Date: 28 November 2035
When Patrick heard that Red Hood and Nightmare were in the centre of the city he took one of the other snipers and headed there immediately. He had heard of the two girls, all of them had. Nightmare was the protector of the city while Red Hood was part of an enemy guild.
And they were dangerous.
At least that’s what they were told. Patrick didn’t believe woman to be any good at anything. Especially not fighting. Woman weren’t something to fear, girls even more so.
He and his associate were on a roof top overlooking the ‘fight’. To him it looked more like they were dancing with each other. Not that he was surprised. To woman, hair pulling was considered heavy battle. Dancing was probably how they did their ‘final fights’.
He carefully loaded his M7 FireShield (one of the best long range riffles in existence). He pointed at the girls and waited for them to stand still.
“Now?” the man next to him asked.
“Not yet,” he told him. It didn’t take long before the two girls froze, guns held at point blank range, “Now!”
They fired simultaneously. Immediately afterward, Patrick started packing up. He didn’t need to look to know the bullets hit there marks. After all, they were just little girls.
“Bad mistake,” a voice said from behind them. Patrick snapped around, handgun out and pointed it at the person. He didn’t get to fire it though. Because Nightmare took it right out of his hands.
“How?” the man breathed out before looking back. No bodies.
“Did you really think we’d just fall for that?” Nightmare asked him. Patrick turned to the little girl and sneered at her.
He kicked at her, not bothering to get into a proper position. If she could actually block one of HIS kicks, then hell would freeze over.
She caught his foot. He stared at her in amazement.
“Oh, just break it Night,” another voice said. He looked behind him to see Red Hood, sitting casually on the roof top edge. Even going as far as swinging her legs. His partner, whom he had forgotten about, dropped his gun and ran off. Red Hood didn’t hesitate. She sprung up, quickly passed him and punched him right in the jaw, knocking him out. She grabbed his feet and dragged him back.
Patrick’s foot was still held by Nightmare, who hadn’t taken her eyes of him. At least he assumes so. Her head didn’t move. He pulled his leg back, easily breaking out of her hold and swung a fist at her. Nightmare grabbed it and twisted it against his back.
How is this stupid girl doing this?
“Who are these people?” Nightmare asked Red Hood.
“Life-Blood. They’re an Illick.”
“An illegal assassin group.”
“…Aren’t all guilds illegal?”
“What’s the difference?” Nightmare asked. Patrick couldn’t believe they were just talking to each other while he was around. Didn’t they know who he was? He was one of the best Life-Blood has! Growling, he stepped on Nightmares foot, knowing the girl would be easily injured.
Girls were fragile.
But she didn’t notice. He stepped on it again and again, but she and Red Hood just kept talking.
“There are two types of assassin groups. First there are the legit ones; they are essentially on the government’s payroll. This means better training and equipment. Legits don’t need to worry about money. We still get paid by private customers. When we are hired we set up a contract. Once the contract is set the job will be done. Another person can’t come and give us more money to not do the job. The only way the mission is scrapped is if the contract is eliminated or if the customer hires another guild to do the same job,” Red Hood said and took a deep breath, “Then there are Illick. They work for themselves, more vigilantes. They are loyal to only the highest bidder. Illicks would betray and leave their own team mates if they think it will save their own skin. Their terribly trained and are thrown into a mission half ready. Basically, their useless.”
“I can hear you!” Patrick told them. Oh, everything they said was true, but still. Legit guilds were weak. In Life-Blood it was survival of the fittest.
Nightmare and Red Hood turned to him.
“Who are you working for?” Red Hood asked him. Patrick spat at her. Red Hood moved swiftly, punching him straight in the stomach. Patrick felt his legs give away as he fell to the floor, Nightmare letting go.
“Try again,” Red Hood said.
“Go to hell,” he told her, blood smeared slightly on his lips. Red Hood grabbed his arms, pulled it back and STAMPED on his shoulder, breaking it.
“Last chance,” Red Hood said.
“Red-“ Nightmare started.
“Night,” Red Hood snapped at her and went back looking at Patrick.
“A customer wanted us to kill Felix.”
“What!” Nightmare exclaimed. Suddenly, Patrick was lifted up from the ground and held over the edge of the roof, “Are there people after him right now.”
“Yes,” Patrick told them. He felt himself fly through the air, hitting the roof floor again.
“I’m off,” Nightmare said.
“What do you want Red Hood?”
“I’m coming with you.”
“You’re going to need my help. Assassins are dangerous. You wouldn’t be able to take them all on. Not on your own.”
Nightmare stood there, just staring at Red Hood. Patrick was sure she wouldn’t agree. They were enemies. Nightmare had no reason to trust her.
But she held out her hand. Red Hood took it calmly, like it wasn’t the first time they’ve done this.
“Keep your eyes closed.” Nightmare said and they jumped.
Red Hood felt herself fall from the air. She knew if she looked behind her, there would be a building. Below her were three men, next to her was Nightmare. Letting go of Nightmare’s hand, she griped her cloak ends, allowing the cape to catch air, slowing her descent and allowing her to land without breaking her legs. Behind her, Nightmare doing the same.
As they landed, Red Hood tore her cloak, creating her tentacle weapons. Nightmare removed her whips and extended them. They didn’t nod to each other. They didn’t exchange looks. They didn’t even talk. They didn’t need to. They knew what to do, what the other will do.
The men were assassins. Thus, you remove their weapons.
Red Hood charged at the man on the left, the leader, while Nightmare took the other two. The man jumped back, trying to get away. Red Hood didn’t allow him though, quickly grabbing him with her tentacles. Two of them launched onto the man’s legs, slamming him into the ground and dragging him towards her. The man quickly slashed at the cloth. Red Hood hissed, turning off her powers and racing towards him again. She moved swiftly, grabbing at his belt, which held most of his weapons, ripped it off and threw it behind her. She immediately followed with an upper cut to his jaw. The man staggered back, disorientated. Red Hood crouched down, took both his boot dagger and threw them behind her.
And on it went, she would hit him, steal a weapon, throw it behind her, and repeat. She didn’t look to where she threw the daggers and guns, they would land in the shadows and Nightmare will take care of it. It took them less than twenty minutes to stop the three men, tying them up in the end.
“You know. For a guild you know by name, they sure do suck,” Nightmare said.
“Your right, that was pretty easy.”
“For this level assignment. Not a chance.”
“Then wh- Move!” Nightmare jumped towards Red Hood, pushing her out of the way. Red Hood fell to the floor. When she looked up Nightmare was on the ground, a metal grip clamped around her arm, and her body twitching. Red Hood looked up. There. On top of the tower. A woman. A gun in her hand. This woman. This woman had shot Emmalyn.
“Who the hell are you?” Red Hood asked, grinding her teeth.
“Good evening Miss Worp,” the woman said. Was that a Russian assent?
“You didn’t answer my question,” she said and she kneeled down next to her friend, checking her pulse. Stable. Good.
“My name is none of your concern little girl,” Or was the assent German? She wasn’t sure. It was European anyways.
“You shot my best friend,” Red Hood said, her hands gripping the whips. Within seconds the whips were connected to her Implant.
The woman laughed, “How cute-”
“That is the worst mistake you’ve ever made.”
Red Hood snapped her arm forward, the whip sailing towards the woman and binding around her arm. Red Hood retracted both whip, one moving into it compact state and the other roughly pulling the woman towards her. She pulled her left arm back and just as the woman was in range, smashed the pipe against the face. The whip let go and the woman went flying. Not far though, as she twisted her body landing on her feet.
Her nose was broken.
The woman reached up, snapping her nose back in place. She rushed forward, jumped up and kicked the girl in the face. Red Hood didn’t fall back though. She didn’t even move.
“Very impressive little girl, that suit of yours is quite impressive,” the French? woman said, jumping backwards.
Red Hood looked at her, her hands gripping the pipes tightly. The woman rushed toward her again, but this time Red Hood flipped back, feet in the air kicking the woman in the jaw. She continued flipping, landing on her feet and immediately springing forward. She raised her right hand, smacking the woman in the left cheek. She then extended the pipes back to the whip forms, curled the ends around the woman’s feet and started smashing her in the wall, the floor. Over and over.
She smashed her one last time into the floor before retracting her whips and dropping the pipes on the floor. The woman stood up, pulled out a dagger and charged. The woman desperately tried to hit the girl, but Red Hood easily dogged. It was pretty easy too. The woman obviously has several broken bones already, not to mention she was possibly disorientated.
Red Hood shot out her hand, gripped the woman’s dagger hand and twisted it. The dagger fell to the floor and Red Hood kicked it away. She continued to twist the arm, bringing the woman to her knees. With her free hand she pulled out her gun, levelling it to the woman forehead.
“Give me one good reason,” Red Hood said. The woman didn’t answer. Was she too afraid? Too broken? She didn’t know, she didn’t care.
“Three, two, o-”
“Red stop!” Nightmare’s voice came from behind. Red Hood looked behind her as Nightmare climbed to her feet, slowly and carefully. Red Hood let go of the woman, pocketing her gun.
“Night, are you ok.”
“Pretty much,” Nightmare said stopping next to her friend. She then pulled back her right arm and punched the woman in the jaw. The two girls heard a sickening CRACK as the woman’s jaw broke and she fell to the floor, half dead.
“Shit!” Nightmare exclaimed as she grabbed her shoulder. By now there was a large red spot, seeping thought the black.
“Got shot yesterday. Fixed it with a Knitter, but apparently it did work well enough.”
“Really Nightmare, you need to be more careful.”
“Yeah yeah, I’ll have the boss look at it later. Anyways, mission accomplished.”
“I’m sorry Emmalyn,” Red Hood said before pulling out another gadget, shocking her friend. Nightmare fell, unconscious again. Red Hood moved, catching the other girl, and laying her down gently.
“My job’s not over yet.”
Red Hood looked at the girl. She didn’t want to do it. She didn’t want to hurt her friend, but if they found her… Red Hood can’t let anything happen to Nightmare.
June can’t let anything happen to Emma.
Red Hood ran toward the north side of the roof. Using a grappling hook she quickly swung to the building she had occupied in the beginning.
“…And now without further ado, I give you the Vice-President of N.I.C. Incorporated and its spokesman, Percy Felix!”
Red Hood lay down, hands gripping onto the long range riffle. As her naked fingers touched the cold metal she reactivated her powers. She bit back a hiss and she felt the cut on her cape. Through the nozzle of the gun she saw Felix get into position.
“Ladies and Gentlemen. It is my great honour to introduce to you the future. Your future. A safer future…”
Red Hood turned around. Only to see Nightmare standing there. But she wasn’t normal. It was like the shadows were still holding on to her. Still apart of her.
Nightmare pulled herself up, anger blazing through her body. She was luckily for the suits protective shell or else she would have been out for even longer. As it was, the suit was still extra protective of electric attack because of the Russian woman. Or was she French? But it didn’t matter.
Red Hood tricked her. Lied to her.
Nightmare felt her anger flood her veins. She could actually feel her blood moving fastest, her head clearing. She stood up, breathing heavily.
Her blood wasn’t the only thing moving faster. She mind felt extra sensitive to the shadows. She felt them try to pull her in.
We can help you
Nightmare felt her body rip apart. She was in the shadow. She was part of the shadows. She was the shadows.
She saw Red Hood lie there. Ready to shoot Wesley’s friend.
Wesley who didn’t lie to her. Wesley who helped her. Wesley who listened to her. Wesley, who was there for her when June- when Jupiter wasn’t.
“Bastard,” she said. The shadows were still there. She was still connected to them, to herself.
Red Hood spun around and took a step back.
“Night-“ but she didn’t finish. She didn’t have time. Nightmare disappeared from before her and reappeared behind, hitting her against on the back. Red Hood fell forward, but didn’t reach the ground. Nightmare was already there, pushing her up and then to the ground, punching her. Pain shot through her arm when she remembered she was injured.
Nightmare pulled back into the shadows, pain still there, and watched as Red Hood stood up, looking around. Nightmare appeared behind her, making enough noise that Red Hood knew. The other girl turned around and threw a punch.
It went right through Nightmare. Right through the Smog and the Shadows.
SHOW HER US
SHOW HER WHAT THE SHADOWS ARE
SHOW HER THE DEATH
SHOW HER THE LOVE
WE ARE O-
Nightmare pulled back and held her head as she bumped against the wall. Red Hood tried to come closer, but something stopped her. Nightmare closed her eyes as the images assaulted her.
A cat. A dog. A person. A bridge. A flower. A killer. A liar. A friend. A stranger.
“Run!” “Come play!” “Mommy, look at this!” “I love you.” “Mary, did you pick up milk?”
“Please don’t hurt me!”
“NO!” Nightmare screamed as she fell to her knees. She turned off her powers completely as she breathed deeply. She felt tears running down her check. From the pain or from the fact that she was so many places at once, she didn’t know.
“AAA!!!” Nightmare screamed as someone grabbed hold of her shoulder, squeezing it as the blood pooled around her hand.
“Red Riding Hood,” one of them said.
“Alpha squad,” Red Hood replied as Nightmare looked up. This only made the assassin grip her shoulder tighter. She clenched her fist as pain shot through her.
The shadows were gone. She couldn’t see through. She couldn’t feel through. Nothing.
“What are you doing here?” Red Hood asked.
“Nathan Yelrood has broken the contract by hiring Life-Blood. When we confronted him, he told us we were taking too long. By our laws, the bounty on Percy Felix and Wesley Price has been pulled back. Return to base.”
‘Shh… It’s ok. Come shadows. Come. Come to me.’ Nightmare thought as she slowly turned on her powers. She kept off her sight. But she needed to feel them. She needed her shadows. Carefully, Nightmare allowed her hand to sink into the shadows below her.
It didn’t call to her.
“What about her,” Red Hood asked. Nightmare knew Red Hood was talking about her.
“We have been given no orders regarding her.”
The hand disappeared. When Nightmare looked up, it was only her and Red Hood on the roof.
“Why,” Nightmare spat out. Red Hood just looked at her.
“I had to choose.”
“And what did you choose?” Nightmare asked her, still not looking at her. Red Hood didn’t answer though. She bent down, laid her own bloody hand on hers.
They looked at each other one last time.
Red Hood turned around and jumped off the building. Nightmare watching her go. She didn’t know if she would ever see her friend again. Because no matter what-
They Promised and They Swore.
Nightmare looked up. When had she fallen to the ground? Her head hurt. Her hand was still in the shadows. Everything was blurry.
“Wesley,” she muttered.
“No ma’am,” a voice said. It sounded familiar. She looked up again. Percy?
“Percy?” Night- Emma asked.
“Can you stand?”
The Not-Percy picked her up, throwing her on his back and lifting her easily. The shadows were gone and the darkness was coming back. She was just so tiered. She wasn’t sure if she could stay awake. She just needed to close her -
“While the mission itself was scrapped, you were quite close to finishing the task. Given a few setbacks,” The High Council told June.
“Live Blood’s assassins were easily taken care of,” June replied, not looking at them.
“With the help of the hero, Nightmare. The same person whom almost killed you,” the council leader said. June didn’t say anything as she kneeled before them, her visor and face mask off. She wasn’t sure of what to expect.
“However, you have impressed this council and we have decided to install you into this guilt as a full fledge member. Congratulations.”
June didn’t talk as shock ran through her body. The council members packed up their things and left, but June didn’t move.
This can’t be happening.
“June,” a voice came from next to her. June looked up to fine her ‘Aunt’ DeeDee.
“DeeDee,” she said, her voice levelled, as she stood up.
“Nightmare is quite impressive.”
“She’s a strong adversary.”
“And a good friend.” June’s head snapped to the woman. DeeDee’s face married with a terrible smirk.
“I know I… threatened… your friend if your loyalty didn’t stay with this guild, but now? I will destroy her. Yes, I’m not blind enough not to see she can be a good ally, but only if need be. Be careful around your friend, she might… disappear,” DeeDee said and walked off. June looked at her, only somewhat scared.
Like she would let her.
They Promised and They Swore.
Date: 29 November 2035
When Emma woke up, she immediately noticed her visor and mask were missing. Thankfully, whoever took them off remembered to put on her sunglasses. Her boots were also missing. So were her cloves. In fact, the only thing she was wearing was her Nano-Clov clothes.
Opening her eye she found three people watching her-wait. Three?
“Why are there two Percys?” Emma asked, causing Wesley and one of the Percys to look at each other. She was pretty sure they were calling her an idiot in their heads.
“Didn’t you read the email?” Wesley asked
“No,” Emma replied. What email? And why does her head hurt?
“Are you alright miss,” the other Percy asked when she rubbed her head. She looked at it, honestly feeling like she should run away.
“Don’t call her miss. You’ll give her an even bigger head,” Percy number 1 said.
“Yes sir,” Percy number 2 replied.
Emma scowled at them. If anyone had a big head it was those two- or was it three now?
“What happened?” Emma asked.
“Why? What’s the last thing you remember?” Wesley asked her, frowning.
What was the last thing she remembered? Emma was fighting some people from Life-Blood after she and June made a truce. Then the Hungarian woman came. And shocked her. Then June-
“That Bastard!” Emma exclaimed, angry, “She shocked me! She knocked me out. I can’t believe her! When I get my hands on h-“
“Nothing after that?” Wesley asked suddenly.
“What?” Emma asked. After that? She thought back, “No. Nothing.”
Wesley and Percy number 1 looked at each other.
“Can you not do that,” Emma said.
“Come look at this,” Wesley said and walked to his computer. Emma slowly stood up, slightly dizzy. Neither Percy attempted to help her, but they did keep an eye on her. When she started walking Percy number 1 followed. She stopped next to Wesley as he typed.
The image was horrifying. It was her alright, but… The shadows covered her like a blanket-no, like it was a part of her. Shadow-like tentacles came from actual shadows and were attached to her, like they were trying to pull her back into them. She moved through the shadows quickly, too quickly.
Normally. When Emma walked out of the shadows she disconnected from them completely. She didn’t stay attached. It was too easy to Slip if she did. But here. Here she was the shadows. Not just a part of them. She was them.
“I don’t remember this,” Emma whispered, horrified.
“None of it,” Wesley pushed.
Emma looked at another screen, watching June use her whips. How was she doing that? She shouldn’t be able to.
“Wesley,” Emma started, pointing at the screen, “How’s June using my whips?”
“Your Implants are the same,” Wesley said with a sigh.
“I went over Trate’s papers again. June got the same procedure you did.”
“Explains why here hair is so short. But what has that got to do with anything?”
“The chip in your brain is one that I personally designed. This is the thing your suit and whips are connected to. June got the exact same chip. This means the whips ‘thought’ she was you.”
“Oh,” Emma said. Not really understanding. Give her a toaster and she’ll turn it into a miniaturise cannon. Put something in her brain and she turns into a monkey.
“Tea madam?” Percy number 2 asked. She looked at the thing. It was really starting to creep her out.
“What is this?” she asked franticly, pointing at the machine.
“It’s a Level II AI robot with a holographic projector,” Percy answered before frowning, “You really didn’t read the email?”
“What email? No one said anything about an email!” Emma said, throwing her hands in the air.
“Yes I did,” Percy answered, placing one hand in his pocket.
“Two nights ago when we talked about the xChip.”
“…I don’t remember.”
“I thought you said you knew the plan,” Wesley said as he turned to her. Emma looked down at him.
“I thought the plan was to keep Jupiter busy till the end of the conference,” Emma asked innocently. The men stared at her.
“Idiot,” they said together. She looked back at them, annoyed. She knew it!
“Did you really think I would go out in public with only one guard? Especially when telling people about what you yourself declared ‘a disaster’?” Percy asked.
“I didn’t say disaster. I said people wouldn’t like it,” Emma said.
“I guess not. I mean. Your you. Going out probably wouldn’t be such a good idea,” Emma said, feeling every bit of the idiot they called her.
Percy smirked, “Don’t worry. Many people make that mistake.”
Percy turned to Wesley and grinned. Wesley face turned an interesting shade of red. A mixture of angry and embarrassment.
“Out of my house,” Wesley said calmly. But Percy ignored him and turned to Emma.
“Have I ever told you about the day Wesley and I went to a-” But he couldn’t complete his sentence. Wesley jumped up and started to push Percy out of the underground room, the AI following.
“OUT!” he shouted.
“Bye Emma!” Percy called.
A few minutes later Wesley came back. By now Emma had gone back to the couch, touching the fabric gently with her fingers. She looked around the room. It looked and felt so different from when she first woke up in it. It felt like that was years ago.
“…ur parents might be worried,” Wesley said, snapping Emma from her thoughts.
“Sorry. I wasn’t listening.”
“You seem to do that a lot.”
“Be happy I said sorry.”
“Yes. I feel so privileged.”
“Cute. What is it?”
“I said, ‘I should get you home. Your parents might be worried’,” Wesley repeated.
“They’re not home,” Emma told him, not looking at him.
“Where are they?” Wesley asked, walking closer.
“Don’t know,” Emma said, shrugging. Her voice was flat.
“Why are they gone,” Wesley asked.
“They found out I was a Torric,” Emma said, looking at him. What she saw surprised her. Wesley looked just like he did when she first met him. Cold. Cruel.
“I see,” he hissed, his voice freezing.