Cape City Chronicles
v1: Today the City, Tomorrow...
#13: Glass Houses!
by Jennifer Kohl
Tantra whirled as the two young superheroines burst into the room. Glory Girl wore her standard blue and red, but her disguise was mostly the shining energy spilling off of her that made her hard to look at and impossible to photograph, while Starfury mixed elements of her true appearance into her human form to make her disguise: the same shapely young body and tumbling red hair, but pale-blue skin and glowing yellow eyes, clad in what amounted to a silver-colored metal bikini.
“Slut!” Tantra called, and Cosmic Cheerleader desperately moved to obey, dropping Alex to the floor and placing herself between him and the superheroines.
“Please,” she said. “I don’t want to fight you. But I can’t let you hurt Master!”
“You can’t take both of us,” said Glory Girl. “Stand down.”
“Let us help you,” Starfury pleaded. “We don’t want to hurt you.”
“I know,” said Cosmic Cheerleader. “I don’t want to hurt you either—but for him, I will.” Then she shouted. The entire wall of the apartment burst outward, and Glory Girl and Starfury were flung into the street—but they were both superhumanly tough, and could both fly, and soon recovered swooped back in.
Glory Girl went straight for Cosmic Cheerleader with a punch, while Starfury tried to fly past her, to where Alex was being held. But the Cheerleader was fast and agile, if not as strong as the Girl of Might; she grabbed Glory Girl’s arm, spun her around, and threw her into Starfury, sending both crashing to the floor.
All in the time it took Alex to get up off the floor after Cosmic Cheerleader threw her down hard enough to make her dizzy. Fucking Specials, she thought again. At least the kids got my text before I went in. Tantra, like the dumbass little punk Alex had labeled him as from the moment she saw him, was totally ignoring her, absorbed in the spectacle of three fit young women in varying states of undress—one nude, one almost nude, and one in skintight spandex—duking it out. And she still had her gun.
She stepped up behind him, yanked his arm hard behind his back, and put her gun to his temple. “This fight ends now,” she said. Hostage-taking wasn’t pretty, but the rules were a bit looser for 619s. She’d probably be able to get away with it, and the important thing was to end the fight. “Nobody moves or I kill him.” Alex felt all eyes on her, but the fighting stopped.
“Master—” Cosmic Cheerleader started.
“It’s okay, Candi,” he said. “She’s not going to shoot me.” He started to reach up.
“I mean it!” Alex barked. “You try to use your power on me and I will blow your brains out.” It had felt so good, so damnably, dangerously good, that brief moment of contact. Her cheek still tingled from it, still yearned for more.
“I don’t think you will,” said Tantra. “I’m unarmed, not threatening violence to you or anyone else here—”
Alex jabbed her gun harder into his temple. “What do you call rape, slimebag?”
“Something I’ve never done,” he replied. “I’ve never fuck a girl who wasn’t begging for it. You can ask them. No, you shoot me, you’re the cop who shot an unarmed, nonviolent, white bystander. Your career is over. You’re bluffing.”
The others remained in their frozen tableau as Alex held her grip on Tantra. “I’m warning you,” she said. “Glory Girl, restrain the Cheerleader. Starfury, collect the civilians.”
“Oh, I don’t think so,” said Tantra, and reached up to touch Alex’s face again.
Pleasure flooded through her, and she felt her muscles slackening. Her finger tightened on the trigger, but what if he was right about what would happen if she shot him? And this feeling would end if she did, be gone forever, and was she really sure she wanted that to happen?
Then the decision was taken from her. He pulled out of her grip, but before she could recover from the sudden shift from pleasure to the horrifying abyss that was its absence, his hand was on hers and the pleasure was back. He peeled her fingers back, her knees trembling all the while, and after a moment the gun dropped to the floor.
Meanwhile, as soon as he tore free Cosmic Cheerleader was moving again, a run that turned into a forward flip that planted both her bare feet firmly in Glory Girl’s face. The shining heroine tumbled back, her Glory Field momentarily flickering out as the impact briefly overwhelmed even its ability to absorb blows, but before the Cosmic Coed could strike again, she was hit by a bolt of glowing golden force from Starfury’s eyes.
Tantra stuck his hand down the front of Alex’s tank top—as usual, the only shirt she wore under her battered old leather jacket—and squeezed her breast. She cried out as she came, her knees finally giving way, and could offer no resistance as Tantra pushed past her and ran out the door.
Alex struggled to get her breath back, pick up her gun, and clamber back to her feet. Did he just give me an orgasm from my boobs alone? She shook her head. Fucking Specials, he is dead once I get my breath back. She tried to shove aside the part of her that had very different ideas of what to do once she found him.
Glory Girl had Cosmic Cheerleader in a grapple, but was struggling to maintain it. The pinned girl opened her mouth to use her Spirit Cheer, fully aware that at this range it might seriously hurt even someone as tough as Glory Girl, but desperate to get to her Master’s side—but then she felt Starfury’s hands on her temples, and a pressure in her mind, soft but insistent, and then she was out cold.
Glory Girl released Cosmic Cheerleader and let out a deep breath. “Thank you, I’ve got it from here. Did either of you two see what happened to the civilians?”
Alex looked around. Sure enough, they were gone. “Dammit! They must have gotten away while Tantra had me—” She hesitated a moment. “Distracted.”
“This has gone too far,” said Glory Girl. “Starfury, can you follow his psychic trail?”
She nodded. “For now, if I move fast.”
“Good,” said Glory Girl. “Stick to psychic powers and Fury Bolts, don’t touch him or let him touch you. Keep the civilians safe, but...”
“Use whatever force it takes,” Alex snarled. What he did to me, how I feel, that’s just a taste of what he did to these girls. Let him fry.
Starfury flew out through the window. Streets in this neighborhood were quiet this time of day, and it was easy to sense three minds moving away, two with that same distortion she’d felt in the echoes of Candice’s thoughts—and so much more strongly just now when she put her to sleep.
Minds awash in bliss, given over wholly to pleasure and desire—and something else too, something less familiar, which had been weak in Candice’s thoughts at the party but incredibly strong now, in her minds and the other victims’: submission. Submission wrapped in pleasure and pleasure in submission, until it was impossible to tell where one ended and the other began, and an overwhelming desire for both—there.
She swooped down in front of the car and it screeched to a halt. Her eyes gleamed with the power of her Fury Bolts. “Step out of the car, Gordy,” she ordered.
There was a long, tense pause, and then the passenger’s side window rolled down. Careful, Starfury thought. Don’t let him lure you close. Eyes blazing, she stepped around to look in through the car window. “Get out of the car,” she repeated.
Tantra smiled at her through the window, his hands raised. Beyond him, she could see one of the two civilian girls in the driver’s seat, and another in the back. Both looked scared, but not of him—she could feel in their minds that they feared her, feared that she would take them away from the man who made them feel so much pleasure, so much desire, so submissive... She could almost feel how good it felt.
She could feel Tantra’s fear, too. His mind was... ordinary. Bland. Weak. Full of the confident cocksuredness of someone who’d had the world handed to him, and the petty anger of someone who’d never expected to have it taken away. The girls’ minds were much more interesting, albeit dangerously distracting.
For a moment, she entertained the thought of being like them. She would walk up to the window, her bare skin exposed, and he would bring her the kind of bliss and surrender she hadn’t known since her world was lost, the kind impossible on a planet as beset with danger as this one. But that’s impossible, ridiculous, a betrayal of my friends and all I’ve chosen to stand for, so why am I stepping forward, why am I— “Ohhhh,” she moaned, her voice low and throaty, as the surprised Tantra stroked a slow finger down the midline of her torso, from metal bra to metal panties.
Her eyes rolled back as she pushed herself into his outstretched hand, moaning in need as he stroked and caressed and teased—and then crying out at the sudden interruption as they drove away. Emptiness filled her, the never-far despair of one who has lost her world forever, and she fell to her knees on the sidewalk.
Eventually, not knowing what else to do, she went back to the others. “He got away,” she said simply.
Later that night, the moonlight glimmered on the roof of the Masters building, and on the slim, leather catsuit-clad figure slipping quietly across it. The great silver M was a favorite symbol of Masters, and the symbolism of the suspended glass cube that formed the middle of the M, and not incidentally his home and office, was common knowledge: he lived in a glass house and would not be found throwing stones. It was an announcement that he had no secrets, nothing to hide, that all the world could look in and he was okay with that.
Of course the knowledge that the glass was a foot thick and carefully layered at different densities to disrupt any attempt to see through it at a wide range of frequencies, and both leaded and laced with a Faraday cage to block still more, was less common, but would not have surprised anyone with more than a passing acquaintance with Masters or the rumors around him.
Viper didn’t care. She knew all that and it wasn’t important, not compared to the even more obscure facts she’d managed to dig up about the cube—most importantly, the security sensors. So she knew exactly where to jump when sliding down the cables that held the cube aloft, and where to step on the roof to avoid both the infrared detectors and the pressure plates, including one jump that only an Olympian, a Special, or a very skilled assassin could make. She was, fortunately, at least one of those things.
At last she reached the hatch intended for security guards to come out onto the roof and murder anyone who entered. This was going to be the tricky part. She hefted the beanbag full of shot she’d brought for the purpose, weighed it in her hand, and then tossed it at one of the pressure plates on the other side of the hatch from her. She crouched low, watching as a guard emerged and swept with his gun. He called down into the hatch, moonlight glinting off the heavy goggles of his (in Viper’s opinion, rather excessive) full helmet-and-mask combo. Then he pulled himself up out of it and began to search the roof. Another one soon emerged to cover the first, sweeping back and forth with his gun—but facing away from Viper and the hatch, toward the pressure plate she’d triggered.
Silent as her namesake and much, much deadlier, she crept up behind the guard and slipped down through the hatch into the room below. It was empty, a narrow hallway extending from it and past the roof guard station on one side, and the janitor’s closet on the other.
Weird alarm, she thought. It was more of a buzzing or hissing noise than a bell or siren, and instead of the usual flashing white or red lights there was a sort of wavy pattern projected on the walls, twisting colors that seemed attention-grabbing enough, but rather too distracting to make a good alarm. A good alarm should make you focused on your work, she thought, but the patterns and noise made it rather harder to concentrate. On anything except the patterns themselves, at least—those were really very easy to focus on, almost to the exclusion of anything else, which was probably a problem because.
Because it makes it a worse alarm? That sounded right, but why would there be an alarm? Of course it’s not an alarm, I wouldn’t feel so relaxed if it was an alarm. Which made sense, and meant there was nothing wrong with the patterns, so she could just relax and focus...
She was still standing there, staring at the walls and swaying slightly, when the guards—the filters in their goggles and helmets blocking out the hypnotic patterns in the walls and subliminals in the alarm—returned. She barely even noticed as they cuffed her and led her away. She could still see the patterns, and they weren’t an alarm, and that meant everything was okay.