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[font "Times New Roman" [i you are extremely obsessed with your own tits]
Scorpion tried not to smirk at the woman's fascination with her body, kind of saving it to be commented on later. She didn't mind walking around naked as hell with her archnemesis, getting dressed in said nemesis' clothes, or talking about the size of her own girls... huh. And it was strange to think Saint was a woman just because they didn't mention those numbers. Hell, Saint probably knew every inch of Salena's body just based on how banged up she'd been coming to see them.
The chaotic figure pulled a paper out of a pocket in their long coat; a pen out of another. They held it out to the hero with steady hands, but Salena knocked it onto the ground almost instantly.
[b "Fuck an autograph. They--[i she] tried to kill you earlier, in case you didn't know. Don't know if you wanna treat Saint like a fan for that."]
"Oh come on, Scorpion. Isn't anyone allowed to have fun around here? Where's your sense of humor?" They looked to the thrown pad on the ground, wondering if they should go over and pick it up or if that would be a surrender of pride.
[b "Whatever. And for the record, I could rock Jessica, but I'm glad I don't. It's an ugly, bland name."] The woman dramatically shivered.
Saint inclined their head towards Fulmina as if to indicate they were smiling under the mask. "Sneaky, smart; tomato, potato. Close cousins."
Scorpion's gaze snapped to Fulmina's grip on her arm before traveling up to her face.
[i pretty brown eyes]
[b "You know me best, huh, sweetheart? I don't care about anyone except myself."] Her gaze shifted between the woman and the snake. Fuck, she didn't know what to do. On one hand, Devil was bad for business and bad for her health. And on the other, he was deadly and would not hesitate to kill her. Did she want that stress in her life? Fuck no.
She couldn't keep it up. That annoying overwhelming [i heroism] in her eyes--there was no other way to explain it.
[b "Fine. Tell her; I couldn't care less,"] she told Saint, waving both of them off dismissively. She took several steps away, inspecting her fingernails intensely before getting bored and just staring holes into the two of them. [b "And be quick about it!"]
Saint ignored the woman and turned to give Fulmina their full attention. "So angry, that one. Now, while we're doing this--how about that autograph?"]
"You have paper?" she asked, raising her hand with one finger extended. "Or your shirt, or whatever. As you please." She had no clue of the cogs turning in Saint's head, but as it was, she'd already signed many, many autographs. If Saint wanted one, she could go online right now and buy a signed item-of-choice, though it'd probably cost a good chunk of cash.
"She is, she didn't mention my breasts when she was threatening me with numbers," Fulmina said, gesturing to the amply-filled cups. "And there has been much speculation online, any male fan would have a number." She tilted her head. Or a lesbian, she supposed. Not that Saint gave off that vibe. Either way, she knew her breasts were a hotly-debated topic on certain forums. Sometimes she went there for a laugh, and to make sure no one was hitting too close to home; if they were, she changed her tactics and habits immediately.
She snorted to herself at the exchange between Saint and Scorpion. "She's right, you don't look like a Jessica," she butted in from the peanut gallery, shaking her head. Not even a little. "And my thighs are fabulous."
She had nothing to say about Scorpion assuming they were a unit. Herself, she wasn't convinced one way or another, but much like keeping silent while the parents brought presents from Santa long after she'd figured it out, figured she'd keep her mouth shut as long as she was being paid for. That money wasn't coming from her accounts, that was for certain. Mostly because she didn't have enough in them.
"Yes, I will try. You are very sneaky, you know. I don't know how Scorpion found you, to be honest." She shrugged. A business offer from a phantom wasn't worth much to someone who dealt so extremely in the physical world. She had her hands full just chasing down the crime she knew about, forget anything more than that.
Before Saint could walk away, Fulmina grabbed Scorpion's arm and looked her in the eyes. "Wait," she snapped. "Think about this. I saw your face last night. You've lost people you care about, haven't you? This man--you know he won't stop until he's achieved what he's wanted, or someone stops him. If we don't stop him now, there might not be anyone left to stop him. Ever." He'd already come for them once. Next time, she'd rather fight him eye to eye than after getting stabbed in the back. And if she didn't manage to stop him, she didn't know who would.
[font "Times New Roman" Saint exhaled carefully, attaching a chuckle on the end of it. "She brags about me? I'm touched." They weighed their options regarding her, heavily considering her offer. "Yes. I would like an autograph."
They ventured a smirk then, cogs already spinning in their head on what they could do with Fulmina's signature... But they let nothing appear on what was exposed of their face.
A low sound that could be mistaken for a laugh or a grunt escaped them. "You got me. I suppose I thought the promise of my... certain skillset would serve to cover the rest of the cost. But you are right." They threw their arms up in defeat.
Salena walked over at a relatively leisurely pace, having redressed herself and reholstered her pistol. She stood slightly off to the side, not really paying attention until Fulmina made it obvious she was trying to get her attention.
[b "Saint's a woman?"] was her first thought, eyeing the so-called woman up and down. Really? She didn't get any specific vibes off Saint except that she felt they were a bigger criminal than she was. She'd never imagined them as a woman, though. [b "Don't tell me you're buying into this bullshit."]
Saint shrugged innocently. "I simply came up with a business opportunity."
[b "Alright. Jessica."]
They paused. "What?"
[b "My name. It's Jessica."]
"You don't look like a Jessica."
[b "Who really looks like their name?"]
[b "How can you tell me my name is or isn't Jessica?"]
Exasperated, they took a step back. "Listen. The offer wasn't for you."
[b "Me and thunder thighs here come attached these days."] She smiled a bit at her own joke, making an allusion to Fulmina's power set.
"I see. Well, Fulmina... If you ever want to do business and lose a hundred and fifty or so pounds" their eyes flickered to the villain shooting a furious look "you can always find me."
Scorpion rolled her eyes, reaching into a small portal and producing two gold bars--in fact, two of the many she stole from her heist that had gotten them into this situation. [b "These are worth over five hundred thousand each. I want my change."]
Saint looked between the two women and the gold bars. "I have an alternative."
[b "An alternative to the money you now owe me?"]
"Yes. Of course: information. You seek the Devil and I know his next target."
One thick eyebrow raised. [b "And what about it? I don't work for you and I'm not Captain Save a Bitch. Fuck does that matter to me?"]
"I will give you the target and where Devil plans to intercept."
[b "Nope. I'm not a hero; you must confuse me for this one."] She gestured her head towards the curly-haired woman to her left, picking the bar back up off the ground and throwing it back into a portal. Instead she began to pull out stacks of cash in hundred-thousand-dollar increments, wrapped up nice and neat. [b "I'm only worried about saving my own ass, really. Chasing him is like... fuckin' just... signing your own death certificate. There's your money; you can walk off into the sunset now. Or something mysterious like you swear you are."]]
Afraid? Of Scorpion? The thought hadn't crossed her mind. Why be afraid of a woman she'd crossed weapons with thousands of times? She knew every move in Scorpion's book, every weapon in her repertoire. It wasn't to say that she couldn't be surprised; no. If Scorpion didn't surprise her constantly, she'd be in a jail cell by now. But there was nothing to fear about the familiar, was there? Worst case, they came to blows, but was that something to fear in a relationship defined, up until this point, by coming to blows?
Besides, Scorpion was paying for this with stolen money. Not only did she not feel guilty, but if anything, she felt good that Scorpion would be spending some of her money to help heal, rather than support the illegal drug trade, or whatever else she did with her money.
"Oh, so you [i could] tell. I was wondering a bit about Scorpion's judgement; here she was bragging to me about what an excellent informant you were, and you couldn't recognize the mask?" She shook her head and grinned lightly. "You were worrying me there!"
Oh, a fan? "You want an autograph? she asked. Maybe Saint wasn't a man, after all. Hadn't even mentioned her three sizes. Or any of the supposed... paraphernalia of hers that certain enterprising young ladies of loose morals had made a fortune selling online.
"Hmm, it is a tempting offer. On one hand, Scorpion will not have to pay, which is, you understand, a considerable downside, but then again, I suppose she might appreciate if I alleviated the bill..." She rubbed her chin thoughtfully, as though she was considering it.
Then she laughed out loud. "Eight hundred thousand? For my identity. Do you think I am a cheap woman? If I could be bought out, the millionaires of the world would have my name long ago." Her identity wasn't something money could buy. It was her safety, her family's safety, the security of everyone she knew and loved. And that was worth more than all the money in the world.
"Though, Scorpion! If you want to tell her your identity, she says treatment is free," Fulmina called out, glancing over at Scorpion. "Even one name!" She was a shitty liar herself, but Scorpion was better at bluffs. She could just say "Mary," and what would Saint know? She figured Scorpion should know the offer, in any case; only seemed fair. It was her money on the line, after all.
[font "Times New Roman" For a moment, Salena was completely mentally dissociated from her body. She couldn't move, no matter how much she tried to tell her body to. Hell, she couldn't even gesture to summon a damn portal. All she could do was lay there and stare at the unfinished ceiling.
She tried to think back to how it felt to be getting torn apart and put back together by Saint. Her memory came up completely blank. In fact--how had they gotten there?
Her brows came together in deep thought as she struggled to search for the memory. Where the fuck was she?
Saint's head cocked to the side, a grin forming under their mask though the woman before them would likely be unable to tell. She was a funny one--most of her expressions displayed on her face. Too honest to be a villain.
"You must be afraid she will be angry at you," they offered, their brown eyes hungry and obvious in looking over every inch of her body. "For the cost." Shaggy hair shook slightly as they motioned their disagreement. "She will be fine. But tell me, what is... Fulmina the Hero... doing with Scorpion?"
They cracked their knuckles and shuffled a bit to circle around her, still completely obsessed with seeing all of her. "Did you think you could fool me so easily--a mask as unique and noticeable? And the hair, the accent, the skin, the [i news]? Come on. Information is my most valuable currency." The one known as Saint paused and considered their words for a moment. "Bad liar, Fulmina the Hero."
Salena, still on the floor, finally came back into herself, accepting that she just couldn't [i fucking remember] where she was, how she'd gotten there, or what the hell she'd been doing there beyond getting healed by Saint.
She didn't have to know how she'd gotten there to guess she'd be missing out on thousands by the time she left. Slowly, her eyes moved around as she regained her bearing, making small movements at a time like wiggling toes, fingers, and trying to raise her chest up in an effort to convince her body to follow.
Saint moved closer to Fulmina. "I have much information on you... But none at the same time. No one knows who Fulmina the Hero is. I wonder how that is?" A glint showed in their eye. "Someone wants to tell me height, I buy it. Approximate weight, I buy it. Found a piece of your hair at a crime scene... I buy, but no matches in the system. Nothing in Italy, either, where I know you are based. Unconfirmed sightings, blurry pictures, blood from fights; still nothing. I am interested."
Scorpion lurched forward, a corpse from the dead resurrected once more. Her vision didn't follow immediately, blurring before refocusing itself as she struggled to stand. Her chest hurt, but not as bad as it had been for the last couple of days.
"Tell you what. I will waive your fee, all of your medical fees--and hers. I just want something small in return; so small, so small. If you tell me your identity--first or last name only is fine, totally fine--[i or] hers" their head motioned to the Indian woman slowly collecting herself "I will have mercy on you. Heal you for the rest of your life for free."
Golden eyes narrowed at the seemingly-intimate conversation. [b "Fuck are you going on about, you snake motherfucker?"]
They ignored the woman and raised their eyebrows at Fulmina. "She doesn't have to know. I will not resell, won't write it down, nothing... I'm just curious. Does that jog your memory?"]
Consciousness faded back in slowly. First the dust, tickling her nose, the cold concrete, the sudden, starting revelation that she'd passed out, however briefly. Plastic sheets crackled in the breeze. The static fizz of Saint's powers sounded from nearby, while in the distance, the construction workers hammered away and shouted to one another, calling out as they worked. A gray expanse met her eyes, cracks magnified in the old floor from inches over it. She blinked and, with some effort, rolled over.
She felt awful, but the pain was more... decentralized, now. Floating, a kind of general ache, instead of the intense, insistent pain in her side. She put a hand to it. It felt... warm. Like it was pulsing, just gently. Nothing, compared to before.
Fulmina sat up, running her hair back with a careless gesture. Scorpion was still getting treated, but she seemed to be doing okay, all things considered. If her experience with Saint was anything to go by, it was supposed to feel like that. Her stomach panged. She put a hand to it, grimacing, but this time it was hunger, not the injury. She needed food. And she felt exhausted. Like she'd just spent the last twenty-four hours rushing across the globe in search of one villain after another.
Saint finished. Scorpion collapsed to her knees, exhausted. She then considered both her previous thoughts in conjunction and snorted. Somehow, she got the feeling it hadn't been nearly as satisfying for either of them as that way of putting it made it sound.
"Friend is such a strong word," she said, tossing her hair. This Saint was supposed to be some kind of master informant, and he couldn't figure it out from the silver mask? It was a he, she'd decided. A woman would've found somewhere nicer to heal them up. "I'm afraid I can't recall much about myself at the moment, being exhausted from your expert treatment. But perhaps a deduction from the cost of treatment might... jog the memory." She gave him a cheeky grin and sat back, legs crossed. She only had the knife, but he didn't know about her powers yet. She wasn't too worried about this character, all things considered. Compared to the villains she took on day to day, he was just another small fry.
[font "Times New Roman" Salena's heart was racing. Adrenaline coursed through her like a racehorse on the last stretch, her breath shallow as she waited for a sign of life from Fulmina. The woman lay on the floor, still sparking a little, still twitching every so often, but [i alive].
[i thank god]
[i wait. i forgot i don't care about her. haha.]
Saint looked indifferent to the situation. Well, as much as a mask would allow. No emotion passed through their eyes. They didn't break contact with the criminal, casually tapping fingers on crossed arms.
"So? Are we going to stand here or are you going to show me?" Their dark brow raised, an expression of impatience. A breeze blew through the atrium.
[b "Fine."] She shifted the weapon to her other hand, fingers flexing to find comfort, before hiking up her t-shirt. Saint leaned closer before crossing over Fulmina's body to get a better look. "Looks like bruised ribs. Maybe cracked." They prodded around lightly, poking and rubbing and waiting for a reaction Scorpion was extremely stubborn to provide. "Take off your jacket."
She cut her eyes at them, taking several steps back before stripping off the garment. They scoffed. "Come on. Stop trying to be a badass for your little--"
[b "Fuck you, man. Sick of you extorting me."]
"Aren't you one of the best-known bank robbers in the world? Consider it taxes."
[b "If you try anything funny I will send you to the middle of the Pacific Ocean."] She gave them a steady look, additionally stripping off the shoulder holster and T-shirt. She kept the P226 in her hand despite the fact that she was right-handed and likely would be a terrible shot with her left.
Saint looked closer at her side where Devil had tried to skewer her with that magic shit. She winced, barely managing to hold in a yelp.
"This looks awful. What the hell you been putting on it, dirt?" They sucked their teeth, cracking their knuckles. "Three hundred thousand for you. Only cause hers was particularly awful."
Salena scoffed very loudly. [b "You're really hitting me up for eight hundred grand?"] Her eyes rolled several times before she folded. There was no negotiating with Saint. They'd just refuse her or kill or--or try to, like they tried with Fulmina. [b "Whatever."]
"Good. I thought you'd see things my way. But listen--the way your ribs are [i fucked], it might hurt more than usual. And I mean like... I have to move them a little to get them to align right again."
Her nostrils flared. [b [i "What?] Are you telling me you're going to break my fuckin' ribs to fix them again?"]
"Well. I guess you could put it that way."
[b "That doesn't make any--"] They cut her off, pushing their hands onto her side first. The pain made her knees weak. Within moments she was kneeling with Saint in front of her copying her position to make sure they could keep working without disruption. Their hands glowed the same darker hue they had with Fulmina.
It felt like singular atoms were being burned away and quickly stitched back together. Her eyes were open but she couldn't see anything, the pain forcing her voice into the pit of her stomach. All she emitted were struggling sounds. Her muscles all felt tight to the point of pain, to the point of breaking if they got any tighter.
Her eyelids fluttered. It was over.
[i fucking finally]
"This is going to hurt."
Their palms pressed hard onto her chest now, forcing her to lean backwards. Her weight rested on her knees and feet, an extremely uncomfortable position she didn't have the wherewithal to change. She couldn't get a grip on her surroundings, her fingers forced open and dropping the gun. Saint looked like they were concentrating harder than they'd had to on Fulmina, fingers growing a pale red that was almost pink in color. Salena felt like her body was falling apart.
It didn't even feel this bad when they'd gotten--what was it, cracked?
For several moments the pain completely enveloped her. Her eyes turned black. Her own power began to consume her. Several portals opened around her and the medic. They closed and opened on their own, some not black like usual, but red or navy blue or white. She'd never been in any of those and had never opened any before. Saint took this in as they continued on, their hands going back to the blue color.
Salena wasn't mentally present. She relived the fight with Devil before her mind drifted to how she'd been spending her time before that. And even before that. Briefly it rested on her father, her mother's smile, her sister's stubbornness. She couldn't get a grip.
She wasn't sure when it ended, but slowly she came back into herself. Her eyelids fluttered once again and they were returned to their golden irises. Her breathing was labored, sweat rolling down her entire body. This pain was less severe than before.
It didn't last much longer. By the end her body was unmarred save for a faint scar on her side. Unfortunately, though, her tooth was still gone.
Scorpion didn't say anything. She let her legs give out and rested on the floor. She was physically exhausted beyond movement.
Saint wasted no time, striding back over to Fulmina with a glint in their eye. "So Scorpion's friend. Tell me about yourself."]
She wasn't really aware of anything besides the pain, the sparking, burning pain. Beyond heat, beyond ache, beyond even sharp pain, it felt like she was getting stabbed again, but in reverse. As though the knife was being thrust out of her as painfully and slowly as it had been pushed in.
And then the knife jerked into her. It tore into her insides, rending her apart. She felt it snag and shred, arcing deeper into her. Her back tensed, body spasming with pain. What--what was happening? Was this normal? Was it supposed to be like this? It hurt, it hurt so much. She'd put up with it. She'd put up with it, because she was a hero, because she could, but it hurt, it hurt, it hurt--
Reverse. She gasped, grabbing ahold of Saint's arm. She couldn't really hear anything, wasn't aware enough through the pain to parse what was being said. The knife moved faster now, rending in reverse, pushing up out of her body and searing everything behind it closed with heat and pain. How much longer was this going to last? She wasn't going to be able to hold on for much longer. She closed her eyes and focused on breathing, just breathing. Her consciousness was waning, sliding in and out. She couldn't, she couldn't, she--
The pain stopped. Spent, Fulmina sagged to the floor, barely conscious. She felt the cold, hard surface rush up to meet her, the impact almost enough to push her over the edge into unconsciousness but the cold was welcome against the heat that still burned in her gut. Thank goodness. It was over. It was over. She wasn't going to die. It wasn't going to burn and burn until it burned her life out.
Fulmina breathed, focusing on the floor a few inches from her, and struggled to stay conscious. If she fell asleep here, Saint would be able to take her mask off. She'd know everything. Or Scorpion would leave her behind. She couldn't afford either of those. Had to stay conscious. If the Devil came. If he came. She had to be there. She was the only one strong enough to fight him. Had to.. had to stay awake.
[font "Times New Roman" [i who am i besides a villain? i'm...]
The question caught her off guard. Who [i had] she been these days? Besides a hedonist with powers that sometimes robbed banks?
[i whatever. she's just dodging.]
Salena cast Fulmina a sideways glance when she claimed to have enough money. Did she really? She'd never seemed like a high-cost here or a hero-for-hire or any of that. She just... showed up. And a lot of the time, it was specifically to stop Scorpion. Sometimes it was almost annoying she was pretty much the only hero Scorpion had respect for. Fulmina was the only one that could keep up.
She put the safety back on her weapon, thankful the curly-haired woman didn't contradict her about pickpocketing. The thing was, Saint was neither hero nor villain, and thus subject to behave as either. If they thought Fulmina carried identification, they'd try to rob her, try to sell it. Or maybe they'd find out they're a fan. Or maybe if they tried... the two could catch them and force favors.
Blackmail. Such a beautiful thing.
Scorpion kept her mouth shut. The wound looked disgusting, to say the least. Shit, had it really devolved that much since--what was it, yesterday?
Saint started working their magic, making the Indian villain step away. She didn't want to avert her eyes for fear they'd do something to endanger the unlikely duo, but it was hard to watch. It made her dread when she had to go through it.
"This one is going to be five hundred thousand," the healer mentioned casually, their fingers glowing a pale blue as they worked.
[b "I don't know what you're telling me for,"] Scorpion responded, golden eyes wild and furious at the implication that she'd be paying for this.
"She cannot afford it. [i I] know a [i liar] when I see one. She's not even good at it."
[b "Not my problem. I'm not her ATM."] She shrugged, toeing a pebble on the ground absently.
"Okay. Then I'll kill her."
Their fingers turned a violent red color, spreading through their hands and up their arms. It caused a jerk in Fulmina's body, arcs of light tracing through her. No emotion passed Salena's face as she cocked her gun again and lined up a headshot on Saint.
"We both die, then. Are we playing chicken? You're feeling brave?"
Salena blinked, eyes shifting between the convulsing woman and the impossible-to-discern gas mask. [b "Jesus fucking Christ Saint, I have it."]
They didn't falter. "You sure about that?"
[b "Yes I'm fucking sure!"]
"Okay, okay... No need to shout, woman, I'm right here." It almost sounded like they were laughing behind that bitch ass mask. The red dissipated almost immediately, replaced by a stronger hued blue.
[b "You're a demon."]
"I'm a business executive." Another few moments passed before they removed their hands, showing the wound was fully healed, good as new even though Fulmina was still very visibly shaking. "And you're next."
Salena kept a tight grip on her gun. [b "You work for Devil, you son of a--"]
"No. I work for myself like I always have." They motioned for her to come closer. "Now let me see."
The villain was hesitant, inching forward to the hero on the floor. She nudged her with her foot. [b "If she's dead, you're next. Fuck, I might kill you just because I can."]
"Come on now. You always were so trigger happy."]
She shook her head and said nothing. Figured. The plans Scorpion came up with, it came as no surprise to find out some of them had been thought up and executed while high. The teddy bear heist, for one. To this day, she still wasn't sure exactly what the Scorpion's goal had been, there. Teddy bears just weren't that lucrative a market, were they?
"And who are you, besides a villain?" she asked lightly. Like she was about to give information like that up so lightly. There'd been a bulletin on that floating around the hero forums a while back; with as little as two or three pieces of information, a villain could discover a hero's alter ego. She'd already given Scorpion her face. That was already far too much. Of course, in return, she had Scorpion's. As long as the villain didn't poke her nose into Fulmina's business, she figured she'd repay the favor.
A voice sounded out. Fulmina hung back, silent, as the other two conversed. Saint got her silent approval at ribbing Scorpion about smoking. Even if she wasn't smoking, she hated the stench. Her younger sister had been asthmatic growing up, so any strong scents still triggered that protective urge in her. And was this ever a strong scent.
"I've enough," she said, when Saint asked about her money. And what she didn't have, Scorpion would pay for her, by hook or by crook. She stepped forward, shooting Scorpion a questioning glance. What was Saint going to pickpocket off of her? Her pockets were empty.
She lifted the hoodie and shirt, revealing the wound; sunken into her abdomen and swollen both, purples and reds and blues and black at the center. "Here."
Saint winced back, then leaned forward, almost eager. Hands played over the wound, hovering just over the skin. "Ah," they hissed, and she could just about see them bite their lip, even though the mask fully obscured their face. "Yeah. This'll cost you. But I can do it."
"Then do it," Fulmina declared.
Saint paused, taken aback, then scoffed. "If ya say so, captain," they said mockingly. Cold fingers pressed hard against the wound, and she winced again.
Then pain scythed through her like she was getting stabbed all over again.
[font "Times New Roman" Salena didn't bother to defend herself when it came to Saint being Japanese, because it prompted the release of several other important details. She wasn't Japanese, but she lived in Japan. Sometimes. The hero Bleuskee wasn't Japanese but still lived there. Whatever. Details she didn't have the time for.
[b "Dull my senses?"] The woman laughed lightly. [b "Prude. You know how many times we've fought with me being high?"] While it [i was] true that if she let it, she could get pretty objectively hazy, most of the time she preferred to be in control. It was just something to... take the edge off.
She lit the end of the paper and pulled a long inhale, expelling the smoke in Fulmina's general direction. [b "Who are you, anyway? Besides a hero?"] One of her thick eyebrows raised. [b "You probably work HR somewhere. Stickler for the rules. The coworker that annoys everyone because you're always referencing the employee manual."]
Honestly, if Fulmina really turned out to fit anything in that broad description, Scorpion would be pretty disappointed in her. All that talent and she'd waste it being a desk jockey? Unbelievable. That mentality was part of the reason Scorpion didn't feel she had the capacity to be a hero. And besides, the justice system had never done much for her anyway.
[b "Wait."] The pulsing in her thigh turned into an annoying ache. She limped very slightly as the moments wore on, venturing off into an unfinished atrium. The plastic curtains waved in a breeze that barely graced Scorpion's cheeks. Her brows furrowed. Something felt weird...
She pulled out her gun, ashing the blunt and sticking it back through a portal. The smoke clouded around her face.
"What did I tell you about smoking?"
The voice seemed disembodied. Salena spun on her heel suddenly, unsure where it was coming from. She couldn't [i see] anyone.
[i i hate playing these fucking games]
[b "I have a job for you,"] she announced. Her golden eyes squinted suspiciously.
"Do you have money?"
[b "Don't I always?"]
"Who is your friend?"
A groan and eye roll was not above her. [b "What is this, 21 fuckin' Questions? I'll take my business elsewhere."] Salena spun around and gestured to her former nemesis to follow. [b "Come on, we're leaving."]
A figure dropped from the unfinished floor above. They were around five feet and nine inches, an androgynous figure under all their layers. They wore a half gas mask that morphed their voice so it sounded robotic to say the least.
"There is no one better than the Saint," they said, head tilted to the side as they took in Fulmina. "Do you have money?" They stepped forward, hands ready to touch and grab and confuse.
Salena audibly took the safety off her gun. [b "I will kill your ass if you take another step. I know a pickpocket when I fuckin' see one. Name your price and fuckin'... fix me."]
"I need to see the injury. Her first. And please, Scorpion--are we not friends? No need to threaten me."]
She snorted. "No way. Japanese living in Japan? Unimaginable," she snarked. She didn't know much about the Japanese, but she did know that they had one of the most homogenous populations out there. Anyone who wasn't Japanese would stand out on the streets; hardly suitable for an undercover agent. Fulmina shook her head at the villain and followed her along.
As she went, she tucked her own hair into her jacket and raised her hood. Tall as she was, she already stood out without even taking her complexion and hair color into account. Not that any of these construction workers gave her a glance as she walked by. Too busy working. Not paid enough to care.
"Close?" She looked around. Construction workers. Was Saint a construction worker? Not what she'd pictured at all. She'd been imagining a thin, svelte man or woman, not a big, bulky man in a wifebeater, a back brace, and jeans. Somehow, the picture was amusing to her. She chuckled to herself, then grimaced as her side panged. Dammit. She [i needed] to get this shit fixed. Soon.
If they were waiting for Saint... she pulled out her mask and put it on, then leaned against the wall to save her energy. Her eyebrows raised at the sight of the contraband. "I [i am] a hero," she said. She didn't do drugs. It went against her personal beliefs, against supporting the rule of law. Besides, if she used herself, how could she punish drug dealers? She'd worry she was showing them favors, or that she might misuse her powers to procure drugs. Some heroes had gone dark that way, down the endless spiral of addiction.
Of course, a single hit of weed was hardly the first step to a serious addiction, but she'd still rather not tempt herself. And besides, she wanted to be fully present for this Saint, not high and off-guard. [i Especially] if the Devil might be in the vicinity.
"You go ahead and dull your senses. I'll keep watch," she offered, turning to watch out the window. If Saint walked up to them, they'd be pretty obvious, wouldn't they? Construction workers didn't dress in baggy layers. They'd stand out for trying not to stand out.
[font "Times New Roman" Scorpion squinted when she stepped foot in Tokyo. She was damn near close to hissing at the sun, but held it in. She held her hand up to block it out as her head swiveled around to gain her bearings. No one had seen them, which was good. Stepping out of a black portal was always something difficult to explain.
[i We.] The word prompted a raised eyebrow from the proud villain, who didn't bother to mention it but certainly didn't let it go unnoticed. [b "I don't really know much about Saint because they like to keep it that way. They use the voice thing Devil does, they wear who-knows-what clothes, the whole nine. It's dangerous to be a double operative in a dog eat dog world like this, y'know?"]
The woman paused for another moment before turning on her heel and walking out into the street. It was only as busy as any other street in Tokyo. There was foot traffic, but not much; there wasn't anything spectacular about cars honking at each other, either. The skyscrapers boasted bright ads and a plethora of logos. It looked like they were just begging people to spend their money at stores like Nike, Samsung, Toshiba, Puma, etc. Scorpion had a hard enough time keeping her money in her pocket as it were; this was definitely a huge tease.
Maybe they could stop at one of these places on their way out...
[b "They're brunette, though. Brown eyes. Probably mid-thirties, early forties. Japanese, too, I'm pretty sure from skin tone and eye shape."]
She started walking down the street, keeping her hood up and face down. While she usually didn't much care whether or not people recognized her, she would rather [i not] be faced with Devil's goons and have to save Fulmina's life again. Her heroism meter was running pretty low.
It was quite a bit of walking before the two women arrived at a rather desolate part of Tokyo. There were several construction sites still active, men in hard hats too busy to pay attention to two woman who very obviously did not belong there.
Salena touched her ribs tentatively. While they were doing better, her shoulder was faring far better than they were. It was getting annoying at this point.
A spot on her thigh pulsed gently. It was very faint so very easy to overlook or write off, but the Indian woman had been waiting for it. When Saint healed someone, they sort of leave an imprint of some kind. Salena couldn't explain it, so she didn't bother to try to tell Fulmina. But she felt them. Somewhere around here.
[b "This is where we met. And they're close."] The woman shrugged, looking around for a moment before deciding to just wander into a mid-renovation skyscraper that wasn't currently being tended to. Some law firm. [b "I don't know how long we'll wait, so... yeah."]
Once in the lobby, she brushed some plastic sheets away that were hanging from the ceiling. It looked like they were almost done with this one. Honestly, construction never failed to impress her--how the [i fuck] did mortal men build skyscrapers?
Her right arm reached into a small portal and retracted, holding a blunt and lighter in them. May as well have fun if she was going to be waiting indefinitely.
A wolfish grin spread across her features. [b "You ever been high, hero?"]]
Change? She looked down at herself, then shrugged. Fair enough. Figuring Scorpion was thus offering her wardrobe, she started to dig through it, starting with the underwear. She didn't usually wear underwear under her uniform. It only encouraged the perverts if she had panty lines, after all. Better to just build a lining and some strategic padding into her suit.
She stripped down, ignoring Scorpion. A little nudity had never bothered her. If she gave in that easily, every villain would go straight for her chest to try and expose her. And also, she just didn't care. She had a nice body, after all. The bras were a little too small, but luckily Scorpion had some jogbras as well that had a little more give in them. After a little digging, she found some comfy-looking and unworn panties, and stepped into them. They were a bit tight as well, but a decent enough fit. Looked like Scorpion was a little smaller than her in general--well, that was no surprise. She was taller than the other woman, after all.
Right, hoodie and jeans, was it? Saved her the effort of rummaging for the rest of her clothes. She still located herself a t-shirt first, though. Never had been a jacket-and-nothing kind of girl. The jeans were basically skintight, and she grimaced, but bore it. She'd put up with it for a while.
Her mask fit nicely in the hoodie's pouch; she figured she'd put it on once she needed it.
What an impressive arsenal. Fulmina's eyebrows lifted at the array, but she said nothing. When Scorpion could go literally anywhere in a heartbeat, it wasn't too surprising she had a collection, but even so; damn. And this was just one hideout! It went to show how little of a dent her efforts had made in this particular foe's lifestyle, huh? She scowled at herself. She needed to become a stronger hero, and not just for the Devil.
A measly knife? Fulmina wrinkled her nose at it, but took it anyways, tucking it, too, into the pouch. She'd rather bring her sword, but yeah, that'd stand out a little, wouldn't it? It would have to stay here with the rest of her outfit.
"Understood," she said. Gently teasing, she continued. "What do they look like? Do we even have a gender? Hair color? Height, weight?" It wouldn't do anyone any good if the Saint walked up to them and Fulmina couldn't recognize them.
She stepped through the portal. It was an odd feeling; one second in a quiet house in the middle of the night, the next in bright sunlight down a back alley outside a huge city. Fulmina blinked while she waited for her eyes to adjust and took in the city around her. Tokyo. Not her usual stomping grounds for sure, but not somewhere she'd never been before, either.
[font "Times New Roman" Salena battled with herself for several long moments. [i Did] she want to find Saint? No--they were a pain, rude as hell, and the original fucking con artist. But [i should] she? That was another thing altogether. Strategically it was the better move. Shit, she was tired, though...]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Dammit..."]]
[font "Times New Roman" Scratching her head and muttering unintelligibly to herself, she strode across the room and opened her wardrobe doors. She did some digging for a moment before pulling out a long brown coat, jeans, a T-shirt, and a shoulder holster.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "You should change,"] she offered to the curly-haired woman. Salena rummaged through her closet for another minute before producing a black hoodie, light blue jeans, and black socks. [b "Here you go. Dunno what size shoe you wear. Don't wear your mask around the city, but if we find Saint, you have to. They'll expose you for a couple dollars."]]
[font "Times New Roman" The woman stripped her pajamas, throwing her pants onto her bed and the shirt to the side. For a moment she only had on her underwear and bra, but it wasn't anything especially spectacular. She didn't bother to tease Fulmina--wasn't in the mood to. She just slipped on her T-shirt, then the jeans, socks, the shoulder holster. Long legs padded across the floor to the high-tech box she had waiting patiently in the corner.]
[font "Times New Roman" Scorpion squatted down , inputting a code, a fingerprint, and an eye scan. It opened several seconds later, expanding almost twice its size with three levels and two side compartments that also opened. Inside were two semi-automatic and one automatic rifle, six pistols, four different-sized knives, two grenades, and a phone. She skimmed over her beloved weapons for a moment before picking up two of the pistols, Sig Sauer P226s with custom gold grips and detail. A grin at them was hard to resist; they always made her so happy. Additionally, she took out a blade, a simple combat knife in its sheath that wasn't her particular favorite but still got the job done. [b "For you,"] she said, gesturing with it before tossing it safely onto the bed.]
[font "Times New Roman" No guns for Fulmina. She wasn't an idiot.]
[font "Times New Roman" But. Her ribs still hurt. She prodded them tentatively, but it made her wince.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena lingered in her box for another moment before closing it back and safely locking it. The woman went back to her closet and picked out a pair of (Nike) sneakers.]
[font "Times New Roman" Saint didn't necessarily keep in touch, but Salena had her own way of sort of keeping track of them. They were a hard person to find--that much was for sure. But she had a general area, which would give them a lot less area to search than just the [i Tokyo Bay Area].]
[font "Times New Roman" She conjured a portal, letting her hair down from its messy bun. [b "A block in Tokyo. Saint's picked me up here before, but it was months ago, so it might be cold. But it's a start and con artists can be creatures of habit if it turns up constant profit."]]
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