a few minutes until a soft squelching sound leaked out from inside the rubble.
Mesmera prepared to fight, only to see a load of liquid latex slide through the cracks of the destroyed building, trickling along the concrete like a small black river. However, rather than heading towards Mesmera, the trickle turned away and headed into a drain, totally vanishing before Mesmera could think of a way to stop it.
“Well, going to have to deal with you next week,” sighed Mesmera before she gasped. “I didn’t deliver the food!” She shouted as she quickly started to run out of the industrial area, keen to get back to the studio before the delivery girl returned.
Mesmera ducked down and dashed through the alleyways, doing her best to avoid detection as she ran. She turned a corner and moved into an alleyway behind an office building, only to stop dead in her tracks as she saw a woman stood at the other end.
“Stop.” Said the woman with a grin on her face.
“I’ve got somewhere to be,” mumbled Mesmera, hoping that she could talk her way past this person.
“No, you don’t Mesmera.” Replied the woman, her smirk growing wider. “You’ve got nowhere to be.”
“Get out of my way,” growled Mesmera, preparing to fight.
“Loft?” Smiled the woman as she held out her hand. Suddenly a robotic crow landed in her palm and let out a soft caw before it transformed into a small winged talisman.
“I don’t have time for this,” groaned Mesmera.
“Let’s take to the skies!” Shouted the woman as she pressed a button on top of the talisman. Suddenly a load of metal appeared and attached itself to the girl. The last thing to form was a helmet that featured a long pointed metal beak.
Once the armor was in place the talisman flew up and embedded itself into the center of the helmet. “Prepare,” said the girl and the robot crow in unison. “The aerial scavenger, Carrion!”
“Very cute, but I think it is time for me to put a sheet over your cage,” replied Mesmera as she started to focus her powers. However, before her eyes could turn silver, she felt something push into the back of her head as a soft click echoed around the alleyway.
“I wouldn’t try that if I was you lass.” Echoed a familiar Scottish voice.
“Medic,” chuckled Mesmera. “Don’t try and scare me, I know MIST restricts you to electroshock rounds.”
“Doesn’t mean I can’t bring normal rounds,” replied Medic firmly, rubbing the gun barrel against Mesmera’s cowl. “Maybe you interrupted me when I was hunting deer.”
“Odd for a hunter to forget the primary rule,” laughed Mesmera as she went to spin and grab the gun, however before she could, two more women walked into the alleyway.
“I don’t think you should do that,” said Lady Oak firmly, moss forming under her feet with each step.
“You’re surrounded,” nodded a woman in a cybernetic Puma costume.
“Exactly,” said Lady Aria as she appeared from behind Mesmera. “You can’t hypnotize all of us at once, so don’t even try. This is easier if you come quietly.”
“All of you, for little old me?” Laughed Mesmera, running over her options in her head. “You really have lost your step,” she added as she lifted her hands up. “Also I’m not cuffed yet, too scared to come close to me?”
Lady Aria rolled her eyes, turning towards the building on the one side of the alley, clearly waiting for something. Mesmera could hear a lot of movement coming from inside the building, almost as if a lot of people were running around at once.
The girls stood in awkward silence for a few minutes. Mesmera tried to think of an escape plan, but right now, Aria was right, there was no way for her to easily escape.
After a while, a door opened and a woman in pink peeked out. “It is done, bring her in.” She nodded.
“You heard her,” said Medic, pushing the gun a little harder. “Get inside.”
“Gosh, this is very unlike you,” said Mesmera as the group led her inside the building. It was very clear that this place was some kind of office, however, it had been very quickly emptied out, half-finished food was sat on the desks and the computers were still on.
Mesmera was led to the center of the room as the women encircled her, the cold metal of Medic’s gun not leaving Mesmera’s head for a second.
“Are we ready?” Said, Carrion as she ran her eyes around the circle.
“I think so,” nodded Lady Oak as she pulled a small booklet from inside her suit.
“Exactly,” nodded the woman in the hat, leaning on her sword as she produced a similar book.
“We’re really doing this?” Asked Lady Aria. “This is the last chance to back out.”
“I think we should back out,” interrupted Mesmera sarcastically.
“I didn’t ask your opinion,” growled Aria.
“I trust Oak’s decision,” nodded Carrion.
“Then, we’ll start.” Nodded the woman as she adjusted her hat. “I’m recalling this meeting of MIST to order, everyone present is still present.”
“I would like to interrupt,” said Lady Oak. “I want to introduce a motion. The motion requests we declare a state of emergency and give the leader of MIST, Crimson, emergency powers.”
“I’ll allow it,” nodded Crimson. “All in favor?”
“Aye,” said Medic from behind Mesmera.
“In favor,” nodded Aria with a sigh.
“In favor,” said Carrion.
“In favor,” said the lady in the Puma costume.
“In favor,” said Electric Arrow as sparks danced along the metal table leg next to her.
“Motion carried,” nodded Crimson. “We are now in a state of emergency and I accept the emergency powers given to me under section twenty of the MIST charter.”
“Judge, jury, and executioner are you?” Interrupted Mesmera, laughing at Crimson.
“Quiet you,” growled Medic as gave Mesmera a shove.
“Using the emergency powers entrusted to me in sections forty and fifty of the MIST charter I am going to form a posse.”
“Please hurry up, I get it,” sighed Mesmera as she rolled her eyes. Crimson didn’t react to Mesmera’s insults and continued talking.
“Due to this, I am invoking section forty, subsection ten, and using my power to deputize. Mesmera, in return for forgiveness of your outstanding crimes, I hereby recruit you into service as an agent of MIST.”
“Wait. What?” Blinked Mesmera, her mouth falling open in shock. “You’re doing what?”
“Deputizing you,” replied Crimson with a smile. “And under emergency powers, refusing the offer for anything but medical or religious reasons is considered illegal.”
“How the hell do you have the power to do that? This isn’t the wild west!”
“It is amazing what laws people forget to remove from the books and with a good lawyer you can use those old laws to your advantage.”
“Also, why do you want me as a deputy?” Asked Mesmera.
“I don’t,” said Aria firmly.
“Wherever the Red Right Hand go, you seem to not be far behind.” Explained Lady Oak, glaring at Aria as she did. “Ulla’s report of the bank incident suggested you helped her out and you helped with Hype Girl.”
“I have terrible luck it seems,” replied Mesmera. “I can’t go out without one of you lot getting in my way.”
“I think you are not as bad as people make out,” smiled Crimson, walking closer to Mesmera and nodding at Medic. The second Crimson nodded, Medic lowered the gun and backed away from Mesmera a little.
“Then you are a terrible judge of character,” replied Mesmera sarcastically.
“I don’t know,” replied Crimson. “But right now I’m willing to gamble, I’m presuming your presence at the station means that you saw the broadcast earlier.”
“I might have.”
“Well, then you’ll know that Ulla is under the control of the Red Right Hand. They have brainwashed her and her sister.” Explained Crimson. “And you seem to be quite the expert mind controller.”
“You already have Hype Girl, why not use her?”
“She won’t work with us and even if she would she is likely to betray us to return to her former employer. You. Well, the bank and the docks gave you plenty of opportunities to align with the Red Right Hand, but you didn’t. You helped us.”
“I fought for my own safety.” Interrupted Mesmera. “I look out for myself, if that aligns with you, then that is just coincidence.”
“Then today is another coincidence.” Smiled Lady Oak. “We want Ulla back and I doubt you want another mind controller on your turf. Especially after what they did to Spectre.”
“Pulling at my desire for revenge? Not very classy of you Oak. Or does the forest have an ethical blindspot?” Smirked Mesmera.
Her brain was going at a hundred miles an hour as she considered what was going on. She did want to help Ulla and Hitomi, to free them from whatever the Red Right Hand had done to them, but at the same time, she didn’t want to make her change in allegiance seem too sudden, lest someone realize she was thinking with her heart as opposed to her head.
Lady Oak huffed a little at the insult, as Creme let out a sigh. “From where I stand lass,” interrupted Medic, “you don’t have much of a choice right now. So unless ya want us to cart you off to jail then you better take the offer.”
“Maybe I like the sound of jail?” Laughed Mesmera. “I mean I could sit around your base all day, eating your food. We both know within a day I would have every one of your guards dancing like my puppets. And by the end of the week, I would be free as a bird.”
“Or you’ll end up as a clay pigeon,” replied Medic, lifting her gun again, only to put it straight back down when Crimson glared at her.
“Mesmera,” said Crimson, obviously getting frustrated.
“Save it,” interrupted Mesmera. “I’ll work with you. But I have conditions.”
“You’re not in a position to demand conditions,” growled Aria, clenching her fists in rage.
“Let her speak,” replied Crimson. “We can find some common ground.”
“Good choice,” grinned Mesmera. “I’ll help you rescue Ulla. But don’t expect anything else, I’m not ratting on anyone and I’m not stopping crimes with you.”
“Agreed,” nodded Crimson.
“No trying to track me, or follow me.” Continued Mesmera. “Any funny business and I will not hesitate to break away from you.”
“We can work with that.” Replied Crimson. “We need a way to contact you, but I’m sure we can supply you with a burner phone.”
“Wonderful,” grinned Mesmera, offering out her hand. “I’m glad we could do business.”
“Me too,” smiled Crimson, shaking Mesmera’s hand firmly.
“Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got an errand to run,” said Mesmera, realizing that the delivery girl would likely have returned to the station to get her clothes back by now.
“Lady Oak will meet you back here within in the hour to deliver your phone and payment.” Nodded Crimson.
“Great!” Smiled Mesmera, running out of the building and towards the station.
By the time Mesmera got back to the television station, it was absolutely swarming with police. Mesmera hid in the alley behind the building and tried to work out how to find the delivery driver without alerting the police to her presence.
After a few minutes of stalking the building, Mesmera saw the driver walk out towards her moped. To Mesmera’s surprise she had her uniform on under Mesmera’s coat and her bag over her shoulder, she also had a police officer following a few steps behind her.
“I’m sorry for the bother,” said the officer.
“No worries,” said the woman. “I think I just panicked and passed out.”
“It happens,” nodded the officer. “Drive carefully and get some rest okay?”
“I will, thank you, officer, the boss would have killed me if I lost my uniform.”
“Don’t worry about it!” Grinned the police officer as he walked back into the building.
Mesmera breathed a sigh of relief, happy that no one had noticed her deception and that the delivery girl had found her clothes and bag. This meant that all Mesmera needed to do was retrieve her coat.
Mesmera snuck up on the girl and grabbed her by the shoulders and spun her around. “Look into my eyes,” said Mesmera as she channeled her power and covered the girl’s mouth. “Yes so sleepy, so very sleepy, so heavy and tired, all you want to do is fall and sleep, deeper and deeper.” Cooed Mesmera as the girl went limp in her arms.
Mesmera rocked the girl softly as she watched her eyes glaze over and glow silver as her mind slowly gave into Mesmera’s will. “Yes,” purred Mesmera. “Now, when I wake you up, you are going to forget that you ever met me, and you are also going to forget that you had a coat. You never had a coat, you can just let it fall out of your mind as you go and do everything else you need to do. Isn’t that right?”
“Right,” slurred the girl, lazily nodding her head as she continued to stare at Mesmera.
“Wonderful, good girl,” smiled Mesmera, gently sliding the coat off of the girl’s shoulders, gently sitting her on the moped seat as she did. Once the coat was off of the girl, Mesmera slipped it on and took a deep breath. “Okay, count backward from ten and then wake up, happy and refreshed,” commanded Mesmera as she crept back into the alley and away from the studio.
After a few seconds, the girl blinked and looked around, stretching a little bit as she gripped the handlebars of her moped. “Ugh, I can’t wait to get off shift,” she mumbled. “I need to get more sleep,” she added as she pulled out onto the main road.
Mesmera quickly made her way back to where MIST had accosted her, only to find a small package with her name on it atop a dumpster. She quickly tore it open. Inside was a sealed burner phone as well as a receipt dated thirty minutes prior.
Mesmera turned the box over in her hands to make sure nothing shady was afoot. Once she was convinced the phone hadn’t been modified to track her she shoved the box under her arm and made her way back home.
As Sharon pushed the door open she heard a familiar gasp from the living room. Sharon quickly moved inside only to see Mara sat on the couch. “Sharon!” She smiled, getting up and pulling Sharon into a tight hug.
“Hey!” Grinned Sharon as she softly rubbed Mara’s back.
“Need any patching up?” Giggled Mara as she pulled Sharon’s cowl off. “Sounds like a lot of stuff happened at the TV station!”
“Oh, what did you hear?” Blinked Sharon.
“They say a server short-circuited causing a fire,” said Alicia as she walked into the room. “That seemed like too much of a coincidence to be true. I mean what are the chances you go somewhere and then a fire just happens to start ?”
“Exactly!” Grinned Mara, wiggling a little bit as she did. “And Alicia asked me to cover over and help with something, so I thought I would wait for you to come home.”
“What have you two been up to?” Asked Sharon, looking between Mara and Alicia.
“We drank a lot of coffee,” said Mara as she burst into giggles.
“I asked Mara to come and help me run a test to see if my strength increases based on my heart rate.” Explained Alicia. “I had a theory that I might be missing smaller changes due to being too focused on getting super-strength.”
“Can’t see the forest for your muscles,” said Mara before laughing again.
“You two really have overdone it!” Smirked Sharon as she guided Mara onto the couch and held her tight.
“So? Anything exciting?” Asked Alicia.
“Well, I’m not sure if exciting is the right word,” mumbled Sharon. “I might be working for MIST.”
“What?!” Shouted Alicia, her mouth falling open in shock.
“They asked for my help. Well, rudely asked, but still asked.” Explained Sharon. “And well, I couldn’t turn them down.”
“What do they want from you?” Blinked Alicia.
“Ulla needs to be rescued from that black suit. And apparently, they don’t know enough about mind control to do it themselves.”
“So they came to you,” nodded Mara. “I’m proud of you.” She said as she leaned in and kissed Sharon on the cheek.
“Really?” Blushed Sharon.
“Yeah, not every day a government agency decides that you are the woman for the job.”
“So is this permanent?” Asked Alicia.
“No.” Replied Sharon. “This is a one and done. I rescue Ulla and then that is it.”
“And how do we do that?”
“We don’t,” said Sharon as she pointed at Alicia. “I’ve seen what that black armor does to a person. It isn’t something I feel confident fighting, let alone sending you against. Actually talking of changes.” Continued Sharon as she turned to Mara. “I saw something else weird today.”
“Well, remember I mentioned someone able to stretch their body?”
“I do.” Bounced Mara.
“I ran into her today, she drank something and then grew these, horrific insect-like legs and increased massively in size.”
“That seems, well I’ve never heard of anything like it,” said Mara, her eyes going wide.
“The new legs seemed to function separately from the person, almost like a parasite.”
“That is so weird,” gasped Mara. “I would need a sample to test before I could even start to theorize about it.
“I thought as much,” nodded Sharon, squeezing Mara again.
“I think you need to relax a little bit,” winked Mara.
“The bedroom is free,” giggled Alicia. “I’m going for a run anyway, I need to get rid of some of my energy.”
“Alicia,” laughed Sharon, waving her hand dismissively.
However, to Sharon’s surprise, Alicia actually went and pulled her sneakers on before jogging out of the door and down the street. “Oh she was actually serious,” blinked Sharon.
“Me, you, bedroom,” purred Mara as she grabbing Sharon by the hand and dragged her upstairs.
Once they were upstairs, Mara crawled onto the bed and smiled up at Sharon. “How may I please you, Mistress?” She purred, wiggling her butt to add emphasis to her statement.
“Coffee really gets you going,” chuckled Sharon as she sat on the end of the bed.
“You get me going,” giggled Mara as she lay back on the bed and spread her legs.
“Oh gosh,” smiled Sharon, slowly moving up the bed with a smile on her face.
“I’ve got just the prescription to cure what ails you,” whispered Mara. “But it has to be taken orally.”
“Yes, Doctor,” smiled Sharon, spiraling her finger up Mara’s thigh.
After all of the pain and all of the running, the physical pleasure was a wonderful reprieve for Sharon’s body and spirit. She entwined herself with Mara and let the day fade into the background, for a few brief hours, there was nothing outside of her little bedroom.
As the pleasure in their bodies reached the crescendo Sharon grabbed Mara’s head and kissed her deeply, staring deeply into her eyes as they both let out dreamy sighs and fell asleep in each other’s arms, cherishing the closeness and the companionship.