Wrath of the Wizardess
Then we’re over, bouncing higher, from a shop-canopy igniting behind us, from a third-story balcony shattering plant pots into ruin, to a fifth story tenement roof, and then away across the rooftops.
Somewhere down there, in the canyons between the brownstones, Twister and Klystron are pursuing us.
My villainous lair, cunningly disguised as an heiress’s country house, is pretty cool. It has a full sized billiards table. I’d lost the game I’d played against my hostess, and the rather yummy forfeit she’s insisted on was to spread me on that table.
It was a little uncomfortable to lie on, till the gorgeous young heiress joined me and put it to a use her father never intended.
Though I don’t know, maybe he had fucked his mistress on that green felt.
Nice symmetry, that his daughter should screw her Mistress on it. If you look real close, you can still see the stain we left, despite the best efforts of the maid staff.
Though I think they might’ve used their tongues, rather than actual cleaning materials. It’s a matter for their mistress the heiress Olivia Toscane though. If she chooses to invite me into her private disciplines, then I’m sure we’ll both enjoy that extensively.
And if my Olivia chooses to neglect her Mistress’s unspoken desires, then I’ll have my fun disciplining my pretty heiress herself.
I can’t quite decide which would be hotter.
But the point is, the billiard room, the library, the many bedrooms, the pool, the gardens, the privacy and the extensive and extensively enjoyed maidstaff do not a fortress make.
Secrecy is key, therefore, so I steer Nightmare away from the suburbs and towards the gleaming towers of Boston’s central business district.
We’re shagging ass over the rooftops, so we’re already streets away when Twister rockets over the roof-line. It takes her a second or so to eyeball us. Then her course is arcing round to intersect with ours. Telepathically co-ordinated with Twister by ‘Pathica’s powers Klystron’s out there somewhere too.
Hidden in the maze of streets.
I shiver, a frisson of fear running through me. It’s thrilling, to challenge my ex-leaguemates like this. Against their every expectation the scorecard is firmly in my favour.
That is, if anyone is keeping score.
“Are you keeping track, reporter girl? Of the score?” I pause, and she clings more tightly to me. Maybe she’s afraid of flying. The feel of her breasts, squeezed against my back only adds to my excitement. Mmm.
It reminds me of another rooftop chase between Klystron and Twister and I.
A mere double handful of years ago I’d led the chase against early Parkour jewellery thieves. They’d escaped my team-mates inside the museum, and I’d been at the right place at the right time to pursue.
One of the few times I was ahead of our team’s two flyers, before I was able to cast Fly myself and once again my heart was thundering. I was heady with excitement under the heavy, sexy sky.
Thick raindrops poured around me, plastering my hair to my face, splashing in the puddles on the rooftops, filling the gutters to overflowing. They gurgled as they carried the waters away.
Just one of the strange things you notice, in such a hyper-sensitised state.
I’ve noticed the phenomenon during exceptionally great sex too.
I nearly died that night. Nineteen and a half years old, already technically an adult but with oh-so-much living yet to do. I’d never even been kissed, and I nearly never was. The thieves fled across the gap between two buildings, about six or seven stories, just a little higher than we are now.
Klystron flashed past, taking the lead from me.
A metal beam extended between the buildings, the faster and riskier path, and my one chance to stay with the pursuit. The thieves had made it. Why not I?
I took it; however, it was slightly oily and slippery as hell. It was then I learnt a slightly overweight wizard who spent most her time studying wasn’t as dexterous as athletic jewellery thieves who planned – quite reasonably – to escape on foot.
I work on dexterity these days and I’ve got the waistline and muscle tone to prove it.
I wear swimsuit armour for crying out loud. But back then I skidded, overbalanced.
I screamed and Klystron glanced back, an angel wreathed in steam as raindrops boiled in the microwave field surrounding her. Then she turned away and tore after the thieves.
My last thoughts were a jumble: I’m going to die; I wish I could cast Fly; Klystron’s abandoned me; I’m still a virgin; I’m a failure. I’m dead.
Then Twister was there, wrapping her windstream around me, lifting me into her arms. She cradled me, and I could feel her rapid heartbeat against my chest. The rain plastered tangled strands of her cornflower blonde hair to her face, tumbled onto my own, upraised in her arms.
Some of the droplets falling onto my face were warm. Strange.
Strange until I realised she was crying, clutching at me. Even when our feet gently touched the solid earth below, still she held me, almost afraid to let me go. As if I might fall through the ground and away beyond her reach.
It might have been the adrenaline, or the euphoria of just being alive, but we started to laugh, giggling like schoolgirls.
Her chest vibrated, beneath the rain slicked spandex of her suit. I’d never realised that her breasts were so soft, their curves so subtle. Twister’s lips still trembled, glistening in the raindrops.
I’d never felt so alive, so connected with another breathing person. I kissed her, a brushing of lips, barely felt beneath the water. I think that’s when I knew boys were never going to be a problem for me.
In so many ways, that night marks the true end of my childhood, though it would take me over a year to put away childish things.
Like the Mayflower League.
And only now was I finally getting around to dealing with them properly.
How many points is my pretty ‘Trancica worth? I wonder, stroking said captive’s silky black hair. She groans. Draped over Nightmare’s neck, offering me her bony Asian ass her world-view is a letterbox: a snippet of rooftop, flashing forefeet and thunderous hoof-beats are her world.
Except when we leap between buildings, the noise falls to the near-silent whistle of the wind and the view plunges away to the pavement far below.
It must be disorientating.
Except this time, Klystron’s beneath us, lying between the rooftops we’re jumping across and it’s my turn to be disorientated and ambushed. Microwaves play over Nightmare’s flank. My armour offers some protection to my legs, but ‘Trancica and Slaveslut and the reporter girl aren’t so fortunate.
Their screams of pain are so different, some part of me notes as I wrench Nightmare about to flee Klystron. Then I see Twister, her long arcing turn having positioned her perfectly to cut us off.
Boxed in and trapped. ‘In encircled ground, devise stratagems’ Sun Tsu is supposed to have said. On the other hand, ‘if in all respects unequal, be capable of eluding him…for a small force is but booty for one more powerful’ is also one of his.
Except that’s rather got me coming and going because the idea of being Twister’s booty doesn’t sound too bad at all.
Screw it. Run faster than the other girl, and if you can’t, run smarter than the other girl.
Nightmare leaps from the brownstone in the one free direction. The tower, not truly a skyscraper by the standards of Chicago or New York, but looming ten stories above us nonetheless approaches frighteningly fast.
We’ll splat against it like a bug on a windshield.
Well, that’s not true, Nightmare’s more than heavy enough to shatter that glass, but the rest of us would get cut to ribbons, or scraped off on the outside of the building.
I imagine ‘Trancica, or Slaveslut, or the reporter girl half-shredded by broken glass and tumbling down to the pavement so far below. As our reflections grow large in the tinted glass, I know I can’t spellcast in time to save us all.
I have only seconds, but it feels like all the time in the world. I relax my wrist, whisper its command word to the wind, and the Shrunken gun on my charm-bracelet grows back into a full-size CZ-75.
It’s large in my delicate hand, but not as large as a magnum or a nineteen-eleven would be. I’m used to the intricacies of spell-casting rather than gun-toting, but I’ve learned well, since abandoning the Mayflowers, that it pays to have a backup plan.
Besides, the window is as large as the broadside of a barn door, and growing closer every instant.
My Czech Republic gun cracks, once, twice, thrice and the window stars with cracks.
What kind of paranoiac corporation uses bullet-proofed, tinted glass on a seventh-story window? I think, as I empty the bloody magazine, thirteen more rounds in about two and a half seconds.
The glass still holds. Nightmare’s a lucky horse, if it’s that strong it’s possible, even probable that he’d have splatted like a bug too. Doesn’t help the rest of us, of course, but I pray that if the glass is bullet-proofed and tinted, that that other trapping of the paranoiac might be present.
Already weakened the safety glass shatters into a million dull-edged fragments as Nightmare’s flaming fore-hooves impact. In the buildings reflective flank, I see Twister pulling up into a wild zoom shaking the surviving windows in their frames, and Klystron sweeping away to the south. A line of safety-glass explosions follows her, as she futilely microwaves the building.
We enter spraying cascades of glass beads before us. A dark, flaming horse ridden by a beautiful, terrifying super-villainess, three apparent hostages slung across the saddle, if I were using one.
The office workers should have fled, or cowered in terror. I’d expected the business suits, the desks, the computers and the telephones, and perhaps even the large display screen – but not showing surveillance footage. Being drawn down on by twenty or thirty of the suits, a mixture of Glocks and Magnums and Colt-Nineteen-Elevens; however, was a surprise.
As I noticed the scales and laurel-wreath Department of Justice Seal bearing the Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity motto and the yellow-emblazoned jackets, I realised it wasn’t at all surprising that the FBI should be a little paranoid about their offices, or that their agents should go armed even here.
Well, screw me sideways.
Under many circumstances a bad-ass entrance, a bad-ass ride, a bad-ass outfit and a bad-ass attitude can be one serious advantage for a bad-ass bitch villainess. In a roomful of armed FBI agents isn’t one of them.
I spur Nightmare, and flee like a whupped little girl.
Who has just been told the Feds are going to take her pony away.
It’s tricky to ride whilst twisting my hands and words into a spell, especially galloping down the corridor. It could be worse, though, I reflect, as Nightmare demolishes the door. I have speed and surprise on my side. Only a few bullets have zinged past me to bury themselves in the walls ahead, and people emerging from other offices are blocking the shots of the original agents.
And I caught a glance of my new hair parting in the elevator doors, and it looks awesome in a way I’d never even have thought to try.
Plus, I seem to have shaken Twister and Klystron off, since they can’t follow me in here. Good old Federal arrogance means the FBI aren’t anything like as co-operative as the Police Department to the local superheroes. Dropping into the scene I left behind would’ve guaranteed Klystron and Twister answering some difficult and pointed questions.
Nightmare leaps the buildings atrium, and about fifteen different gunshots echo as some rather smarter agents take advantage of clear fields of fire. Bullets ricochet off my Protection from Arrows spell, as effective against projectiles now as it was half a millennium ago.
Sticking around would be an exceptionally bad idea. The FBI Metahuman Crime Unit, with its own complement of mid-level spellcasters, metahumans and superb training that makes even its mundanes a threat is as about as serious as it gets. Short of running afoul of the rest of the alphabet soup and getting a black-ops team on your ass or attracting the full attention of a major player like the Justice League, of course.
And you’d better believe the FBI MCU would come running, or even burn a Teleport for an assault on one of their branch offices.
So I’m very glad a few more bounds, a second or two of galloping and a Maximised Arcane Projectile spell to shatter an exit window and we’re out the other side.