[font "Times New Roman" [center [b Hero] is the only one [b Villain] trusts to stop her. After all, Hero is fast, efficient, smart, and strong. They've been going at it for more than five years now.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center Stealing the Mona Lisa? [b Hero] was there. Assassinating North Korean officials? She was there too. Planting bombs on a new NASA spacecraft? Caught red-handed. [b Villain] has been to jail more times than anyone can count, but there isn't one on the face of the Earth that can hold her.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center He first surfaced somewhere in the States, garnering followers to end the age of villains and to punish the "inadequate" heroes who can't keep them under control. His movement stirred up a worldwide frenzy.]
[font "Times New Roman" [center Two weeks after his initial announcement, he had a lineup of ten well-known villains and three heroes. He publicly executed all 13.]]
[center [pic https://img.clipartxtras.com/37c27e46ac43eb60b11dda2362dc58d7_monochrome-demon-tumblr-tumblr-devil-drawing_416-234.jpeg]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center First, there was panic. Then there was outcry. Now there is fear.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center Heroes and Villains alike are being reported to Devil and his followers. Some heroes are incarcerated, some are killed, and all Villains are publicly executed. There has been a steep drop in crime worldwide, especially the States where Devil began. Even petty criminals have ducked their heads and run.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center [b Villain] didn't much care for the theatrics and truly didn't believe Devil was even real. Mid-heist in a vault of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, [b Hero] showed up. Started doing all her hero shit, as usual.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center Devil himself came next, spouted some Bible scriptures, and proceeded to seriously maim [b Hero].]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center For once, there was fear in [b Villain's] heart. She barely escaped Devil with her [b Hero] under her arm.]]
[font "Times New Roman" [b Notable:] The [b Hero] and [b Villain] are main characters, but [i Devil] is a very important (obviously) side character. Genres include, action, adventure, suspense, superheroes , etc. Feel free to indulge my gay heart with eventual romance. I expect, at the risk of sounding like an asshole with lack of better words, someone literate. Pictures preferred to be real if used - diverse cast sorely wanted. Choose your preferred role and don't hesitate to PM me with questions, concerns, and requests for elaboration.]
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[font "Times New Roman" Scorpion could almost gag while listening to Lucky. The prick didn't even have good [i game]. It was a miracle girls actually fell for this kinda thing. The women Scorpion consorted with would never fall for such lines—maybe the fact that Lucky attracted idiots like this was simply a reflection of the man himself.
Fulmina’s expression when they locked eyes almost prompted a laugh out of the villain, but she disappeared into a portal before anything could register. Lucky’s mansion was basic in its decorations. None of it looked personal. He was a man ruled by money and sex—
[i the pot calls the kettle black]
She shook the thought out of her head as she slipped into another warp, coexisting and nonexistent at the same time. This made it almost too easy to play poltergeist.
Salena crept ahead of the group once she heard the destination: the master bedroom. It was easy to slide up the stairs, blending into shadows when necessary and disappearing altogether when necessary. She wondered if anyone on staff had powers—that would make things a bit more difficult.
Briefly, she tried to recount just how many men Lucky [i had]. Statistically, at least some of them had to be powers-for-hire. And there were enough of them for them to be an organized force when faced with a crisis, i.e. try to take out the good guys and bad guys when Devil came. There were too many for the two women to subdue faster than they could begin reacting. So if they decided to band together and fight a war on two fronts, it would be a major pain in Salena’s neck.
[i some of them just aren’t going to make it. fine by me.]
The villain adjusted the mask around her mouth as she slipped under Lucky’s bed, peering out and waiting for the group. Even though everything was going completely according to plan, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. It was like a nagging voice in the back of her head. Her nerves were being bombarded with anxiety—something unusual in itself.
Her ears strained to listen, but nothing was out of the ordinary. Not here, anyway.
She opened a portal out of the room and back into the foyer, where she’d previously been. It was quiet. What could—
[i [b it’s quiet.]]
Her heart leaped out of her chest as she realized the weight of that statement.
[i earlier there were footsteps you could hear the rotations now it’s--]
Horror and fear worked its way into her heart. They’d been… played. Seemed the Trickmaster wasn’t the idiot he pretended to be and played so well. It was almost ironic, like karma.
Salena stuck her hand through a portal, claws spread over Lucky’s throat, and slowly pulled herself through after. She held him close enough to threaten to draw blood if he so much as swallowed.
[b “What did he--the Devil!-- promise [i you?]”] she growled, her hands almost aching to take his life. The man was bent slightly to get closer to her level, but there was no fear in his eyes. He held his hands up in surrender but offered no other indication that he was beaten.
“Immunity,” Lucky said solemnly. His demeanor changed from a sexy, aloof playboy to a grave, hardened man. He didn't question what was happening, who was asking, [i nothing]. He didn't need to.
[b “And what are you giving him?”]
“The Scorpion. Did you think I wouldn’t recognize you? You didn’t even try to disguise yourself.” He spit on the floor in front of him, prompting Salena to flex the blades she’d turned her claws into. “Fuck you. I don’t owe you anything.”
That was the light at the end of the tunnel. Salena could barely keep herself from laughing at his idiocy. He recognized her, but not Fulmina, so their plan could still work! The point was to surprise Devil by working together, so if he’d only been tipped off about her… then maybe…
[b “You’re so stupid,”] she muttered, forcing him to his knees. The golden-eyed woman reached her free hand through a portal and produced one of her prized pistols, pointing it at one of the random girls he’d brought in from outside. [b “You. Stand over there. Empty your pockets.”] She gestured with the muzzle of her gun to the spot she was referring to. [b “You next. Then you. And you. And you—you make sure the pockets are clean. I don’t like surprises.”] She directed the last command to Fulmina, hoping her hero hormones wouldn’t pop out all of sudden and she’d just go with it.
“That’s not the best part,” Lucky added, a distant smile appearing on his face. “The best part is I’m going to kill him. I know he won’t let me live. Not me.” He laughed then, sounding like a maniac. Salena kind of felt bad for him. Even she could tell the fear and paranoia had gotten the best of him. “My men, they’re all going to get him. All the people I hired; we’re going to jump him. Let me go, Scorpion! You’re just BAIT.”
Salena scoffed. To be honest, he played directly into their hands. Now Devil was coming, though a bit sooner than expected—she wondered if Saint’s information had been faked or if Devil was going to backstab Lucky at some point anyway.
She considered killing him. He planned to do it to her. Devil was going to slaughter all of his men, then take them both. He didn’t think twice about her.
[i i want you to hurt]
Scorpion raised the gun and imagined herself putting it to his head and pulling the trigger, but she instead used it to put him out of commission. She stood over him and stretched lightly, gold eyes boiling with something untraceable. Two of the girls were shaking, one tried to cling onto Fulmina, and the other was staring Scorpion down. The look she was giving Salena reminded her of Fulmina.
[b “What’s your name, sweetheart?”] she asked with a smirk playing on her lips under the mask. The girl didn’t break eye contact but didn’t answer, either. [b “Cold shoulder ‘cause I knocked out your hero crush?”]
There were another couple of awkward, silent seconds before the girl jumped up and started blabbering about how happy she was to meet her all-time favorite villain—it was so sudden and loud Salena almost shot her out of pure reflex.
[b “A fan, huh?”] She grinned, her ego clearly out of control. She looked at her hero counterpart and raised her eyebrows repeatedly as if to say, ‘not too bad, huh?’
“I can’t believe I get to meet you, Scorpion!” she gushed, visibly blushing. The other girls were looking less afraid and more worried for the kinda person that would praise a villain. “I heard about what happened at that bank, and how Fulmina almost got you killed. I was so worried…”
“Yeah, you almost died. And Fulmina would be boring without you, like how you’d be boring without her. My best friend is a Fulmina fan and this is, like, the one thing we can agree on.”
[b “Fulmina’s lame, trust me.”] She dipped her head to Fulmina. [b “Isn’t she, random girl number three? What would [i Fulmina] do right now if she were here?”]]
The mansion was as gaudy as its owner. Fulmina's eyes tracked over gilded couches with deep emerald cushions. The carpet was a creamy vanilla, the wall goldenrod. Portraits of Lucky vied with expensive art for wallspace, which, in turn, mingled with framed newspaper and magazine clippings thanking Lucky for his service. Little bits of memorabilia were framed, cased, or otherwise displayed; bits from villains or their weapons, a piece or two of 'borrowed' loot. Lucky led them past it all as if it were nothing, gliding on through and past. The girls gaped, amazed. After a second, Fulmina realized she should do the same, and did her best to copy them.
[i How tacky,] she thought, looking the walls up and down. Maybe they should just let him die.
She shook her head. She couldn't think that! Tackiness was not a sin punishable by death.
"Hey, pretty thing, what's got your face all twisted up?" Lucky asked, suddenly in her face. Startled, Fulmina pulled away. Lucky followed her, one arm winding around her waist. "Don't you make that face. You look so much prettier when you smile."
[i Ugh. Puke.] Fulmina gritted her teeth. She forced herself to smile at him. [i Remember you're bait. Don't punch him. No matter what, don't punch him.]
"You're so sweet," she said, carefully extricating herself from his arms. "This mansion is amazing. I've never seen anywhere so gorgeous."
Her voice was so sickly sweet that it sounded fake, even to her. A tiny thrill of fear sounded in her stomach. If Lucky noticed now, before they'd even gotten anywhere...
"Isn't it, babe?" Lucky said, pushing back his hair and giving her what was probably meant to be a sultry smirk. "Wait 'til you see the bedroom." A wink. Fulmina put a hand to her mouth and tried to force herself to blush. She wasn't quite sure she managed it. Mostly, all she felt was fury. [i What an ass.] So all he was doing was leading the girls in for some kind of freaky orgy or something? It wasn't a surprise, but it was [i so] unsurprising that it made her want to puke. Honestly. Couldn't men think of anything else?
A flicker of motion caught her eye. She turned and caught sight of Scorpion for just a bare moment. Fulmina made a puking face. Honestly, she'd gotten the rougher job of the two of them. Who wanted to stroke this asshole's ego?
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Waves are better than curls,"] Salena grumbled, her golden eyes flickering to Fulmina--or Ava, whatever--cautiously. No [i way] was that goody two-shoes prettier than her. She was way sexier. By a damn mile. But whatever... let the girl's head get big... They made eye contact when Fulmina looked back because Salena had been staring into the doorway to memorize it, and it was kind of ironic to really take a moment to think about the situation. It could almost make her laugh.
Someone very close was crying. Stupid girl had burst into tears when Lucky didn't pick her. Golden eyes searched the crowd and weren't amazed to find that the girl was ugly. Butt ass ugly. As much as Scorpion loved women, she wouldn't have picked her either.
Thick brows pulled low as Salena turned quickly and exited the crowd. Some of the people started booing after Lucky's closed doors like it would make him grow a conscience and bring him back. Whatever. The desperation of it all made her uncomfortable.
More people began pulling up. Once safely out of sight, Salena disappeared into a portal that took her back to her room. She wasted no time stripping and getting redressed in her typical outfit: simple black catsuit, utility belt, and clawed gloves. This was one of the only times she'd put a mask over her face, and it was one she hadn't worn since her first debuts as a villain: a lower-half face mask with a skull on it. She'd stopped wearing it because she felt it didn't fit her anymore, but this seemed like cause for it. It almost seemed fitting. She captured her hair in a tight bun to prevent anyone grabbing onto it. Lord knew she'd kill someone if anything happened to her hair.
She conjured a tiny portal and stuck her face through it the slightest she could to still be able to see while remaining discreet. Opening portals to places she'd physically been before was always easier, but places she'd seen could be possible as long as she thought extremely hard about them. Places she'd never seen or been to ended in disaster.
[i all those kids!!! all those kids all those kids all those kids all]
No one was in the foyer of Lucky's mansion. Heavy footsteps echoed around the corner. She could hear a man mumbling into some kind of communication device; he was probably relaying that his area was clear. She slipped through the portal, tiptoeing across the floorboards. She couldn't be sure they would creak so she tried to keep stealthy and undetected, peeking around a corner before darting across the open area. A pair of footsteps stopped and she heard a gun cock back. Salena paused to figure out of whoever it was had discovered her. If he started shooting, the plan was over.
She disappeared back through a portal and watched him enter the area with his gun drawn. He checked every corner and crevice before moving on, mumbling into his device again that he didn't find anyone. Maybe they weren't such amateurs after all.
Scorpion reentered the room after he left it. Adrenaline rushed through her body. Everything felt on edge, electric. She loved it. The sense of danger didn't much scare her any more than it excited her these days.
It was a long time before she could catch up to Lucky's tour group. He was complimenting the girls, of course; Scorpion rolled her eyes at the cheesy lines those idiots were just eating up. She spotted Fulmina and thought about trying to get her attention in some way, but didn't want to risk getting caught. She crept slowly behind the group, careful of the sweeping security. ]
"I should be saying that to you," Ava replied with a smirk. She wasn't too pleased about this either, but Scorpion had a grimace like someone had just stepped on her grave. It was honestly kind of amusing. The mighty, unflappable Scorpion, finally disgusted by something? How hilarious. She held it silently as something to remember on the long, dark nights when nothing was gong right. Even villains had bad days, eh? She primped her hair and flashed a winning smile in the man's direction, not so subtly showing off her curves. She had a nicer body than most of the women here. Worked harder for it, too. Heroing was no easy work. If she wasn't at the top of her game, she'd be dead.
And then Lucky picked her.
The smirk got even wider. She glanced at Scorpion, who looked like she'd just bit into a lemon. Oh dear. Was she more attractive than her longtime enemy? Though at the same time, it was a bittersweet feeling. A [i man] had gone and decided she was prettier. What the fuck did she care about that? She [i knew] she was prettier than Scorpion already. She didn't need anyone's validation, much less fuckboy-fade Lucky's.
"Oh [i darling,] you just keep convincing yourself you've got a chance against these curls," Ava said, primping her hair again. She shot her longtime rival a grin. "I've dealt with men before. I will have no problems." Flounce around like a floozy, hate herself for it, and get the job done. That was all there was for it. "If I find a backdoor, I'll leave it unlocked for you."
The security guard arrived. She lifted her arms in the air and gave him a winning smile, letting him lead her by the wrist out of the crowd. Lucky was a shrimp beside her, absolutely dwarfed by her. Still, he didn't seem to mind. She followed his gaze. Yes, of course. As she'd expected, the face-height tits had a lot to do with that. It made her want to gag. [i Men.] Was there such a thing as a good one?
"Shall we?" Lucky asked, putting his arms around them as he led them into the mansion. Ava shot one last look back at Scorpion before the doors swung shut behind her, swallowing her up.
[font "Times New Roman" While their plan wasn't necessarily ruined, this was a bit of an inconvenience. Lucky them to stumble upon Lucky's mansion with a [i SPRING BREAK BLITZ] going on, huh? This meant even more variables had to be accounted for...
Fulmina's awe at the mansion only confirmed Scorpion's earlier suspicion: the damn girl was broke. Being a hero literally had no perks now. Didn't they have unions or something? They were [i really] going out of their way to stop people out of the kindness of their hearts?
[i absolutely insane. couldn't be me]
[i even though it almost was]
[i maybe in another life]
The company already looked annoying. Scorpion tucked the keys inside her pocket and scanned the crowds for anyone notable. Nothing--for the most part everyone looked like the average, unremarkable college student.
Salena rocked back and forth on the balls of her feet as she considered their options. She caught a part of a conversation about how handsome Lucky was and had to resist visibly gagging.
Then the man himself came out. He was handsome, but not in any way that was interesting or new. He had the fuckboy haircut with the fade, connected mustache and beard, muscular. His smile was nice but his eyes were difficult to read. Under it all he was a con man. She would know--it takes one to know one. His skin was even, fair, tanned. What heroing did he even do?
His biggest shame was that he was short. Maybe like five seven. Salena thought it was hilarious.
Everyone was screaming. Salena, extremely annoyed, tried to block it out. He stood there, all proud of himself in front of these barely legal girls. Some of his security came into the crowds and started pushing the surging girls back. There were some men, too; no one knew exactly what Lucky was into. Did it matter?
"I'll pick five lucky girls to give a personal tour," he announced. His predatory smile spanned the width of his face. "And I'm feeling generous! The doors will open again in two hours--to give [i everyone a tour]! HAPPY SPRING BREAK!!"
The girls screeched enough to shatter Scorpion's eardrum. One girl stepped on her foot in all her excitement and Salena came extremely close to throwing her as far as her strength would allow.
[i blonde fucker would deserve it, too]
"You." The man wasted no time in picking out the prettiest girls. Salena felt it was no contest since she and Fulmina were probably the most exotic out of the bunch, and despite all her flaws, the hero wasn't ugly.
[b "Look excited,"] she said to herself in an attempt to make it real. The unhappiness might just be showing on her face. The forced smile wasn't necessarily better.
Security pulled girls out that Lucky chose. He chose Fulmina--well, Ava--fourth. His eyes lingered on Salena's and for a moment she felt like maybe he recognized her. But he just smiled and picked some other girl a couple spots to the left.
The Indian woman's fury barely stayed in her body. She couldn't lose it right now--they still had a plan. It just had to be altered a bit. And while she'd have preferred to be [i invited] into Lucky's place, she was a master thief, and his security wasn't a problem. She could make this happen.
It was having all these extra people in the house that would present the biggest problem.
[b "Don't go thinking you're cuter than me, princess,"] she said in a low voice to Fulmina as the security started venturing into the crowd to collect her. [b "Be safe, be vigilant, and [i avoid] lying if you can. You do a horrible job."]]
Fulmina shrugged. "I dunno, I was hoping you'd have an idea," she said. "Just make up some gibberish that sounds real and he won't know." She doubted he had an encyclopedic knowledge of colleges in Italy. Or India. She wasn't about to assume Scorpion's nationality from her race, being part-Somali and Italian herself, but she did have a bit of an accent.
The car traveled on. She dozed off in the passenger's seat until Scorpion spoke up again. Or no, not Scorpion. Rajani. Right. Had to remember their fake names.
She looked up at the house on the hill. Damn. Now that was some nice real estate. "Wish I got that kind of money from heroing," she complained, shaking her head at the building. She could barely support her little apartment, let alone a mansion with its own security team and full amenities. Then again, her powers weren't 'luck,' and she'd never moonlighted as a successful villain, so here she was.
The car nosed into the front gates. A party bus was there already, and a bunch of hot single women were hanging out in the front of the yard. Scorpion furrowed her brows. What was up? Why were they-- and then she caught sight of the banner.
"SPRING BREAK BLITZ!" it read, draped over the side of the bus. Fulmina--no, Ava-- winced. Oh boy. Looked like their cover story was a little too realistic.
"At least we'll fit in?" she offered, glancing at Rajani. They were a bit older than the average bimbo, but she wasn't [i that] much older, and she'd been told she had a baby face, so they had a chance, right? She waited for Rajani to stop the Jeep and stepped out, joining the girls milling about the courtyard.
"Excited for the tour?" one blonde, tan girl asked another identical one. A high-pitched giggle was all she got in return. Ava rolled her eyes to herself. The conversation was going to be great.
The double doors slammed open, and Lucky himself strode out onto the porch. He placed his hands on his hips and surveyed the crowd. "Good to see you all!" he said with a booming voice. Ava cringed as she caught him licking his lips as his eyes roamed the excited, screeching blondes. This was going to be great.
[font "Times New Roman" Salena didn't want to admit that Fulmina had a point. She had such a goody-two-shoes image that pretty much anything could ruin it. And it's not like their involvement would be kept a secret especially if this worked. Hell, even if it didn't work the word would probably still get out...
She figured maybe she could pretend to come on to Lucky. Maybe she could even not kill him if he touched her.
[b "Yeah we definitely can't send them away too early,"] the villain noted as she periodically sent the car through portals and ended up further down the highway. At least she assumed it was a highway, but wasn't sure since they were so far out in the country. She didn't bring a phone because she didn't want to find out Devil had some tech genius on his staff that could track it. That would definitely put a damper on things. [b "Maybe soon after Devil shows up. They'll be the first line of defense and he'll expect the poor fuckers. It would be odd not to have them there."]
She thought back to earlier when she tried to pass Jessica off as her real name. Fulmina had actually laughed at her, so she shied away from suggesting it. Could she really not pull off Jessica?
[b "Rajani,"] she said quietly after a moment. Raj for short. It was her sister's name and her own middle name... Their mother had thought it would be so cute to name her Rajani Salena and Scorpion the opposite. The Indian woman's hands gripped the wheel tighter, forcing herself to swallow a lump in her throat. Fuck. Would she ever see her again?
It had been years since they'd been together in person, but Salena still checked in from time to time in the shadows. Their father was aging but he was strong. Rajani was beautiful... well, they were identical twins, so it was kind of a self-compliment, but it was the effort that counted.
She cast Fulmina a long look at the suggestion of 'Stella'. What was she supposed to be, a thirteen-year-old white girl? Hard pass.
[b "Yeah? And what college do we go to, genius?"] Her eyes flickered to a billboard that boasted Lucky's mansion as a must-see. The gates were grand and opened in the picture as if it were a real estate ad. Lucky stood off to the side with his slicked-back dark hair and smiled at the camera. It almost looked earnest. It made her skin crawl.
[i Left in two miles,] the billboard yelled in huge block letters. No problem. Two more miles of suffering wouldn't kill her... well, not this time anyway.
[center [size20 - xxx -]]
Salena parallel parked the jeep alongside a series of shops. She tapped the steering wheel for a moment, golden eyes set dead ahead. Lucky's mansion sat on a hill overlooking the city. Arrogant, idiot move.
She looked at her watch. 2:15. They were a little late. It was fine, though, she just had to adjust their schedule by a few minutes...
The woman cracked her neck and exhaled a breath to try to get rid of some stress. [b "Well. Here we are. And there"] she pointed up the hill [b "he is. We're really doing this shit now."]]
"I don't do seduction either," Fulmina replied sharply. "Can you imagine? Fulmina, seducing someone. It would destroy everything I've built. Someone sees me seducing once, and suddenly I'm a powerless hussy-slut who can only rely on men to succeed." She tossed her hair. "You be reasonable. I cannot seduce him. It would be the end of my career."
It seemed like neither of them was going to break and seduce him. She gave out a sigh. "What if we just charm our way past the guards, and no one seduces Lucky? We'll simply avoid the man until time comes. With your powers, that should be simplicity itself."
She snorted at Scorpion's alternate solution. "It's the same as I would do," she said with a bit of a smile. "Let's make it the plan, then. Or perhaps we should hide, and wait until the last moment to send them away? We don't want the Devil to notice ahead of time that strange things are happening."
Either way, it sounded like they had the makings of a plan. Sneak inside, then take out Lucky's security and secure the man himself somewhere and wait for The Devil to show up. A thought struck her, and Fulmina glanced at Scorpion.
"We need names," she said. "Not your real name, of course. But we cannot introduce ourselves as Scorpion and Fulmina. What do you think? I was thinking Ava for me." It was close enough to her real name to get her attention when she was called, but not her actual name, so Scorpion couldn't figure it out so easily. "How about you? How about Stella?"
Stella and Ava. It made them sound like siblings. She glanced at the darker-skinned woman. They didn't look like siblings, not in the least. Maybe Scorpion had a better idea for her own name, but either way, they needed some kind of cover. And a cover story.
"Hmm, and how about we're here on vacation?" she suggested. "It's break from college, and we're here to par-tay!" Fulmina waved her hands in the air with that last one, to get into the mood. She grinned at Scorpion. The woman looked tense, but honestly, this sounded like a lot of fun. She never staked out a place. It was a nice departure from the usual.
[font "Times New Roman" Salena could only hope she wasn't wearing her fear outright on her face. When she robbed places, she mapped them out for weeks at a time so as not to make a mistake. Sometimes things went wrong, sure, but for the most part they're things to be expected and prepared for. This? This was a whole different monster. This put butterflies rampant in her gut.
[b "Whoa, girl, who said [i I] was seducing the prick? I specifically said you were doing it."] The woman gave her temporary partner a wild look as she revved up the engine to push it up a hill. None of her other cars would've done as well in this environment; she loved this jeep with all of her heart. [b "I don't play well with boys, but even if I did, it makes the most sense for me to do the recon. Do you even know how? All you do is barge in, lightning bolts at the ready and follow all the signs that point to me. C'mon, sweetheart, be reasonable."] The idea of even pretending to 'get it on' with lucky sent a disgusting vomit taste into her mouth. It was an unsavory thought to entertain.
Grass flew by as they got on more level ground and Salena pushed the speedometer over sixty. Her fingers drummed on the steering wheel as she tried to contemplate their options. [i Was] it the smarter option to send her in there with him? Would Lucky know who she was if he saw her face? It's not like it was a secret what she looked like since she never wore a mask. Did he care enough about other people to memorize faces? She could distract him as Fulmina walked around the place--but would she know what to look for? Would she know how to communicate things back to her?
She'd tried opening portals to places she'd never been before.
[i i was a hero once]
It scared her now. And it haunted her every day.
[i they were so young
but so was i
was it really my fault?
i just wanted to help i was trying to help they were stuck i was not stuck so i thought i'd try to help i thought maybe i could use my powers now maybe i could i could i could
the portal was red. i thought it was fine
and where where where where
did it send them?
i thought it would be fine i
[b She blinked the intrusive thoughts away as if it would blink them out of existence. Her mind was scattered all over the place, knocked off its orbit by a mix of fear and adrenaline. "I'll knock him out. Deadass, if I'm stuck with him, I'm putting him directly to sleep."] Scorpion lapsed into silence for a moment. [b "We'll lay a nice trap for Devil... All of Lucky's security will be tight... And during the fight they'll just get in the way and add to Devil's 'Stupid People I've Killed' list. What if I just send them all somewhere? And Lucky too. Get his selfish ass out of the way... Then it'll just be the three of us."] Her lip quirked up following the statement. The jeep finally turned out onto a road with no other cars on it. [b "Not my ideal threesome, but I guess it's what I'm stuck with."]]
She snorted as Scorpion complained and vanished into a portal. Lightning could be a bit harsh, the first time. At least the woman hadn't hesitated to snuggle, though, amusingly, it only confirmed her earlier suspicions. No amount of snark could convince her Scorpion wasn't totally into her at this point. Whether or not she returned the feelings, she still wasn't sure. Scorpion was a criminal, for one. A woman, too, though that didn't bother her too much. At least she'd know how to get another woman off, not something every man she'd dated before had been capable of.
Thunder rumbled, the remnant of her strike. Fulmina glanced up, giving the overcast sky a look. The whereabouts of Ireland and England were easy places for her to reach, since they were almost always overcast, if not actively raining. It was odd to think that Scorpion had never come here before, as often as she'd fought crime here. It wasn't as though Scorpion was the only criminal she fought, but it was so strange to think that she'd never been to a place Fulmina had been to so many times before. As often as they'd fought, and they'd never fought here? She stared out at the Emerald Isle, lush green of the rolling hills reflected by the low sky. Strange that they'd fight together for the first time in what had to be one of the few places they'd never fought each other before.
She didn't like this. The rushed nature. The rushing into it, the lack of training, the lack of practice. It was her perfectionist nature, her need to do something right the first time, but it was also a very real concern. If they messed up this time, in front of the world's most dangerous villain, they might not survive.
A roar sounded from nearby. She flinched just in time for a car to come roaring out of a nearby portal, Scorpion at the helm. It was too late for doubts, wasn't it? Fulmina snorted and shook her head. "You're the one kicking up mud," she complained, but kicked her toes on the step on the way in anyways, kicking off imaginary mud. She was wearing white fishtoes, because heels were not the gear to wear into enemy territory, action movies be damned.
"So, strategy," she started. "After you seduce Lucky, then what? I can run reconnaissance while you keep him busy in the bedroom. Map out the place, look for vantage points. One of our strongest points will be the surprise of the teamup, so when the Devil actually appears, it might be best if you stay hidden until the moment to make our final move." Fights could come down to seconds; she'd experienced that often enough herself. If they could catch the villain by surprise, they'd stand a better chance than if he could get his shield up, or use any of his other mysterious powers. It was a huge disadvantage to not know his powers, but what could they do? They hadn't traded blows with him enough to learn them.
[font "Times New Roman" Lady Consort? The words were interesting and new, earning a quizzical look from the villain as the unlikely allies went outside.
She didn't see much outside the lair during the day. It was beautiful, she knew, but it still caught her by surprise every time. It was like a place left untouched by man save for her hideout interrupting the peace. The sound of nature was all-encompassing; almost overwhelming in its volume. The sheer size of the trees was intimidating. The stretch of woods to the far left of the lair looked like they had secrets to tell, lives to take. They were nice to run through but there was always that "what if?" that lingered just out of her line of sight. Sometimes it was terrifying. Most times it was beautiful.
Salena flinched at first when Fulmina grabbed her, unfamiliar with the contact and completely caught by surprise by it. But she didn't argue against it in the slightest, instead opting for a little smirk. She said nothing as she put her head on the slightly taller girl's shoulder, getting extremely comfortable and close. Like everything with Fulmina, it just felt so... easy.
They waited there like that for several moments, just standing in this awkward sort of... [i hug] before Scorpion finally severed the silence and said [b "What, is the lightning machine broke?"] She was getting ready to lift her head up to complain when a bright white light surrounded them like a pillar reaching into the sky. Scorpion's immediate reaction was to squeeze Fulmina ever closer as if that would make it stop. She was pretty sure she was crushing the poor girl but couldn't convince herself to loosen her grip.
When they landed, her legs gave out. Scorpion lay in a heap on the ground gagging. Her skin tingled pleasantly and everything felt rejuvenated, but her stomach? That was a different story.
[b "Fuck Ireland,"] she muttered as she picked herself up off the ground and dusted herself off. There was nothing but rolling hills in every direction. She walked on wobbly legs into a portal with no more commentary. The woman was gone for several minutes before she came roaring back through a bigger portal several yards off driving a red Jeep. The monster sat on huge wheels with blacked out rims, a three inch lift, LED light bar--
[b "Get in,"] she called over to the curly-haired hero. [b "We're some miles away from Lucky's brothel. Let's talk strategy. And, please: knock the dirt off your shoes before you climb in my baby, will you?"]]
She set the sword beside Scorpion's guns. She could summon it when she needed it, but it was better to have multiple options available, in case there wasn't enough electric charge in the air to summon it immediately. Or, who knew? Maybe Scorpion could summon it and use it as an element of surprise. Anything against the Devil. He was no weak opponent.
And that was it. She wasn't like Scorpion; she was a simple woman. Preferred to stick with what worked, master one task, instead of chase down a hundred different weapons. It was her style. The suit she also laid out on the bed, not sure what else to do with it. It wouldn't fit under this shirt or these shorts, either of them.
Princess. Scorpion could be too flippant for her tastes. Was almost always too flippant for her tastes, if she was honest. She sighed to herself and shook her head. "Well then, Lady Consort, let us go outside," she said, gesturing wildly with one hand as she ducked into a deep, formal bow.
Outside, the weather was nice; hardly a cloud in the sky. Not great for summoning lightning. Thoughtfully, she brushed a hand through her hair, feeling for static electricity. Hmm... it was very dry out. She might be able to pull some heat lightning down, if she tried. It'd be a bit odd, but she didn't care if she gave away Scorpion's secret base. One of many secret bases, she might add.
Fulmina wrapped an an arm around Scorpion's waist and pulled her closer, up against her. There wasn't an option. If Scorpion was too far away from her, she'd get just as zapped as she feared she might be. "Hold on tight," Fulmina warned, then reached her hand up to the sky.
For a long moment, there was nothing. Fulmina could feel the charge building around her, racing into the sky, though she knew Scorpion, or any ordinary human, would feel nothing. She was much more sensitive to charge than most people, due to the nature of her powers. Her power poured up into the sky, more and more, until--
Light flashed all around them, the electricity resounding through her body. She felt alive, invigorated, a goddess amongst men, flying at the speed of light, faster; then they started to come back down, rocketing towards a small green island that grew larger and larger until they hit the earth with a heavy impact, standing beside a singular, now gently-smoking tree in the middle of a rolling field.
"Ireland," she announced with a grin, tossing her hair. Traveling by lightning felt so nice! She always felt so invigorated afterwards, like she'd just taken a nap or run a hundred yards.
[font "Times New Roman" "How is it my job?"
Salena rolled her eyes and ignored the question.
[i because i don't want to do it]
While her own suit did need to be stitched up, she didn't really feel like doing it. Besides, hers was so plain and simple that it was easy to get more, so she had several on standby in various bases. The sewing machine was a last ditch effort in case she went through all of her backups in a short amount of time.
[b "Fans sometimes wait days outside Lucky's gates to be let in. We're showing up late to the party, so we need to look like we should be allowed to skip the line."] The woman's eyes rolled over Fulmina sharply, an eyebrow quirking up at the outfit choice. [i Tasteful]. She went over to the closet herself and picked a distressed pair of jeans and crop top off the hangers. [b "If you leave everything on the bed it'll make it easy for retrieval when we come to get it. I carry nothing with me until I need it when entering new countries."] She thought about it for a second. [b "Can't believe I've never committed a crime in Ireland."]
She slipped off her more comfortable shorts and pulled the jeans up, then came off her shirt and bra. Various scars and tattoos filled the space on her back, but most were covered again when she put the top on. Salena let her hair hang down in loose waves over her shoulders. It made her feel almost...
[i but i'm not]
[i "You should wear your hair down more. It looks nice. Almost like you're not some evil maniac." He smiled pleasantly. The shadows played on the angles of his face favorably. It was noticeable that he hadn't shaved in some odd days. She couldn't help but entertain the idea of him with a beard.
[b "It gets in the way,]" the woman known as Scorpion answered dully. He could be so distracted sometimes.
"Of what? Criming?"
[b "Pretty sure that's not a word."]
"Pretty sure that's not a good reason."
[b "Shut your 'pretty sure' ass up before you miss the target. Look, there he is--"]]
The memories played before Scorpion's eyes like a movie reel. She was paused, standing there staring at the wall almost as if she were a stop motion character. Everything felt frozen for a moment. Of course she remembered that job. It was the first one she worked with Atlas that actually ended up pretty okay for them. And he really complimented her without immediately following it with a scathing remark.
[i i should've gone in guns blazing]
[i he was my ---;;;]
[b "What?"] It took a stretch of time for glaring golden eyes to focus again. [b "Oh... We shouldn't be directly over the stupid house anyway; it'll give us away. I can bring one of my cars over when we get there. Just try to get us close, alright, princess?"]
To say she had her mind elsewhere would be an understatement. Her movements worked only by muscle memory, opening portals and closing them again instinctively; pulling out a newer costume to lay on the bed for later; adding her beloved pistols to the pile, then knuckle dusters, the one of her rifles... immediately followed by another. She even put a knife out just in case. Then thought better of it and moved the knuckle dusters to her back pocket.
[i can't be too ready]
Salena stepped back from the bed to look at the spread. Was anything missing? She ran a checklist quickly in her head... Fuck. She hoped this was everything she'd need, but the worst case scenario was just that she'd have to come back and get something.
[b "I'm ready."] Her hands gestured a portal open before her. [b "Let's get outside, then, I guess."]]
"How is it my job?" Fulmina asked. What made Scorpion think she was a slut? She walked around the room naked once while off her mind in pain, under the assumption the enemy had kidnapped her for some nefarious reason, and suddenly she was the seductress? She'd do what she had to do, but she wasn't that kind of woman.
Somehow, she felt like Scorpion had gotten exactly what she [i didn't] want the woman to get out of her short explanation, but she couldn't be bothered to correct it. If Scorpion misunderstood, well, it helped her out in the long run when they became enemies again, didn't it?
She grabbed her suit and took it over to the machine. The bobbin was already spun and there was some thread on the top pin, so it looked like it was ready to go. Black thread, but eh, it was close enough. It'd look ugly if it pulled through the silver, but it worked. Fulmina turned her suit inside out and ran it through the machine, turned it over and ran it again. Flipping it right side out, she gave it a quick look-over. Hmm... yep, looked good. Good enough for now.
"Why are we dressing up?" she asked, poking through Scorpion's closet. Mostly designer clothes. She picked a slightly-flirty, slightly-conservative off-the-shoulder white blouse with peasant sleeves and a pair of high-waist faded jean shorts. Looked comfy enough.
Lightning thief? "Aren't you the thief?" she asked flatly. "In any case, I can bring you along, don't worry." She didn't do it often. What did she need to bring someone along with her for? They could get there on their own, usually, or they weren't powerful enough to help her when she got there. She could do it, though. It would probably be fine. Probably.
"Are we going there now? I might not be able to get us immediately over the house. It depends where the nearest storm is," she said. She usually took a cab or ran or flashed over, depending on how far the storm was from the fight at hand. They might want to head over a bit early so they could get over to his house without being too flashy.
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Fuck no I'm not flirting with that piece of shit,"] Salena declared defiantly with a disgusted snort. [b "That's your job. [i If] it comes to that. Might not."]
At the mention of a sewing machine, which she realized she needed too, she rummaged through her closet some more. No, this place didn't have it... The Indian woman conjured a portal and walked through it, leaving it open as she walked through her Tokyo rooftop apartment. She searched through it for a couple minutes--flipping through closets, under tables, in cabinets, where the fuck was it?-- before finding it and crossing back over into the Icelandic lair.
[b "Here it is,"] she announced absently, sitting the sewing machine down on the bed. [b "Capacitors sound fuckin' cool. Electric shuriken, huh? Wish I knew how to throw those fuckers."]
Salena padded back over to her wardrobe to continue searching through it. Fulmina's sharp-edged words caught her by surprise, causing the villain's eyes to lock with brown. [b "Honestly... I don't know what the hell you just said to me, but okay. Whatever floats, my love."] She shrugged and turned back to what she was doing. Maybe forcing Fulmina into something that wasn't her style would make her look more awkward and out of place than something she wanted to wear and had the actual chance of pulling off. She checked the time. They needed to hurry...
[b "We can't sneak into his house and risk raising alarms prematurely,"] Scorpion told her companion lightly so as not to seem confrontational... for once. [b "It'll fuck everything up and Devil might catch onto us before we're ready."] She gave up looking for clothes for the other woman and just retired over by her weapons case. [b "Look, just go in there and pick something out. I'm really not a personal shopper for anyone other than myself."]
Scorpion opened the case and leaned over it, running scenarios in her head. What would she need, what could she sneak, how likely was it she'd use a full-size rifle-- She tapped her chin thoughtfully. Fuck maybe she'd just get all of it ready for transport. After all, all she needed to do was open a portal and grab them.
[b "Yo, lightning thief, can you carry two people? Or do I need to get a plane? 'Cause if I run the risk of getting electrocuted or some shit I'm out." The thought of skin burning and hair singeing sent chills down her spine.]
[i not again]
And how long would a plane ride take? She had a pilot in mind, a friend, but she hadn't contacted him in the longest... he'd charge her out the ass just for the danger alone, not including fuel, labor... Fuck. Being a hero was expensive. No wonder Fulmina didn't have any goddamn money.]
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