Angelfish Fiction

Written in Blood (working title)(Dr. Lore's Backstory)
Masq at 3:45PM, June 12, 2008
(online)
posts: 123
joined: 8-20-2007
It was the first night she slept well in six months, but she woke feeling as though she didn't sleep at all.
Samantha Lore found herself staring at the inside of her down comforter, and wrapped tightly like a mummy in her other bedsheets. Small beads of sweat were pooling on her forehead, and she decided it was too much of a bother to wipe them off. She made the attempt to close her eyes again, wishing that she could just spend all of today here in bed and not worry if the day was going to be good or bad. There were plenty of bad days this year, and she didn't know if today was going to be the same.
For six months, she and other citizens of Paragon City were surviving the Rikti Invasion by every method possible. Nearly every day was either a nightmare or threatened to be worse, and Samantha hardly slept through any of it. Afterward, even though it looked impossible for life to return to normal, Samantha was among the many who tried to make it so. It hadn't worked out: she worked at a toy store for a week before post-traumatic stress and an overbearing boss caused her to lose her temper and quit. With barely any money, mooching off of an old friend from high school, and any plans for the future blacked out by depression it was no wonder Samantha didn't want to get out of bed.
A loud buzzing noise made her jump slightly in surprise in her sheets, and half a second later she realized it was her alarm clock. Muttering about how it was nine in the morning already, she reached a hand out of the sheets towards the end table to hit the snooze button. She tried to mentally find the clock while feeling the table, and once her fingers found the clock tried harshly tapping the top to hit the snooze button. Still hearing the buzzing after some futile slaps of her hand, she made a fist in frustration and slammed down on the clock. Then, she realized she didn't know her own super-strength as the clock shattered under her fist, sending small bits of plastic into her hand.
“OW!” came the appropriate response, along with a loud exclamation of vulgarity as the pain prompted her to sit up and let the comforter naturally fall off her head. With her uninjured hand, she lifted her long, thick bunches of black hair away from her blue eyes and surveyed the damage. Her clock was destroyed, naturally, and was no longer buzzing. There were bits of the snooze button and the black plastic frame stuck in her wrist and pinky finger, and her wounds only started bleeding when she picked the plastic out of her skin. With a frustrated sigh, she lifted herself out of the small bed and wandered down the apartment hallway to the tiny bathroom a few feet away.
The apartment in King's Row was small and sat on the sixth story of a reciently renovated building. Living in the apartment wasn't as bad as Samantha thought it would be, but the landlord had sprayed for cockroaches yesterday and the stench of cheap pesticide still hung in the air. The re-painting was also shoddy, Internet access was nearly non-existant, and the air-conditioners were going off at odd hours when it was December and completely unnecessary. But it was a roof over her head, and she was now in the care of a good friend, so Samantha kept quiet. It wasn't much, but for now it was home.
She pushed the bathroom door aside and ran the sink to wash her bleeding hand, rubbing along the wounds in some half-hearted attempt to clean them. With a sigh, she looked up to the mirror to see how pathetic she looked first thing in the morning but noticed something else in front of her in the way of her reflection. There was a moment of silent shock, then she backed into the shower screaming bloody murder.
Help was instant. Her roommate rushed in, looking around frantically.
“What's wrong, what's wrong?!” the woman cried, trying to see what the problem was. Samantha pointed up to the creature on the mirror, the size of a quarter.
“Spider! Spider! Kill it! Kill it!”
The roommate sighed, realizing that there was no danger present.
“Samantha…”
“It scared me!” the teenager tried to defend herself, now realizing how silly she must have looked. “It's like they sneak up on you without moving!”
“I know, I know… hold on, I'll get a cup…” The roommate started walking off to the kitchen while still talking. “Put its butt outside…”
Lacking something better to do, Samantha took a seat on the dry shower floor and sighed in frustration. Her hand wasn't bleeding so much now, and she didn't want to risk passing too close to the spider on the mirror on her way back to her room. Already, it felt like the day was going to go bad. She watched as her friend came back in with a ceramic mug, trapped the spider inside and quickly made off with it to the door. Samantha decided to follow and watch the little creature be deposited on the doormat.
“Sorry, Penny…” she moaned.
“Hey, don't worry.” the woman smiled as she closed the door. “I hate it when they do that too.” She continued talking as she walked to the kitchen to put the cup in the sink. “It's just like, you look over to the corner and BOO they're just there.”
“Yeah…”
“Well, it's my turn to make breakfast.” Penny announced with a happy chirp in her voice. “How do you like your eggs?”
“Suprise me.” Samantha moaned, taking a seat at the couch to stare at the currently switched off TV.
“Sam, c'mon. Why do you sound like you don't care about anything?”
“Because I don't.”
“It's not the end of the world.”
“It almost was two weeks ago…”
This prompted Penelope Whittle to walk over to her friend and sit next to her.
“We're still alive, so no, it's not the end of the world. We've been given a second chance, so we either have to live the life we want or help make everyone else's lives easier.”
“Says the superhero.” Samantha grumbled.
“You could be my partner, you know. Put that super strength to good use.”
“No…”
“Why not?”
Samantha paused. While it was a good question, it was how to answer it that silenced her. True, she was gifted with super strength, but it caused nothing but trouble if she wasn't paying attention. The life of a superhero just seemed too stressful and dangerous, and all she wanted was a simple life. And during the Rikti War, all she did was cower and hide and whatever it took to stay out of the fighting. Not only did she not want an occupation that risked her life, but she also felt it just wasn't the life for her. Penelope studied martial arts just to be a super hero, but had no other talents. It was a fact that Penelope often used to say that even Samantha can do it, and that bothered Samantha to no end.
“…because I wouldn't make a good superhero.”
“Well, you never know until you try. But enough of that, we've got a big day ahead of us.” Samantha dared to look her cheerful friend in the face just as Penelope pulled extra strands of hair out of the girl's face. “You go shower and get dressed, and I'll make breakfast. How do you want your eggs?”
“I told you, suprise me.” Samantha grumbled, getting up and heading back into the now spider-less bathroom. Penelope shook her head with a smile.
“I'll scramble them, okay? Chin up a bit, Sam. Today's gonna be a good day, I can feel it.”
Whothehellstolemyspacebar?!

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:20AM
Masq at 1:16AM, June 13, 2008
(online)
posts: 123
joined: 8-20-2007
***

It was almost always a cloudy day in the Rogue Isles, and the month of December seemed to bring in more of the darker variety every year. One man pondered that as his eyes lifted to the sky in boredom as he walked reluctantly across the air strip. With the island of Grandville behind him, and the wide blue ocean he was familiar with stretching to the horizon before him, he felt most of his frustrations ease. But all it took was another look at the Arachnos flier he was to board before his reluctance took the form of a loud snort, and started the old habit of scratching at the gills on his neck.
“I hate robbing banks.” Mako muttered to himself, not expecting a response. He then remembered the man in the black coat walking next to him was going to give a response whether he liked it or not.
“Lord Recluse's orders are Lord Recluse's orders.” the man reminded, tipping back his wide brimmed fedora hat to see what his master was seeing in the sky. “Arachnos needs money to repair Spider City and keep the troops paid.”
“I don't give a damn…” came the shark man's impulsive mutter.
“Are you upset because this doesn't involve killing people?” the man in the black coat sighed. “You know that isn't true.”
“It's not that. This is just one of those jobs that's beneath me now. Why send ME to rob a bank in Paragon City when Recluse has thousands of other schmucks to do the job? It doesn't make any sense.”
“Makes sense to me. He needs this done quickly.”
“Bull.” Mako snorted with a sharp movement of his head. “Whatever. He wants it done quick, I'll do it quick, goddamn bastard…”
“Why not have your back-up do it while you have your own fun?” the man suggested, looking to the squad that was also walking towards the flier but in a disciplined formation. Mako also decided to look over at the six Wolf Spiders and three Crab Spiders he picked earlier to go with him.
“Not after what happened last time.” the shark shook his head. Before he left the man to question that statement, Mako looked back up at the man. “So, you've got that job to do that I was talking about earlier.”
“You can consider it done.” the man smiled. “I'll have it retrieved for you by the time you come back.”
“Sounds too good to be true.” the shark grinned. “Then you better have it when I do come back, Porter.” It was a threat, but Kevin Porter was used to it by now.
“Of course.” Porter smiled back. “Have fun in Paragon City.” The last statement caused his master to walk away muttering again. Porter adjusted the hat on his head before walking back towards the city. The shark continued his reluctant walk towards his squad.
“Alright, you know the drill.” he told them half-heartedly. “Get in, get the cash, get your sorry asses back on the flier before it takes off without you. I've been told that there's a couple of heroes in the area, so we're gonna cause chaos in a couple of places to keep them distracted. You and you…” He pointed to two soldiers individually. “…there's a jewelery store just a few blocks down. Rob it and set off the alarms when you leave. You three…” He pointed at three other Wolf Spiders. “…need to start some arson at least a block away from the bank. I don't care what it is. And you…” Just before telling the last Wolf Spider what to do, Mako noticed a slight wrist movement behind the said soldier's back and recognized it. “…WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!”
“Huh? What?” the soldier jumped at the sudden outburst.
“Behind your back, what was that?!” Mako waited five seconds as the soldier hesitated. “Well, lemme see it! No one sneaks nothing into my missions!” The soldier started to shake, but quickly held up a clear bottle of whiskey. An eye ridge lifted on Mako's face, half in amusement as he walked over to the soldier and roughly snatched the bottle in his claws. “What's your name again?”
“Private Lawrence, sir.” the soldier promptly answered.
“Pull another one like that again, and yer dinner.” He walked towards the flier, once again muttering to himself without expecting a response. “Damned kids getting drunk on me, sons of bi… alright, let's go and get this over with.”
Mako quickly took his place inside the flier, and began disposing of the alcohol in his hand the only way possible: pull off the cap and pour it down his throat all at once.
“Damn, that's some strong stuff…” He dropped the bottle to the floor as he noticed the men were walking in and taking their seats.
“Hurry the hell up, meat sacks!” Mako barked with a half smirk on his face. “King's Row bank ain't gonna rob itself!”

***

“No.”
“Sam, stop it.” Penny sighed. “Just one more job application.”
“I've put in enough job applications to get employed by at least five different retail places. And my wrist is getting tired.”
“One more. Trust me.”
Both friends stared at each other stubbornly for a minute before Samantha broke the silence.
“I'm hungry.”
“That's what you get for not eating breakfast.” Penny scolded. “Alright, what do you want to eat?” Half a second later, she realized what the answer was going to be. “No, no, don't say it…” But both girls said it at the same time:
“Surprise me.”
“I don't care.” Samantha moaned, then took a seat on the curb in frustration. “I don't care about anything anymore…” Penny decided to take a seat next to her.
“Sam… do you really want to spend the rest of your life like this? Living in one moment to the next, that's not life. You need a reason to look to the future…”
“Stop.” Samantha rudely interrupted. “Look, I… I know you're trying to help, but you don't know what I've been through…”
“The war was hard on all of us.” Penny tried to soothe, putting an arm around Samantha's shoulders in a half hug.
“It's not the war, Penny, it's my life in general, and don't try to sympathize. You weren't cursed with super strength at birth. You still had parents growing up. My mom abandoned me and dad when she couldn't handle a hyperactive tot with super strength. My dad drunk himself to death when I was six. I was put in foster home after foster home for one reason or another. After I graduated high school and turned eighteen, I was out of the foster system and in the streets. And THEN the war came…”
Penny interrupted by wrapping her other arm around her friend and hugging tightly. Samantha decided to give up and wrap her arms around Penny too, trying not to work up any tears.
“Sam… you were always the go-getter in school…” Penny reasoned. “You always worked so hard and did your best… Didn't you want to be an actress in school? You were in the drama club for a while…”
“The drama club hated my guts because I was a nerd.” Samantha had to frown at those unpleasant memories too. “And those guys were morons, a bucket of rocks had more acting talent than them. These days, to be an actress you gotta sleep aro…”
“Well, what else did you dream about? There had to be something…”
Samantha shook her head.
“Dreams are just dreams. They never happen.”
“With that kind of attitude they don't…” Penny insisted. “Here, stand up.” She picked herself up first before taking Samantha's hands and helping her to her feet. “Let's talk more over lunch, but first I need some cash.”
“Okay.” Samantha nodded. “Where's the nearest ATM?”
Penny smiled her cheerful smile.
“The bank is just around the corner.”
Whothehellstolemyspacebar?!

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:20AM
Masq at 11:47PM, June 22, 2008
(online)
posts: 123
joined: 8-20-2007

Samantha couldn't put her finger on why the ATM outside the bank was out of order, until she remembered that it was an ATM in King's Row. Both Penny and Samantha sighed in discontent together.
“Guess we'll have to go inside…” Penny said quietly, and continued talking as she headed to the front glass doors. “Wait in that giant line…” Samantha followed silently, also not pleased at having to wait in line but at the same time thankful that she wasn't filling out job applications for once.
Inside were other customers who were frustrated with a lack of an ATM as the line to each banker were at least ten people in length. Penny and Samantha took their places in the back of the line, and Samantha allowed her eyes to wander in boredom. She glanced around at some of the people in line, and a couple of other disappointed patrons filling out deposit envelopes by desks near the back.
“Why do you think dreams are just dreams?” Penny suddenly asked. “Everyone should have some dream to look foreword to.”
“Not me.” Samantha mumbled, not even looking at her friend. “Dreams never come true.”
“Well, you have to make them come true. After my grandpa was killed by Hellions carjacking him, I wanted to do something. I was determined to make sure that never happened to anyone else. So I became a…”
“Shh, public.” Samantha reminded, tugging on the long sleeve of Penny's shirt. An eyebrow went up when she felt a layer of spandex under the cotton. “Do you have to wear your… um… uniform under your clothes?”
“Yep.” Penny chirped. “Never know when somethings gonna strike. So, c'mon, I know you wanted to be something when you were little.” Samantha stayed silent for a few moments, so Penny threw out a couple of popular childhood career choices. “An acrobat, a fireman, a lion tamer, something like that?”
“What about you?” Samantha decided to answer a question with a question than say nothing at all. “What did you want to be when you grew up?”
“A fairy princess!” Penny giggled at the surprised look on Samantha's face, then continued. “But when I was ten, I dreamed about being a doctor because I love helping people.”
“And now you're… well, not a doctor.” Samantha's eyes wandered again as she talked, wondering how much longer they were going to wait. More than anything she wanted the day to be over so she could climb back into bed until all was right in the world.
“Medical school is too expensive, but so long as I can help people, I'm happy.” Penny admitted. “Hmm, so what makes you happy? I should have talked about that first. Maybe if we found something to make you happy…”
“A time machine, so we could erase my existence.”
“Cheerful as always.” Penny sighed with a futile smile. “That's okay, maybe after a couple of burgers you won't be so negative.”
“You're always so damn positive.” Samantha growled, lowering her head and causing a thick curtain of hair to fall around her face.
“Thinking negatively won't get you anywhere, Sam.”
“Well…” Thinking positively will get you killed one of these days. That full sentence nearly came out of Samantha Lore's mouth, and she nearly hurt her own friend's feelings.
Several loud bursts of gunfire at the bank entrance surprised her into a gasp, and she moved with the rest of other scared citizens towards the back wall in fear. Just over the gunfire were a man's barking orders to stay on the ground, but Samantha and Penny huddled under one of the wooden desks with others as several men in black armor moved around the lobby and made sure no one got up to escape.
Panic gripped Samantha and she clutched onto Penny in fear, hiding her face in her friend's shoulder. Penny calmly stroked the girl's long black hair and watched in calm concern as the robbers began moving on their own towards the vault in the back. One armored man with a gun stayed to watch the frightened civilians. Noticing that he was alone, Penny made a decision.
“Sam… stay here. This won't take long.”
Samantha gasped, knowing what her friend was up to.
“No. L-leave this to Longbow or something. These guys have guns.”
“Sam… I have to do something. Stay here, okay?”
Penny maneuvered out of her frightened friend's arms and dashed towards the lone soldier fearlessly. Just as the man pointed his gun at her with a reprimanding “hey!”, Penny gave him a flat-palmed upper-cut to the unprotected jaw and used her other fist to knock him to the ground. Just after knocking the gun away from his stunned hands, she tore off her shirt and jeans to reveal her dark gray and white patterned tights and had a quick few seconds to slap on her skin-adhesive eye mask and pull a lose flap of spandex over her nose.
“Everyone out!” she called. “The heroes are here!”
Samantha watched in amazement as Penny, now Shadez of Grey, started directing the frightened citizens out of the lobby to the unguarded front door. It was moments like those that made her wonder if she could be a superhero too, but at the same time she couldn't help but wonder why Penny would just jump into harm's way knowing she could get killed.
“Sam! Get going!”
The girl was shocked out of her wondering at the sound of Penny's snapping, and noticed that it was now just the two of them and an unconscious bank robber.
“Run outside, we'll meet up for lunch later.”
“You're not gonna take care of them all by yourself?!” Samantha found herself doubting her own friend, but this was an instance it came naturally. “They have guns and who knows what else. We should just get out of here while we have the chance!”
“Samantha…” Penny shook her head. Her face was hidden by two different masks, but Samantha could see the light, hopeful smile in Penelope's eyes. “I have to do something.”
Samantha hesitated; there was no talking Penny out of it now. Just like in the Rikti War. Samantha managed a quick “be careful” as she ran for the door. Penelope nodded to herself, then headed after the other robbers. She was uncertain, but determined. This was what she loved doing. Helping people by saving the day.

***

Samantha didn't take more than three steps outside before she noticed more of the black armored men heading for the bank entrance. Muttering a lone curse word, she panicked and ran towards the quickest cover: back to the bank. She ended up back under the wooden desk she was just hiding under as the others entered and scanned the now empty lobby. She could only watch as they walked past their fallen comrade towards the safe in the back.
Only when the coast was clear again did Samantha realize that Penny was nowhere in sight.

Whothehellstolemyspacebar?!

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:20AM

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