The sky is a crisp blue the world is bright and the birds are singing. Everything is shiny. Everything smells of apple pies, of Liberation Day and of celebration. The not too distant ocean breeze carrying the anticipation of fireworks later that evening.
Mrs Johnson stands with her husband watching from the kitchen window “we’re never gonna find her a husband” she spreads soft hands across floured apron sighing.
“She’s a good girl, Susan” his voice is rough just as the hand he places round her waist. “Pretty too, and handy-what man don’t dream of a woman who can fix dinner and his truck!” He laughs a full belly laugh pulling his wife into him.
“That’s the problem Phil she can’t fix dinner!” delicate Susan bats at him her eyes focused on the fossil truck in the driveway. Young Cassi is currently tuning the ancient vehicle, but would burn the roast without turning on the oven. “She’s eighteen now, and has had more time with engines from the dark ages then boys-that’s a problem that’s a-”
“Attractive quality” he proudly interjects she looks up at him in horror, but before she can protest “a man loves an experienced girl for” he struggles rocking his head and shrugging “say a nice cruise up to cherry hill” she blushes as he bumps hip with her “but the girl you marry, the girl you marry spent her adolescents busying herself waiting for you.” He’s looking down a romantic smile in his eyes as she looks up still unconvinced “that’s why I married you”
Shoving him off “oh! What are you trying to say Phil!” she demands stamping delicately heeled foot to freshly installed linoleum floor.
He laughs again full belly “that you were a good girl” grabbing her by the wrist he pulls he in “the best girl-that’s why I married you while other girls were playing fast, my Susan was at home cooking and taking care of her studies. Every boy wanted you” her arms are wrapped about his rather barrel stomach looking up lovingly as he looks down smiling eyes “but I saw you, and you were mine. Cassi might not cook yet, but you didn’t know the difference between fossil and hybrid before I met you.” He hugs her tightly as she buries head into chest “or filo and watercress”
She laughs kicking his shin gently, not moving. Sighing that ever so lovely womanly sigh “you’re right, Phil, I’m sure when that boy comes along she’ll want to do those things and I’ll be here to teach her. Just like you talk her how to build par-”
The windows shake, hoots, cheers, and the roar of a road techtank fills the air. The couple sees Cassi pop out of the hood as the tank reaches their front yard “ahh the Castillo boys are home” Phil laughs waving into the window excitedly.
“Oh that’s wonderful! Diane will be so happy to have her boys home! And just in time for Liberation Day!” Susan comments to no one listening as Phil’s attention is on Cassi whose attention is on the eldest Castillo hanging off the tank looking down at her.
Musing he comments “this year let’s go to the Marina with’em pay respect to the boys”
“Who are they?” she paces the butt of her cigarette glowing in the black “where did they come from?” her heels click, click, clack. The little red light moving up and down rapidly, puff, puff, puff “find out where they come from.”
“I don’t appreciate demands Mrs. Owens. Just the opposite in fact I rather feel the way about them that I do about late night visitors.” My back is turned to her as I sit at my desk watching the reflection of her cigarette glow dance.
A long drag “where else do I have to go?” the smoke lights the black with its sensual curves. “This is bad. This is real bad!” heel stamp “it’s a nightmare that no one will wake up from!”
She’s right. One thing about this bitch she can read the writing on the wall “how’s this my concern?”
Laughing she ask “you think you’re above this shit? We’re headed back to the Dark ages honey and when the walls come crumbling down you’re just as likely to be beneath them.”
“That may be so Mrs. Owens, but it can also be said it makes for damn good radio.” Her cigarette goes out-times up. She’s gathering her things in a huff knowing the rules all too well.
“I’ll be in touch, Mrs Owens.”
She’s out the door and the on air signal flicks on.
Ladies and gentlemen today we are in for a treat!
We find ourselves with the ever so pleasant petite princess of peril and the mad mistress of science-WOAH what an unlikely duo! It’s gonna be a fun one~
Little miss pocket appears to have a hammer as she giggles with glee smoke and debris obscuring the scene. The ever observing STEM sitting out of its reach her glasses turned mirror in the sunlight her grin sharp-the tool works! But adjustments must be made. “Polly!” she calls stamping heeled foot the explosions only marred by the girls manic laughter “Polly we’re done here! GIVE ME THE HAMMER!”
Our little lady’s ears perk as her feet lift off the ground, her new friend meeting it’s target. “Weeeeeee!” she cheers watching the bomb come apart sheltered under STEM’s brilliant design. Floating above its handle the hammer sticks to the exploding landing. Giggling her head off she somersaults out of the test zone landing in front the lab coat clad nerd. “What if I don’t want too?” smirking her bubbly eyes cloud-pocket likes this toy.
Lowering glasses to the tip of pointed nose STEM examines the girl “hmm?” eye brow rises. “That would be rather silly, wouldn’t it, Polly?” blunted nails tap clipboard as she watches the much tinier woman itch. The thing about real psychos is they know how another ticks.
Candy coated lips curl ear to ear “silly, you say?” big bug eyes bug and head tilts dramatically. “Si-”
Never let crazy beat crazy “yes, precisely-silly. That hammer is yours in due time, but if you must be difficult, well-” pushing glasses back to place, sunlight turning them to mirrors, head raised, chin up “well then I’d have to find a new you.” The tone is unhinged and the smaller animal knows it’s place.
“Heh… like you could replace me” the hammer in the upper faced palms of her hands. She curtsies to its release.
Locking eyes she takes the weapon both women know, yeah they both know. Smirking “of course I could, but I’d rather not.” with her free hand she flips a treat to our princess who opens wide catching the piece with grace.
“Mmmmmmmmm! So good!” She dances around the inventor “I love HAM!” STEM burst into laughter placing the hammer in its case as into the sunset the dancing, ham loving, weapons tester prances away.
We find ourselves still on the scene. Our huntress blissfully unaware that she is now prey. Finding Alpha exactly where we left her, face smattered with blood, fist still rising and falling with vigor. She’s being stalked. A figure moving in the shadows, salivating, growing restless as the vigilantes victim has been long dead. The hyenas hysterical laughter beginning to drive the creature-certainly it’s a creature-mad.
“DIE! DIE! DIE!” Alpha screams at this point punching carpet, the woman’s head mere goo. Her eyes crazed through the blood soaked mask, she’d waited too long to get this one.
But tonight Alpha’s off the clock and possibly on the menu, “You talk too much!” the words escape the creature’s mouth, which formed the bottom half of what appeared to be it’s head. The sound is of distorted voices speaking all at once but out of tune. Our heroine stiffens, eyes scanning the darkness-no clear escape. Hands over nailed down daggers she begins weighing options. No time. Suddenly every solid object seems to explode as crashing tendrils shot out and passed our crouching hyena. Her eyes dared to move in socket witnessing the sudden pull back. The tendrils had a bulging end, the color a pasty sickly flesh-this is bad.
“Dinner!” cried the creature charging full speed, zeroed in on Alpha. She manges a back flip flying daggers in hand over the moving mass. Landing on feet she prepares for battle eyes having adjusted to the darkness long ago. The creature let’s out an inhuman cry turning to its victim-it’s body an over sized clay figure that seems to melt into itself.
Masses of pasty flesh bubble and move as its head tilts “no eyes” Alpha breathes widening her own as the tendrils shoot out again. Stopping right before contact this time plainly in view. One bulbous end within her eyelashes nearly touching her pupil-don’t blink! As quickly as they came they snap back-run, baby, run!
She doesn’t move. The earthquake starts the mass throwing itself toward dinner who watches wide eyed. Taking note of it’s ever changing flesh she drops to the floor falling on her back.
The creature stands over her wailing-unable to see tendrils shoot out this time from all directions. “Shit!” Alpha screams recognizing the fatal mistake as the mass reforms the creatures shapeless face above her own.
“Diiiiinnner” it moans. Mouth opening wider releasing an unholy sound as it prepared to devour her.
Meeting the end is not tonight’s plan. The animal rages from within; eyes bulging, teeth barred, arms thrashing in their tendrils confines and daggers still in hand. Into the creatures mouth she roars back defiantly clicking her heels together like a battle ready Dorothy she reveals the concealed blades. These ain’t your grandma’s ruby slippers. Continuing to thrash as the creature begins to struggle keeping hold of her, a meeker voice crying ” waited… waited… too long…”
Without waiting for context Alpha takes the opportunity-war boots meeting their target with a bang. The creature cries out rearing up momentarily giving the daggers in hand time to meet their new friend. With that our girl attempts to exit, it doesn’t need to be dead-she just needs to be alive.
Struggling to run she makes her way toward the escape wails and thrashing in the wake “what the fuck are you?” she breathes not looking back that is until that sound hits her ear. Eyes bulging she orders herself “faster! Survive faster!” seeing the beast protruding feelers darting toward her gives that delicious life saving a second wind. No matter how beat down she is she has to make it home.
The earthquake begins as she finds the stairwell, not bothering with steps instead swan dives off the rails-12 floors down.
She begins to count realizing the creature followed suit. One. Her hunter wails “FEEEEED!”. Two. Alpha begins frantically hitting the red button on her choker. Three. The creature still wailing shoots out its tendrils several hitting Alpha pushing her further down “thank you!” she calls out, four. Five. Six. Seven. The creature pulls back it’s feelers letting out an earth shattering wail-one soaked with desperation. Alpha reaches out grabbing on to a hand rail then flinging herself to the floor the creature falling down passed. She doesn’t wait.
Getting into the nearest elevator she begins the slow decent down. Is this safe? No, but remember Alpha is blonde albeit functioning. The music plays typical for the scene- she waits.
The doors open-screams. Not an other worldly beast something more familiar. Alpha reluctantly follows the sound to the stairwell-do not try this at home!
Opening the door she sees the creature holding onto a red, white, and blue clad woman. “Columbia” she sighs as the picture of liberation screams in utter terror, no hope for survival.
Against all better judgement our hyena launches onto the creatures back. Ignoring the gases and fluids bursting from it as she strikes over and over again. The hunted gets the hunter. That is until they witness it’s body break down, suddenly, there is nothing but goop on the floor as though the creature rapidly decayed.
The two made eyes, but both understood-not tonight. Not another motherfucking thing tonight. With that thought Ari pulled up.
Tonight-oh! Ladies and gentlemen tonight we bring you Alpha! We find this sexy hyena stalking prey at no other than the Luna Towers. Our ladies got a score to settle.
Everything was dark except one office in the distance where the bitch sits, but Alpha isn’t thirsty. This little piggie will come to her-did the darkness get darker? In that office it did. “Oh fuck!” Amber exclaims grabbing her tablet to light the way to the circuit breaker.
Our heroine smirks as the air gets heavy-snickers, cackles, and howls? begin to fill the space. Amber stops just outside the office door, the tablet light on her face-as though that’s a great idea. “What the shit-someone there? This isn’t funny.” the fear is apparent as she furrows her brows. Stamping a foot “this is stupid Amber” she laughs and moves toward the breaker. Stumbling along the way hitting shins on chairs and so forth Alpha gets bored.
Beginning to count the seconds as the light turns in the wrong direction “oh for fuck sake!” the savage lady screams. Amber’s light turns her way and finally the tablet turns outward. The young CEO can see the deadly beast-a lucky last sight. Before she can make a peep Alpha topples her breaking her legs at the kneecaps as they fall.
The pain induced wails send shivers down our heroines spine as she sits atop her victim. “Oh darling don’t cry!” taking her blades out she stakes Amber’s hands to the floor. “I’m gonna need you to be quiet honey” cooing she rips the girls shirt sleeve off then stuffs it into her mouth. Our beauties lips begin to twitch into hysteria as she looks at the other woman’s fear “Amber Warren” runs fingers down her forehead, nose and lips “a descendent of filth which is a product of filth which can be traced all the way back to the dark ages. Of filth no less” Alpha places her cheek on Amber’s “you are what’s wrong with this world. Pathetic, weak, and so willing to die. You are the reason people like me exist.” Running gloved nails down her cheek “no matter” she looks into her fear filled eyes. Cocking her head to one side with that manic smile “either way you die!” Never flinching from her gaze she begins to beat in her face, her gloved fist meeting bone with glee.
Her crazed laughs echo through the offices, filling the darkness-along with the awkward background noise from when this all started. As her fist fall again, and again, and again. Alpha enthralled with this eventuality.
We find ourselves watching a good ol’fashion FREAK chase. This little kitty better get a move on or she’ll be fish bait!
Huffing and puffing we’re introduced to young Katherine as she flees the bloodthirsty norms hot on her tail. From behind she hears the hate “FREAK! KILL THE FREAK!” she knew she’d done wrong, but lynch-wrong? This shit is ridiculous.
Knocking over everything in her path she heads down the subway entrance steps-praying to whatever would listen it’d be open. Met with a rusty iron rod gate she gulps pushing it forward, is it? It is.
Risking only seconds to crush the bars into place hopefully to lock out the fire-where the fuck do city folk get torches? Katherine keeps moving. The funs not over yet.
Following the abandon rail she finds herself closing in on the ruins where it could mean escape or it could mean death. She’s heard the stories.
But caution is a luxury one she cannot afford “there she is!”
“FREAK!” the mobs found her. The bars are rusty and she may have broken them a bit…
“Fuck” she sighs willing her way forward she may be strong, among other things, but this chase started long before we got here. From the subway she finds a drop where the track falls into the sewers. Through the fecal decorated cavity she plunges deeper, maybe norms won’t want hepatitis? Internally she’s screaming but an open mouth is vulnerable so she holds it in.
The flames are getting closer, the footsteps joined by others, apparently they haven’t heard the stories. In a river of you don’t want to know she pushes through noticing nothing but what’s before her, keep moving, keep moving-how are they still getting closer!? Was what she’d done all that bad? Yes, but come on she’s about to fall down a waterfall of shit.
At that moment she looks down-she shouldn’t have-and realizes she’s ran directly off the ledge “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” submerging she’s reminded of why an open mouth is vulnerable. The mob unencumbered by the need to live have used the narrow walk way lining one side of the wall almost en masse-those who didn’t were wise enough to get on it to use the ladder down at least.
Our unlikely heroine finds her way to the surface frantically swimming towards the edge luckily she’s smart enough to go the opposite of the ladder lifting out of the river to continue her run. The open area of the waterfall quickly became a dark tunnel she pushed through feeling eyes. Light from behind-they found her!
“Fuck” she pants using her arms and the walls to throw herself forward as light hits her eyes. Neon lights.
Suddenly she falls down, down, down through the roof of one of the old city shops. As she falls she sees a portion of the mob and their torches flickering. Right before hitting the roof they become obscured by neon colored gas.
Then she crashes. Hitting shelves and book stacks upon entrance the items fall on her and for a moment it looks like she’s dead. The mob believes it, so they exit. Which leads to the neon lights losing some of their intensity through the hole in the roof.
Moments pass before she rises knocking everything away frantically. Vomiting the contents of her stomach while violently trying to remove her excrement ridden clothing-we’ll give her a minute.
About an hour later with our heroine having disrobed and collected herself we find her gazing upon the walls. It’s hard to see but the chemicals in the air provide a dim light she moves slowly a smile breaking ear to ear. Superheroes paint the walls characters of the past perfectly reserved in The Vault a ruin of old, the former city’s last comic book shop. A naked Katherine finds a stack and sits-escape after all.
The night air is crisp in the city the only light the street lamps that flicker. We find ourselves traveling home with an agent of CIS the young woman cherry-cheeked and hiccuping as she saunters onward. Surrounded by tall brick buildings blocking out the harsh sounds of the world beyond the Cobble District “hic- hic- oh my what fun!” she giggles grabbing a lamp post and swinging her small frame around it.
Then, suddenly, a chill crawls up her spine, mid-spin she halts pressing into the post. Her ear perks the sound of a small drum-again-again-the sound again. “Who’s there?” she yells her voice cracked. A blink and there in the circle of light a block away stands a woman “ehhh?” she grips the post “who-wh-“. The woman is dressed out of the Edo era, hair elaborately adorned, and face painted porcelain white. She drums faster and faster. Her head tilting side to side as the agent stands frozen trying to scream. “Ah! Ah!” the sound cuts itself off-she can hardly breathe!
The drum stops suddenly as the oiran drops her garb revealing a naked body bound in intricately tied ropes. Her head tilted dramatically to one side, body held perfectly still, as her eyes widen and smile opens-black. Her smile is black! The agent let’s out a soundless scream. The drums fill her ears as the oiran moves in to its ever increasing beat.
Out of the light into the darkness our victim blinks and now our terrifying vision is right before her face. Sharing the circle of light the agent attempts to scream the sound disappearing as the black sharpened teeth reveal themselves.
Tonight, we don’t make it home.
From the land of the rising sun-
to the shore of Liberation
we bring you
This exotic beauty
Will. Take. Your. Soul.
Watch your back if she disrobes
the last thing you’ll see is
A. Mouth. Full. Of. Black.
This rope bound courtesan
will pleasure her self to
Cindy Owens plays on the tiny retro t.v. under her desk the library dead. Tonight we find the little mouse Lisa her platinum bangs disheveled over round silver frames. She’s getting frustrated “the Vero Alpha struck again last night!” she continued to stamp the returns with a huff tossing them more violently into the cart behind her “this time the victims-poor souls-were police officers in the Riverside District. Their names are being withheld out of respect for the families, but the hearts of the Network are with them. Here’s the still of this elusive Vero”. She dared looking at the screen as the crowds cheers turned to a mix of sound distortion a scantily clad woman standing over the officers. She had a printed fur bra and skirt with calf high leather boots her mask the visage of a spotted hyena the image made her sick. The audiences mixed reaction cause hot tears to well in our book worms eyes her cheeks red with fury as she attempts to lift a rather heavy text up from the return pile. “Some have labeled this woman a Vero but others have called her a criminal what do you think?” Cindy began her audience run finding a young woman who grabbed the mic excitingly
“O-M-G she’s totally a Vero! So empowering!” the girl began jumping wildly with her friends.
“Oooh empowering bold wor-” BAM! The Librarian has had enough as the large text smashes her fingers. “Oww!” As she waves her burning fingers in the air Cindy Owens is shut off.
“My!” she exclaims turning toward the attacking b tome it’s cover painted in dust “how’d you get out?” recognizing the book as an artifact she blows the dust away. Embellished and bordered extravagantly the center focus of the cover titled Columbia: the statue of liberty with the visage of Columbia imposing her justice.
“Veros… Just vigilantes murdering freedom!” fist slam on the table “Alpha… you-you’re time is done.” with lightening in her eyes the tiny school girl like librarian runs to the archives grabbing the banned dark age flags and show needles. “You’re time is up!” with a boom of thunder Lisa cackles visions of grand ol’Columbia in her head.
Her life in ruin Cassi Castillo is out for blood. Driving down the highway truck bed filled with toys, visions of blood, her daughter’s laughter and the sound of her name from his lips plaguing her thoughts “Frank… you bastard” she growls “you killed us all” black lips curl into a manic smile. “You killed us all baby!” pedal kisses floor as she takes a sharp right off the highway into the woods. “Somebody’s gonna die baby! A lot a somebody’s gonna die!” her brown eyes wide with rage. Two well worked well manicured hands clutch the wheel as the truck spins out. Enjoying the ride our little thrill seeker’s grin breaks into hysteria as the radio clicks on- “leaving both bodies behind Cassandra ‘Cassi’ Castillo fled the scene. She is considered armed and extremely dangerous citizens in the Marina District and surrounding areas are asked to use caution and call emergency services if you see anything out of the ordinary. Authorities are asking that anyone with any information contact-” fist hits the stereo off as the truck halts. At her destination the grey begins to build preparing for war and mayhem. “Frank baby, I’m gonna make you proud” her ear perks, a green flicker catches her eye, a rocket launcher in reach. One missile, one target, big boom.
“I’m gonna make them pay!” her eyes a lit with the light of the planes burning remains.