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[font "Times New Roman" [i Fuck]. The news was cluttered with articles on her heist. Of course she was wanted and there was a millions-dollar worth bounty on her head. That was nothing new. What stressed her out was how the journalists swore she was a cold-blooded killer. While it was true that she had killed before--usually for survival reasons--she wasn't a [i killer]. Or at the very least, she didn't feel like it.]
[font "Times New Roman" [center [b Devil Reports Scorpion and Fulmina Worked Together!]]]
[font "Times New Roman" [center EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena groaned. Of course the bastard would try to turn Fulmina's own fanbase against her. That would mean more pairs of eyes looking out for her, more people to turn her in... Well, if they did that they were a shitty fanbase to begin with.]
[font "Times New Roman" She didn't hear the door open due to trying to focus all of her tired energy on listening to the red-masked bastard lie about her to the news media. Sure some of the comments spared her , there were many more on Fulmina's side. Of course, that was what she would expect from those die-haird motherfuckers.]
[font "Times New Roman" An unfazed brown face peered over her screen as the hero exited Salena's bedroom and held a shaky hand, crackling with electricity, up like a threat. Salena actually laughed.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "I'm practically shaking,"] she said with her grin still playing on her features. Slender fingers closed the laptop and set it to the side as long legs pushed themselves up. [b "So you're going commando, huh? I don't know, I just kinda figured you as more of a prude than to be trying to confront me naked."] A shrug raised her shoulders, which she regretted instantly. A hand found her bruised ribs, pressing on them briefly as if it would help. [b "I saved your life, so calm down with the lights, man."]]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena made her way over to the kitchen, wincing every couple of steps. She reached into her fridge and pulled out a bottle of Fiji water, tossing it to Fulmina instinctively before deciding maybe that wasn't the [i best] course of action and creating a portal for it to go through and land back in her hands.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Look. I'm not really excited about this, either. You've been an [i awful] patient. Like, my hands are burned the fuck up cause I've been keeping you alive. My bill is high, by the way. And, listen sweetheart--"] a laugh interrupted her words [b "you really think you can fight me? I could shred you in three fuckin' seconds flat. Try it."]]
[font "Times New Roman" Sure she was beat up, but she could still hold her own against her enemy who had a [i hole] in her side. Big fat chance Fulmina would make it out of the brawl alive. She shook the bottle of water in an attempt to draw attention back to it. [b "Polly want a cracker?"]]
Pain spurred her awake. Her breath caught, and she coughed, then rolled over. Her body screamed in pain at the moment, and her side sent a blast of electric pain through her as she rested on it. A headache burned between her eyes, the heat that seemed to radiate from the back of her skull only serving to make it worse. Amy rolled back over onto her back and caught her breath, tensing until the pain past, then opened her eyes to an unfamiliar ceiling. Merda, Merda, what the fuck was that? Ow! She put a hand to it and found a huge dent in her gut, swollen up around the edges and sore to the touch. When had that happened?
Where was she? Some hotel? She swallowed, and her throat almost caught on itself. Damn, she'd die for a drink. Water. Where was the water? She tried to push up to a sit and was wracked by immense pain from her gut. Any movement felt like death. She was lying in a big bed, though. A huge bed. The sheets were sticky with sweat and spotted with blood; her own? Looked like it. And the room was extravagant, huge and empty. If it was a hotel, it was top class. She put a hand on her chest. Why was she naked, come to think of it?
A black-caped figure with a red mask flashed through her memory. She forced herself to sit up, ignoring the searing pain in her gut. The Devil! And Scorpion. The bank! Shit, what had happened to all that? Where was she? She reached out and grabbed the edge of the bed, then slowly hauled herself upright. Her legs were weak, shaky and wobbly like a newborn fawn's, but she could press on. Had she been captured by the Devil? Or, gross, had some sick fan stolen her home while she was unconscious? Electricity sparked on her fingertips at the thought as a shudder spread over her skin. No. Nothing had happened.
She came to the door and pushed it open. On the other side was... not a hotel hallway, but a living room of sorts, sparsely furnished. There was a couch and a mattress and--[i Scorpion!]
"Hands up!" she growled, leaning against the doorframe with one hand raised. Electricity flickered from finger to finger, leaving the room bright one second, then dark the next. "What did you do to me? Where have you taken me?"
Her sword. Where was her sword? Shit, she was almost dead just standing here. Her side ached with a dull throbbing sickness that told her the wound was probably infected, her throat was dry as death, and the headache pounding between her ears was making it hard to think. But she knew this was no good. One hand touched her face, belatedly; no mask. Fuck. Scorpion knew. She couldn't let her escape alive.
[font "Times New Roman" Salena could barely sleep through the night, fear and pain making damn sure of it. She slept awkwardly upright in her armchair, only slumping as much as her new stitches would allow--which wasn't much at all. And then there was the fear that Fulmina would die in her sleep. The girl was sweating puddles in the bed, making Salena decidedly jealous on the low. It was [i her] bed and [i she] should be sweating in it! Well, maybe not that exactly...]
[font "Times New Roman" The Indian woman groaned loud enough to cause herself more pain. It was 4 in the damn morning and Fulmina was muttering to herself in a foreign language and breaking out in yet another cold sweat. Salena got up and trotted over to another stack of washcloths she had gotten once she realized Fulmina would just keep doing it. She was careful about the amount of contact she had with the woman, because while she was undressing her around midnight, she'd been shocked so bad she bit dents into her tongue.]
[font "Times New Roman" The undressing wasn't [i nearly] as sexy as she was used to. Salena had dragged her to the bathroom, first struggling to even find out how the damn suit came off, then peeling it away from her rival's body. It was difficult to avoid the gaping wound, and she had the burns to prove it. She completely avoided touching the other woman as she slowly washed her with soap and a little water. Once finished, she added gauze and medical tape and laid her back down in the bed. Salena had read somewhere that when someone is having cold sweats or a fever you're supposed to just cover them in bed sheets, so that was what she did. Fulmina's suit and mask lay in a pile next to the bed.]
[font "Times New Roman" It all felt like a dream. A really bad one. Salena couldn't believe it ended up like this. While, sure, she'd maybeperhapsonceortwice thought about ending up with Fulmina in her bed--onlymaybeonceortwice--it was never like [i this].]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "You're killing me, Smalls,"] she breathed as she dabbed the girl's forehead, adjusting the pillows. [b "Wake the hell up, huh?"]]
[font "Times New Roman" Another day passed and Fulmina didn't wake up. Nothing really changed. It was like she was having a very extensive dream.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena stole some morphine from a hospital but wasn't sure how to use it without much experience with needles, so it just sat at Fulmina's bedside uselessly.]
[font "Times New Roman" She spent that day trying to figure out how to take care of someone stuck in a fucking coma. She truly wasn't qualified so it was starting to look like the girl would die no matter what.]
[font "Times New Roman" [i yikes. oh well though]]
[font "Times New Roman" It took a couple of tries to realize she couldn't try to force Fulmina to swallow. Her next best option was perodically spraying her face and mouth with water and hoping for the best in regards to staying hydrated. Cleaning the wounds was definitely the easiest part by far. No guesswork, no hoping, just [i doing].]
[font "Times New Roman" She only left the lair to steal petty things--one very important one being a mattress. When she stole, Scorpion tried not to take anything that would be sorely missed and looked into like an entire bedset. A mattress, though--who would miss that?]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena settled in the armchair with a laptop on her lap, struggling to keep her eyes open as she researched her heist in China and what lies Devil may have told the media.]
It was a big day. Everyone was gathered together. Her mother was there, smiling. Her brother too, everyone. She giggled and ran for the picnic, arms raised in delight.
Her grandmother nudged her with a platter. She looked up at the kindly old woman, and they traded smiles. "Avere un altro, per favore," she said, smiling. Amy smiled back and took one. Cookies, coated in powdered sugar. The sweetness melted on her tongue, then crunched, the heavier flavor of the cookie dominating. She smiled as her grandmother petted her hair. "Ah, sono gustosi, no?"
"Sono deliziosi, nonna," she said, reaching for another.
Her grandmother lifted the platter out of her reach. Amy stared, confused. Why not? What had she done?
The sky clouded over. Rain poured down. Everyone jumped for the picnic blanket, grabbing up pieces of food, snatching the blanket, then scattered. Amy ran too. Their car. She had to get to the car.
Lightning struck nearby, splitting a tree in two. Amy screamed and diverted, running for a nearby picnic shelter instead. She couldn't make it, she wasn't going to survive, she was going to die, going to die, going to die!
Darkness closed in. Lightning flashed again, in the distance this time. The thunder was the loudest thing she'd ever heard, while the rain pounded on the roof like a stampede. She stared around, pushing her wet hair out of her face. Where were they? Where was everyone? Her grandma? Her parents?
"Amy! Amy!" her brother shouted. She spun, delighted to hear another voice, and ran for him, paying no mind that she left the shelter behind, or that the rain was soaking her through. Her brother reached out for her, tears soaking into the rain, terrified. She reached out as well, as hard as she could.
Lightning struck, a bright light that filled her vision to the brim, a concussion that shook the very earth and rattled her bones. Her brother was standing there, a shocked expression on his face; then he crumpled. It arced over her harmlessly, striking with its full force, but without harming her any. But her brother, her brother--! "No, no!" Amy screamed, falling to her knees. She caught him. So tiny. His body was so tiny. She cradled him close to her bosom, feeling the coldness of his skin as the rain rapidly cooled him, her body fully grown while her brother stayed tiny. He was gone. He was gone forever.
On the bed, she twitched and shifted, face contorting with pain. The motion woke her a bit, and she opened her eyes and coughed; a foul scent lingered. "Ospedale," she breathed, then passed out again. A fever flushed her face with heat, and her breathing grew slowly more pained as the night stretched on.
[font "Times New Roman" To be completely honest, the screaming kind of made the villainess feel bad. Some part of her halfway feared she was killing the poor girl, but the greater part acknowledged the risk that she might be, yet that it was in an effort of [i helping], and she couldn't be blamed.]
[font "Times New Roman" She completely ignored the insistence of a hospital. First of all, Scorpion had one of the most recognizable faces in the world--there was no way they'd service her. Second, Fulmina was in [i full] costume. And third, there'd been rumor of hospitals giving up injured heroes to Devil...]
[font "Times New Roman" [i long story short, i'm not taking that risk for you]]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena didn't sway with holding Fulmina's hand over her wound even through the dramatic tantrum. She just rolled her eyes and waited for it to either be over or for the girl to die.]
[font "Times New Roman" The electricity caught her by surprise. Scorpion had been under the impression that the heroine would have more control over it, but that wasn't the case. She was electrocuted, her grip tightening involuntarily on the other woman's wrist. Their joint screams bounced off the cold walls in tandem suffering. Scorpion couldn't let go until the other woman passed out, falling down and seizing for a few more moments. While she wasn't as charred as she could've been, her hand was still badly burned since it was what had been exposed.]
[font "Times New Roman" At least the idiot was still alive.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena didn't move for what felt like centuries. When she finally did, she tried to wake her nemesis up, slapping her face a few times before realizing the girl was really out. A sigh escaped her, her arms aching and burning when she reached out and began trying to gently move Fulmina into her bedroom.]
[font "Times New Roman" [i she's definitely buying me some more sheets. they're expensive... they're egyptian]]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Damn, bitch, you're heavy,"] she muttered to herself. Carrying the curly-haired woman bridal style was definitely a mistake. The only reason she hadn't used a portal to transport her was because she didn't want to end up dropping the girl too hard and her walking away just for Fulmina to quietly bleed to death.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena carefully laid her old foe down on the bed. Part of her itched to take off the mask, just sneak a peek--]
[font "Times New Roman" No. That would be cheating.]
[font "Times New Roman" [i and besides, just because i saw her face wouldn't mean i'd know who she was]
[font "Times New Roman" Scorpion sighed, glancing again at Fulmina before leaving the room and loping over to the bathroom. This shower was bound to be painful.]
[font "Times New Roman" It was an extremely long process taking her suit off, and another one altogether to make herself actually stand under the water. A yelp escaped her before she shut herself up, making a marked effort to wash all her wounds out with soap and water.]
[font "Times New Roman" [i still. in need. of a drink.]]
[font "Times New Roman" At least an hour passed spent entirely in the shower. Scorpion climbed out, wrapping a towel around her body and another around her hair, limping back to her room. Fulmina was still asleep, as expected. Shit, she wouldn't be surprised if the girl slept for days.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena decided she should probably take a precaution...Then was too lazy to go looking for something to tie the woman up with. If she left, it was her ass, and if she tried to attack, well... she wasn't exactly in fighting shape.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena shrugged the thought off as she went back to the spot of blood and medical supplies, picking up the needle, thread, gauze, and medical tape. She'd have to at least stitch up what the Devil asshole did to her shoulder. There wasn't much left to do for Fulmina with her suit still all the way on. She'd only take it off if the woman slept for more than twelve hours...]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "This is a fucking nightmare, swear to god."]]
[font "Times New Roman" The dark-haired woman shook her head in complete dismay as she entered the room again and approached the bed next to Fulmina's head. She reached into her bedside table and pulled out a blunt and lighter, hoping to be able to numb the pain of giving herself stitches. And the other pain, of course, but mostly the stitches. The thought of Fulmina trying to stop her from doing drugs made her smile.]
[font "Times New Roman" Scorpion smoked for at least fifteen minutes before she was comfortably high, pacing the length of her room. She walked from the closet to the far left to the dresser on the far right, passing the bed, an armchair, and a few high-tech-looking chests in between. She kept trying to tell herself she was ready, but who's ever really prepared for something like that?]
[font "Times New Roman" [i i'm bleeding on my towels and she's bleeding on my sheets what the fuckkkkk]]
[font "Times New Roman" Wincing at just the thought, Salena decided it was now or never. She cast one last glance at the unconscious woman in her bed--irony--before slowly limping away to the bathroom to patch herself up.]
No hospital? Okay. Okay. She was going to die. Ugh. The clatter of bottles and metal implements sounded out beside her, and then Scorpion was back. She winced as her face was slapped--did she really need to do that? Fulmina was already in plenty of pain.
"What... what're you," she managed, and then cold liquid burned its way through her insides. She screamed in pain, unable to hold it back. There were no thoughts, just pure, white hot pain, her body going tight, hands and toes clenching, every muscle tense, back arcing from the pain. Damn, damn, damn! Shit. She was going to die. Scorpion was going to torture her to death, and she'd die.
The woman grabbed her hand and put it against her torso, where the wound was. Fulmina tried to uncurl her fingers and press them against it. "Hospital," she begged helplessly. She already knew it wasn't an option. Her suit. And Scorpion would know. Would find out her face. She couldn't. But she had to. She wasn't going to survive this.
"I'm going to die, I'm going to die anyways," she screamed, kicking at the air. No. Okay. She had to do it. She had to do this, or she'd bleed out. Scorpion was right about that, at least.
She closed her eyes and focused as hard as she could. Electricity fizzled through her veins. It was hard to focus, hard to keep her attention on her powers and not the extreme pain radiating from her gut. And shit, this was going to hurt too, wasn't it? She hissed in a deep breath and closed her eyes, then frowned and pushed, forcing the electricity out of her hand. This time, the pain was sharper and hotter and it sparked through her whole body, racing up and down her torso. Someone was screaming; no, no, that was her. That was her. And it hurt, it hurt so bad. She couldn't. Not anymore. She couldn't.
Fulmina went limp on the floor, hands falling free of her body. Her consciousness had fled, completely gone, out of the moment. For a second, she felt that she felt no pain, and she relaxed, letting it all go; then she was gone, and this time, no amount of slapping could wake her up.
[font "Times New Roman" Salena didn't move from her spot on the floor for several pain-stricken seconds. Her chest heaved and made a shitty experience out of breathing. It was safe to assume, at the very least, that she had some bruised ribs.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Fuckin' stupid ass shitstain fucker,"] she muttered aimlessly as she rolled over and forced herself up. Fulmina was bound to bleed out on her floor if she didn't do something...]
[font "Times New Roman" But what was there to do? While, [i sure], she'd been stabbed by the heroine's sword, she'd never been... impaled like that. She wasn't qualified to deal with it.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena decided there was nothing she could do that could make it worse. Her body complained as she started hurriedly limping towards her bathroom, throwing her gloves on the floor; Fulmina lay writhing on the empty living room floor.]
[font "Times New Roman" Well, "living room" was a nice way to put it. It wasn't exactly decorated. Sure, it was fully functional and entirely welcome for someone to live in, but Scorpion just hadn't stayed in it long enough to worry about furniture and such. The kitchen and bathrooms had everything, but there was nothing else in the lair besides her bedroom, a couple closets, and the wide open space that be used for pretty much anything. It wasn't homey, but it didn't matter to her. Even her bedroom was barren.]
[font "Times New Roman" In the bathroom, she threw various supplies through a portal: medical gauze, needle, thread, peroxide, alcohol, saline solution, and medical tape. Shit, she hoped it was enough to save a life. It landed on the floor next to Fulmina on the other end of the portal, which Scorpion jumped through just after to save herself the trip.]
[font "Times New Roman" The mention of a hospital made her laugh, then grimace at the pain. [b "Full of jokes, huh, babyface?"] She gulped back the urge to gag as she moved the curly-haired woman's hand away from the wound, taking into account how her eyes were rolling back. [b "Lookin' kinda shitty down here. Hey, hey--stay awake! I'm not doing this for free; you're not about to die."] Salena honestly was at a loss, biting her lip as she tried to think even as her hands moved instinctively. First, to clean the wound. She poured saline on it, then followed it by peroxide. She knew she used peroxide to clean her own cuts so hopefully this would work out okay...]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Look at me."] Salena lifted Fulmina's head up, moving it slightly until the woman was making eye contact. [b "Can you hear me? You need to cauterize your wound or you [i will]--I'm deadass serious--fuckin' die. I'm putting your hand over it, so just let it rip, sparky."]]
Scorpion was there, suddenly, a blur of black come to attack. Fulmina sagged down and caught her breath. Shit. Scorpion was taking the chance to finish her off, wasn't she? Damn it. This is what she got for being the hero, but what was she going to do? If she didn't who would?
And then Scorpion crashed into the Devil and drove him to the floor.
Why? No, wait. Why didn't matter. While the two foes tangled, Fulmina slowly started working her way free. The pain was all-encompassing, but if she didn't escape now, she'd die. She had to push through. Keep her focus, and keep going. Around her, the frazzles of electricity calmed down, concentrating where she placed them. The red energy that held her wasn't all-powerful. With little zaps carefully placed, she pushed at the red energy, weakening it. She could escape.
Just as the energy weakened, Scorpion appeared beside her. She couldn't bite back the scream as she was shoved, unceremoniously, through a portal. Behind Scorpion, the Devil threw a spear of that terrible energy; Fulmina bit her lip and focused, throwing her hand out. All the electricity she'd forced into the wall behind her while she'd been tied out leaped out at him, blasting him and the spear off-course, just enough off-course that it grazed Scorpion instead of killing her.
And then she landed on an unfamiliar floor, in an unfamiliar place. "Merda," she hissed, fists clenching against the blast of pain that rattled through her body, raging through her nerves. Injured, in her enemy's base? This day just couldn't get worse. Damn it! She should've just stayed home and sipped her wine, Scorpion be damned. Now she was going to bleed out here, in this hellhole.
"No chance... hospital?" she tried. Surely the Scorpion wouldn't have saved her just to kill her on her own twisted terms? Or maybe that was exactly what this was. Dammit. She put one hand on the wound and pressed as hard as she could, even as she felt her consciousness slipping away. "Merda, merda, merda." This day had gone to shit. Was this how she died?
[font "Times New Roman" The Devil reached out and pinned Scorpion down with whatever [i energy] that red shit was he kept in the palm of his hand like a lantern. She struggled to move, but nothing would give. There was no way to summon a portal without using her hands to gesture, so she was positively [i trapped].]
[font "Times New Roman" He was advancing fast after dealing with Fulmina. Scorpion couldn't see much from her awkward position on the ground, craning her neck just enough to see him coming towards her out of the corner of her eye. She was trying to think of what there was to do but there was nothing. She was a sitting duck waiting to be slaughtered.]
[font "Times New Roman" Fulmina was still fighting him. It was confusing to Salena why the woman should--she could've used Devil's distraction to escape and live to fight another day--but it was almost like Fulmina was trying to save her...]
[font "Times New Roman" "If you're so eager, then I shall deliver you first."]
[font "Times New Roman" The words carried a lot more weight than Scorpion was ready for. His focus shifted and the power over her weakened enough to allow her to maneuver a portal below her body and opening another one from the ceiling directly above. She landed on her feet, looking up just in time to see Fulmina trying to deliver a blow to counter the magic Devil was using. It was quite the lights show and Scorpion fully expected Devil to be barbecue after.]
[font "Times New Roman" No such fairytale ending. When the lights faded and Salena's vision adjusted, there was something much resembling a spear plunged through Fulmina's stomach. The Indian woman's breath hitched, heart in her mouth, every muscle aching to move but too scared to.]
[font "Times New Roman" [i fucking idiot. why didn't you leave when you had the chance?]]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Oh my god..."] The words barely slipped out of her mouth, watery and breathless. What could she do? He was really going to kill her... He was really going to do it...]
[font "Times New Roman" [i fuck it]]
[font "Times New Roman" Scorpion ignored her instincts to hightail it out of there. She got a running start, sprinting towards Devil. He was so preoccupied with Fulmina that he was barely paying attention to her, lazily raising a hand to deal with her nuisance. As soon as she saw it, she opened a portal directly in front of her and another one to his immediate left, catching him off guard. She bodyslammed him through another portal on his right, separating him from Fulmina and unceremoniously dropping her body to the ground. They exited a portal from the ceiling with Devil on the bottom. He groaned--it was a lucky hit was all. She'd be dealt with swiftly.]
[font "Times New Roman" Shit, even Salena knew that what she'd gotten was lucky. She didn't waste any more time. He reached for one of her ankles and pulled her to the floor with him. She kicked ferociously, but he pulled her back to him and slammed her face into the floor.]
[font "Times New Roman" The taste of blood was coppery and annoying. It felt like maybe he slammed her hard enough to loosen one of her teeth.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena flailed aimlessly for a moment before one of her claws caught his arm, ripping it open immediately. He cringed from the sight of the blood more than any pain. He feared it could be something serious like an artery.]
[font "Times New Roman" It didn't matter to her. She took her chance. The woman rolled into a portal and opened another next to Fulmina. Scorpion was afraid to move her because she wasn't sure if she could make it worse somehow... Shit, she was only medically inclined enough to patch herself up after a fight with her nemesis... This shit was the real deal.]
[font "Times New Roman" Devil summoned another spear, aiming it at the two: Scorpion crouching next to a Fulmina who honestly looked down for the count. Fear touched Scorpion's heart as she realized what she had to do.]
[font "Times New Roman" [i i have to save her]]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena mentally cursed herself out as she opened a portal next to her nemesis, shoving her through just as Devil launched the spear. It grazed Salena's side as she followed after, tearing through her suit and leaving a gash in its wake. She struggled to figure out where to open the portal out before deciding on one place she knew was safe: her own.]
[font "Times New Roman" They exited in a bloody pile on the floor of a so-called "evil lair" in Iceland.]
[font "Times New Roman" [i i need a fucking drink]]
"Don't you dare!" Fulmina snarled. Dammit, she hadn't signed onto this gig to be a wordsmith, she'd signed on to defeat villains! English was hard enough. Anything beside the formal stuff she'd learned in college was too hard for her.
A bright red line appeared in the thin stretch of flesh her gash had revealed. Fulmina spared herself a small grin and stepped back, one hand behind her. "She's stunned, get out of here!" she said to the guard. "Now's not the time to be playing hero!"
A percussive blast threw her forward. She managed to avoid falling on her sword by a hair, but couldn't avoid falling on her face. The impact alone left her stunned, cheekbone aching; it'd be a hell of a bruise later. No, that wasn't... important. This was... it had to be, right? Ugh. She couldn't think straight. Had to. This was important. [i Ottenere tutto in ordine.] Horns. Black cape. Fuck. The Devil. He looked like the fucking--[i holy shit].
She pushed herself up slowly. No. Had to... stop him. She staggered, fell against the wall, sword clattering up against the vaults. Lightning frazzled the air around her, making her hair frizz, little bolts of light brightening the immediate area around her. Couldn't focus. Her powers were going nuts. Had to [i focus]!
The Devil reached out and she slammed up against the wall. Reddish-black energy coiled tight around her neck and wrists, pinning her to the spot. "Not yet," he growled, voice distorted.
"Coward! Won't even reveal your voice? Won't fight like a man! Face me!" she shouted, pulling against the restraints.
The man ignored her, advancing on Scorpion instead. She pulled harder and felt the restraints tighten. With a gasp, she stopped fighting. Had to save her strength. He'd be going for her next, wouldn't he? Why not let him have the Scorpion? She was villain trash anyways.
No! How dare she think like that? Fulmina gritted her teeth and closed her eyes, drawing on all the energy she could muster. Static electricity flickered all around her, growing more intense by the second. She was a hero! She saved everyone, evil or good, villain or hero! No one died, as long as she was on the watch!
The vault doors flickered as well, electricity spreading through the metal. They were double-plated; she hadn't realized it earlier, but they made excellent capacitors. More and more electricity, until she felt the doors practically buzz with it. The Devil was standing over Scorpion, the red-black energy in his hand reforming, shaping into almost a spear. Shit! He'd break her no-kill record for sure!
She wasn't going to let that happen. Fulmina gritted her teeth and released all the energy she'd stored at once. Electricity blasted from the wall directly at the Devil, a white-gold bolt of pure power.
The Devil raised a hand. A bright white energy spread from his hand, forming a barrier between him and her. The lightning fizzled out, unable to hit its target. She snarled and gritted her teeth. Damn it! Another facet of that red-black power? No, but it looked completely different, didn't it?
Actually, now that she was thinking about it... wasn't that Shield-Bearer's shield? That blue-silver glow... no mistaking it. "How?" she breathed, eyes wide. How did he have that?
"Acts 1:7: It is not for you to know the times or seasons," the Devil growled, rounding on her. He threw the spear. Fulmina flinched and blasted all the power she could summon through her sword, but the red-black bolt flew through it like she had done nothing at all. It hit hard, driving all the air out of her; she gasped, then bit back a whimper--it hurt, it hurt, oh God, it hurt.
"If you're so eager, then I shall deliver you first," he growled. A hand clamped around her head; Fulmina gasped and bit back a scream as she was pulled upward, the spear in her stomach jostled. This wasn't good. This wasn't good. Her sword. The vaults. Something. Anything. Couldn't... couldn't focus. Pain bit through her, pulsing with every beat of her heart, blood slicking hot down her stomach. It hurt so bad, it hurt, it hurt--
[font "Times New Roman" Salena couldn't lie, the stings were starting to pose more of a threat every time Fulmina got her with the sword. It wasn't enough to incapacitate her, but it was enough to be bothersome after a couple of times. Maybe the woman had upped the ante after all.]
[font "Times New Roman" She stumbled backwards awkwardly after being kicked in the chest, her ribcage aching. There had definitely been some [i force] in that thing. Was she just rusty or was her old foe actually getting... better?]
[font "Times New Roman" Scorpion barely dodged the blade coming directly for her, skimming it along the edge of her claws. So Fulmina was playing for keeps, it seemed. It didn't escape her attention that the hero was touching her blade to the metal walls of the vault. While Scorpion couldn't be sure just how much electricity was being put into them, she was very wary nonetheless.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "Have I ever told you how generic you sound?"] she mused aloud. Teasing the woman was definitely one of Salena's favorite pastimes. [b "Police are on the way, doll, I gotta get goin'."] The caramel-skinned woman chuckled to herself as she threw a couple more bars of gold into a portal just before Fulmina started her barrage. She was less than half a second too slow--the very tip of the sword cut into her suit and delivered a shock that confused her for a few moments. It was all she could do to stay clear-headed and on her feet, wildly moving back.]
[font "Times New Roman" Scorpion got her break when Fulmina moved back and to the right to protect whoever had wandered through the door. Of course the guards would choose now to be heroes.]
[font "Times New Roman" She took advantage by using the moments to catch her breath. While the cut wasn't very deep, it crossed her abdomen because of the wide arch Fulmina had been swinging with, and stung like nothing else she'd experienced so far into the fight.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "My mistake for bringing claws to--"]]
[font "Times New Roman" She didn't get to finish her sentence as a bright red light erupted behind Fulmina. Scorpion was reaching up to shield her eyes when her body was thrown backwards so suddenly she didn't have any time to react. It felt like she'd been hit by a ton of bricks slamming her into the far back of the vault. Her body convulsed as the electricity coursed through her, snatching her breath away and making her heart skip a beat. It all happened so fast that she couldn't even process it, her body crumpling to the floor in a heap.]
[font "Times New Roman" "1 Kings 14:9," came a distorted masculine voice above the fuzziness in Salena's head. She struggled to get to her feet, slipping and sliding because of her numb limbs. Everything felt numb. "'You have done more evil than all who lived before you.' Villain Scorpion. Hero Fulmina. You are hereby sentenced to death."]
[font "Times New Roman" It was the Devil fucker. How had he even gotten there? Scorpion never thought he'd come personally to execute her. She was still working to catch her breath, squinting to look at him. He wore a red mask over his face with devil horns--[i what a cliche]--and a black suit with a cape. Her vision wouldn't focus enough to allow her to see the details. He held his hand up with some kind of glowing red orb circling around his palm, sparking between his fingers.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "You sound even worse than her,"] she muttered to herself, pulling her body up into a fighting stance. [b "Come on then. [i Bitch]."]]
[font "Times New Roman" [i i'm not supposed to die like this]]
so basically he's attacking scorpion first cause. yknow. villain
i've decided he's a power thief. so the only reason he has powers is because he steals them from people but it's a very long, energetically taxing process. he won't gain their powers from fighting them but he might try to get them eventually.
Those damn portals! If it wasn't for them, she could've kept the Scorpion from ever making a penny off of crime, but the way she could just pop them open anywhere and send them wherever she wanted... it was beyond frustrating. At least her presence was enough to get the Scorpion to close the portal--not that it was a good thing, that. Now there was no way to know where she'd sent the gold. Even if she captured the woman, she'd make profit off this heist, and that thought killed Fulmina.
She strode forward, sword held out before her. "Enough of your repugnant speech," she announced. Apparently Scorpion agreed, because seconds later the woman vanished, only to reappear behind her. Old hat. Her sword blocked the blow without her hardly having to think about it, and she pivoted, parrying the flurry of kicks away with a few well-placed blows from the sword. Each blow of the sword dealt a small shock, which was probably absorbed by the Scorpion's suit. But rubber couldn't absorb everything. On the final kick in the set, she pushed a surge of electricity through the blade, enough to make Scorpion's leg numb even through the suit. On anyone else, it would've been a near-fatal dosage, but the suit had been custom-built to counter her powers, so she had no fears about killing the villain.
Fulmina kicked her in the chest, pressing her advantage, then struck with the sharp edge of the sword at Scorpion's suit. If she could cut it open, she'd be able to deliver a shock directly to the villain and put her down like the dog she was. Not kill, of course. But she wouldn't be happy about breathing for a while.
Of course, the villain knew that. It would be no surprise to her what Fulmina was going for, and the woman was lithe. If it was easy to do what she was trying for, she would've done it ages ago. "Stand down and repent, villain!" she shouted, casually touching the wall of vaults behind her with the tip of her weapon. Electricity coursed through them, invisible but dangerous. If she could just maneuver Scorpion around in this little dance to put her back to the wall, she'd be able to deliver a shock like the villain had hardly seen.
She lunged for Scorpion, swinging wide, trying to force her to move back rather than to hit, sash flashing as she moved. "This time for sure, your vile deeds end here!"
Behind her, someone stepped into the door. A guard? Now was not the time! She put herself between them and Scorpion, worried they might get hit by a stray slash. Those claws were razor-sharp, a lesson she'd learned the hard way. The scars still hadn't faded, and might never. But that was the price she paid for being a hero; a price she gladly bore.
[font "Times New Roman" [i right on time]]
[font "Times New Roman" Scorpion rolled her eyes and sighed when she heard her familiar foe's voice. It was almost nice to hear it after such a long time. The months had been full of people the dark-haired woman couldn't be paid to remember.]
[font "Times New Roman" There was a portal formed just to her left that she was dropping gold bars into as fast as she could grab. She had probably dropped close to thirty by the time her favorite person in the world showed up. The heavy things were probably waiting for her at home by now.]
[font "Times New Roman" That was kind of the thing that irked her about the difference between her and Fulmina's powers: she could only open portals to places she'd seen before while the hero bitch seemed to just pop up around the world whenever and wherever she wanted. It was exhausting.]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "I'm excited to see you too, sugarpie,"] the villain drawled with a grin arcing across her features. [b "I see you never miss with the foreplay."] Her accent was barely an accent since she'd been born in India but raised from age thirteen on in the States. Sometimes it slipped, but mostly she could pass for an American by voice alone.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena stopped throwing the bars in, closing that portal and flexing her hands. Her claws [i itched] to be put into action. After all, she'd sharpened them just for this. It kind of excited her to be fighting again. What new things had Fulmina learned? Did she learn anything new at all? Her suit looked pretty souped up from what Salena could see, which was interesting considering the woman hadn't been in the news saving lives very recently. Was she afraid too? Especially considering the fact that Scorpion was notorious for escaping when they fought?]
[font "Times New Roman" [b "But enough with the teasing."] She inched forward with her predatory grin ever intact. Her claws could deal with the sword, but she had to be careful not to get electrocuted... again. Some part of her wished she'd brought her own toys, but it would've put the heist at risk. [b "I'm ready for the real thing."]]
[font "Times New Roman" While Scorpion's own outfit was rather simple--a black catsuit with reinforcements in key places, completed with a utility belt, shoulder holsters, and thigh holster--Fulmina's was almost extraordinary. It was definitely fun to look at. Scorpion wasn't much of a costume maker herself and didn't want to fix what wasn't broken, so she'd kept more or so the same look for the entire time they'd been fighting. Very few things had changed. Tonight, though, she had nothing extra on her save for the fanny pack and her everpresent gloves. She didn't go anywhere without her babies.]
[font "Times New Roman" Adrenaline rushed through every part of her body. It really was such a thrill. The guards posed no real threat, offered no challenge. She probably wouldn't have killed any if they didn't shoot.]
[font "Times New Roman" [i who cares if you kill a couple people who try to kill you first]]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena lunged for her rival, opening a portal before herself and just behind Fulmina. Her savage downward swipe was blunted by the sword and she skittered back to avoid the electrocution. While the suit could dim the affects of being struck by lightning--something she'd had to add in almost immediately after their first fight--it couldn't altogether stop them. Plus the shit hurt.]
[font "Times New Roman" She gathered herself and advanced once more, angling a flurry of kicks to get past Fulmina's defenses. It was a dance only the two of them knew the right moves to. It was almost intimate.]
[font "Times New Roman" There were more guards stacking outside the doors, probably waiting for it to sound like a real fight before rushing in to lose their lives. She'd heard them calling her name. The Fulmina fucking fanclub.]
It was shaping up to be a fine, lazy evening. Amy sipped her wine and leaned back on the lounge chair on her apartment's balcony. Nothing like a quiet, crime-free weekend. She hated to admit it, but maybe this Devil character had the right idea. Things sure had quieted down since he'd started up.
No, she didn't really mean it. That guy was wicked, the worst of the worst. One day, and one day soon, she'd take him down and make sure he paid for his crimes. Killing heroes like her, who'd never done anything but their best, but try and make this world a better world; it was sickening. Some of her friends had been really broken up about it, though if she was being honest, she hadn't exactly known any of the heroes he'd killed. She disagreed with it and thought it was disgusting and wrong, and her heart went out for them, but to some extent, it just didn't feel real. Everyone she knew was fine. And hell, he killed villains, too.
Amy sighed and pushed back her dark, curly hair, then sat up. It was a gorgeous sunset. The colors were reflected back in the clouds, pinks and oranges and purples playing out on the magnificent, dramatic canvas of the towering storm clouds in the distance. They were still pale, not yet dark and threatening rain, but towering high, building lofty flat heads far into the sky. Gorgeous, but foreboding; there would be rain tonight. She'd have to put the chairs in.
In the distance, thunder rumbled; almost in sync, the alarm on her phone blared.
Startled, Amy just about dropped the device. It flipped in her hands, slipping and sliding; just before it flew over the balcony, she caught it. With a relieved sigh, she flicked it open.
[i HIGH ALERT
ICB OF CHINA under attack
Suspect: THE SCORPION]
Ah, her nemesis. The damn slippery bitch had escaped her so many times, but this time... this time would be the last. China? It was a bit of a hike. Amy looked to the horizon, then checked the storm forecast in Beijing. Thunderstorms and heavy smog; she could do without the smog, but the thunderstorms... that was a lucky strike. It'd be much easier, then.
She put down her wine and rushed inside, quickly pulling on the skintight charcoal-grey-black-gunmetal suit she always wore, each color blocked out and swirled together like a stormcloud pulling down from across her shoulders to her left hip, where it left off in a long silver sash hanging from that hip. Black leggings completed the look. The whole ensemble was padded in strategic places with armored plate. A belt went tight around her hips, and she slid a gleaming longsword into the black hilt decorated with a single thread-thin bolt of silver. The final touch was a bright-silver mask, the ties dangling long at the back of her head and ended in lightning-bolt zigzags.
Equipped, she ran back out onto the balcony and reached out towards the clouds. Lightning struck down onto her, and when it was gone, so was she, hurtling across the sky in a bright bolt of electricity.
At the speed of lightning, she flashed across the sky. From her apartment outside of Naples, it was only a few seconds from Italy to China. She landed hard atop the bank in the pouring rain and looked around. Not to her surprise, a security guard was waiting for her; he gave her a succinct nod and opened the roof door for her, then bowed and gestured for her to enter. She gave him a smile and hurried inside. There were fans everywhere, all around the world. They sent her tips, kept her updated, and got her into places where she would've otherwise had to blow up locks or mangle doors.
The rush of security guards told her exactly which direction to go. Amy took it fast, pushing a little extra electricity into her limbs to speed herself up. She breezed past the guards. Some ignored her; others shouted her name as she passed: "Fulmina! Fulmina!" The rest was all babble; she didn't speak Chinese. Still, she gave them a wave as she ran past. Couldn't ignore her fans, after all.
Deeper into the bank. She found herself in the vaults, surrounded by the wreckage Scorpion always left behind. Amy crouched by the bloodied guards and checked their vitals, but the ones who weren't dead were fading fast. "How dare you!" she shouted in heavily accented English. Italian was her native language, but she was more or less sure the Scorpion couldn't understand it, so English it was.
The vault door was open. The Scorpion stood within, already raiding the valuables inside. "Take your hands off!" Fulmina announced, raising her sword at the ready. She was more than used to the woman's portals; the nice thing was, lightning arced. Charge gathered along the length of her sword, ready to discharge at her will. "Step away from the valuables and put your hands up!"
She already knew the Scorpion wouldn't, but she [i was] a hero, after all.
[font "Times New Roman" China had quite a couple banks, many of which had been robbed by her already, but [i this] one took the cake. She'd staked the place out for weeks on end. It was a tedious process but she was lucky to have been graced with patience.]
[font "Times New Roman" Finally it was the night. Tuesday on a summer night. The bank was closed, night patrol comfortable in their duties so not on constant alert. The rotation of the vault she planned to break into was every five minutes, give or take a couple of seconds. It wasn't the highest priority vault--[i that] one's rotation was closer to two minutes and would be a prize for a later date.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena crawled through the ventilation of the main buidling. The shafts were just big enough for her wide shoulders to fit and be able to maneuver. She had four more meters to go, then a left, sharp right, and directly below her would be the janitor's closet closest to the vault.]
[font "Times New Roman" She had no fear of the man calling himself Devil--the public used to pick out names for evildoers but it got old and unimaginative--coming to ruin her party. While she [i was] in the top five on his wanted list, which was definitely flattering, she'd kept her head low for the last couple of months. She'd been on extended vacation in Iceland catching up on her magazines and massages. She skipped between her three evil lairs , her rooftop apartment in Japan, and various other places with all of her downtime. Of course, being a slug got boring and she was getting beside herself with the retirement activities.]
[font "Times New Roman" The woman checked her watch carefully as she neared the opening in the shaft that led to the closet. She'd managed to get into the security systems of the bank just enough to move the camera very slightly to where there was a blind spot just outside the closet door and as long as she stayed plastered to the wall for the remaining six meters to the vault.]
[font "Times New Roman" Her heartbeat was in her ears, adrenaline making her blood cold and her extremities shake. There was always a special kind of rush that came with breaking the law. This was next level, though. This was something completely unparalleled.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena--better known as Scorpion to everyone else in the world--stopped above her designated grate and slipped it relatively quietly out of place after unscrewing eight screws and gently placing them beside the vent. The woman checked her watch again. Thirty or so seconds before the guard walked by, idled for a minute, then walked away again.]
[font "Times New Roman" She let out a giddy breath and fidgeted with the goggles on top of her head, toggling them for a moment from night vision to infrared. She needn't struggle with them inside the vault because every second counted. Ten seconds until showtime. Her breaths were shallow and excited, flushing her cheeks and forcing aimless energy through her body. The dark-haired woman counted down in her head, listening for retreating steps grow fainter and fainter before she moved in.]
[font "Times New Roman" Her body fluidly slipped through the hole left by the vent, barely avoiding toppling over into a shelf. Her steps were quiet and measured as she tiptoed through the door and became one with the wall. Dark eyes sharply watched every possible angle as she tried to quickly but carefully get to the vault.]
[font "Times New Roman" There was no easy, painless way to get in. She couldn't easily hack it or get anyone to because it was on its own closed-circuit system--and because she didn't want to share her spoils. The codes changed every minute and a half. She had a backup plan if her first approach didn't work, but it would cause a lot of noise.]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena resisted a smug grin as she pulled her gloves tighter on her hands, the claws sharper than imaginable. The blades were so fine that even if she were to cut someone to the bone they wouldn't notice immediately. They were her best friends.]
[font "Times New Roman" The supermercenary pulled a rig out of her pack settled on the small of her back, adjusting the thing to the vault door near the vault lock. The vault door looked like any other one except for the advanced and automated security system and several other failsafes. The shit was built to withstand a bomb.]
[font "Times New Roman" The little electronic device beeped softly and displayed sixteen characters, a password it guessed could be right. Salena tried to calmly but quickly put it in before it changed again. If the code was wrong, police and guards would be alerted; even if it was right, security would still be alerted as they were every time the door opened.]
[font "Times New Roman" She was on the third to last character when the code changed and the door rejected her current one. It was pretty hit or miss.]
[font "Times New Roman" An alarm started to blare less than three seconds later. Loud and angry, it signalled her favorite part of the heist: the getaway.]
[font "Times New Roman" But not before she got in that damn room.]
[font "Times New Roman" [i damn she's probably on her way by now]]
[font "Times New Roman" Salena glanced again at her watch, putting in a new code as fast as possible. The door propped open with a slight hiss of air; it proved a challenge of strength as the Indian woman had to struggle to open it. It probably took four men to do what she was doing right now.]
[font "Times New Roman" "Hey! Hey you!" There was a man screaming from the opposite long hallway, sprinting full speed as he saw her with a foot inside the vault already. Nonplussed, the woman just laughed as she raised her hand and summoned a portal directly in front of him and another one a foot in front of one of the vault's walls. Needless to say he very unceremoniously took himself out of the equation.]
[font "Times New Roman" She glanced at her watch again. Even less time left. The police would be all over her in two minutes.]
[font "Times New Roman" Two more men came around the corner, one with an automatic rifle drawn and pointed at her. He didn't try to say anything before releasing a flurry of rather accurate bullets.]
[font "Times New Roman" He was lucky she hadn't brought any of her own weapons. It would've been too much to carry. She escaped the bullets by opening a portal in front of herself and another behind the three men and the bullets did the work themselves. One of them, however, managed to lodge into the wall near her shoulder.]
[font "Times New Roman" [i nice shot]]
[font "Times New Roman" The woman known as Scorpion didn't waste any more time as she disappeared into one of the most protected vaults in the world.]
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