Date: 27 September 2035
Emma felt her body re-combine as she stepped out of the shadows and into Price’s underground lab, gym…thing. She knew he was there, facing his computer and doing some kind of work. She walked quietly, still in the clothes he had given her.
“Clothes are on the table. Quickly change and come here,” Price said not looking at her. Emma gave a small ‘eep’ as she stepped back. She had kept an eye on him since she entered. He had given no acknowledgement that he heard her.
“What are you? Some kind of super ninja dog or something,” Emma said as she collected the clothes. Price turned the chair slightly to look at her, his face passive.
“…There is no way anyone can respond to that and still sound intelligent,” Price said.
“You managed it pretty well,” Emma muttered as she went to the changing room.
As she changed, Emma recognized the outfit she had worn the day before. Both items of clothing had been mended and made as new. It looked like they weren’t even torn up. Her mask however was different. Instead of the eye holes that had been there was a completely covered area. In fact if she put it on her entire face would be cover by the cloth. Deciding to keep it off for now she left the room and walked over to where Price was.
Stopping next to him, he handed her a small ear piece. Putting it on she activated it and waited for Price to tell her what to do. Entering the last command, he swung around in the chair so to face her.
“The mission is pretty simple. Get in, get the Flash Dive, and get out. And don’t get caught,” Price told her.
“A flash drive? Serious? You know those things can be copied right?” Emma asked, very amused. Really? A flash drive?
Price just looked at her, his face set, “It’s an N.I.C. uncopy-able flash drive. Do you think I’m stupid? I’m not going to put important information of something that can be copied.”
“Right. Um. Do we know where the flash drive is?” Emma asked, stepping away slightly. Price was scaring her.
“No, but it should be easy to recognize. It looks like a small, fat blue and silver pen.”
“A pen?” Emma asked in disbelief. Price stared at her as though he was daring her to continue, probably still annoyed from the earlier question. Emma looked away, blushing slightly.
“Now your ear piece is similar to a standard police ear piece,” Price started.
“Except its NIC technology,” Emma muttered to herself.
“And it’s connected to the computer,” Price continued as though he didn’t hear her, “Now your mask-”
“Yeah, I was wondering about that. Would I like be able to see or breath at all?”
“Yes to both. It’s made from a special fabric similar to darkened windows. You can see out, but they can’t see in. The material is also light weight so breathing is not obscured,” Price said turning to his computer. Behind him Emma muttered the word ‘obscure’ several times under her breath.
“I need you to go upstairs so we can test the headset,” Price said.
“Got it,” Emma said before putting on the mask. Having it on was weird. It stuck to her like a second skin but she could see almost perfectly, even with her sunglasses still on.
Concentrating on the shadows she tried to remember what the kitchen looked like. She remembered advanced appliances and the whole kitchen in silver. Emma stepped into the side of the computer, only to step out into the kitchen less than a second later. It really was very metallic.
“Ok. I’m upstairs, do you read me…. Mr Price? ...Price?” Not hearing anything, Emma quickly Shadow Travelled down stairs. The sight that greeted her was not what she expected. Price was halfway across the floor on his back. His chair was on the ground and flipped on its side. The computer looked fine, well except for the speaker that looked like they had burst. Other than that, nothing was damaged. Emma took off her mask and ran to Price’s side just as he was starting to get up.
“Ok we are not doing that…that thing you do with the shadows again,” Price said as he held his head. Emma helped him up as he let go of his head, revealing a small cut on the right side of his face, above his eye.
“It’s called Shadow Travel, and your hurt,” Emma said.
“Just a scratch. Help me get the spare speakers,” Price said.
As Emma got some old plug in speakers for the computer, Price took out several pieces of equipment from one of the drawers. After plugging in the speakers she went over to see what it was. As she got to the table she saw her dagger and a grappling hook.
“Oh! I was wondering where that was,” Emma said, picking up her dagger
“Security brought it to me this morning,” Price said, “Come here. I need you to look at this.” Pocketing the equipment, Emma walked to him. As she came closer to the computer she saw Price marking a route on a map.
“Now the initial plan was for you to Shadow Travel to the house and for me to direct you around. Now I’ll lead you to the house and immediately after getting the flash, you’ll Shadow Travel back. Now I should be able to re-direct any cameras from your position while you’re on the move….Any questions?”
“Just one….Can I borrow your belt?”
Emma ran as she jumped from roof top to roof top, tucking and rolling as she fell. While she wouldn’t be able to Shadow Travel, she could bend the shadows around her, hiding her from praying eyes.
“So who’s house am I breaking into again?” Emma asked.
“A man by the name of Nathan Yelrood.”
“The Wizard? Seriously?”
“You know his analysis?”
“Yeah. I used to work at Diamond Dust remember. It’s an extension of Emerald City, which the guy owns. I’ve seen him around once or twice with his buddies.”
“Then you know how dangerous he is.”
“I’ve seen him shoot down two people without blinking. So, yeah, I do.”
“Luckily he’s out of the country tonight. So the only person you need to worry about is his daughter, Dorathy.”
Still running, Emma faltered. She quickly started to jump on one foot, so to regain her balance. After a few seconds she planted both feet on the ground and replied.
“Are you seriously telling me I’m going to meet Dorathy Yelrood? She is like totally awesome! Not only does she have a great sense of style, as seen in Glimmer, but she’s also into all these sports. Their actually calling her Hope City’s Precious Stone-” Emma said as fast as she could. There were, after all, very few girls anywhere who didn’t admire Dorathy Yelrood.
“Miss Knight if you’re done acting like a brain dead fan girl, I suggest you get back to the mission. Is that understood?” Price said in a cold voice, so cold Emma felt herself start to freeze.
“Understood Mr Price….Which way?”
“Ten meters to your left. Then you should get to the gate. Contact me once you’re over.”
“Got it. Emma out,” Emma said as she reached up and switched off the radio. She turned to her left and started to run again. She watched as the edge came closer and closer. Making a quick decision as she jumped she allowed herself to fall to the ground. Grabbing hold of the fire escape she slid down to the ground. Clinging to the shadows, she travelled the back alleys. Within a few minutes she saw the gates. The very, very large gates. And a large house. A very, very large house.
“Hey Price, why don’t you have a house this size?” Emma asked as she started to climb the gate.
“I don’t have a hoard of mutated soldiers living with me.” Price’s voice came.
“Are you serious!?” Emma’s voice shouted in panic.
“Of course I’-shh shh shh,”
“Mr Price? Price answer me!... Wesley!” Emma shouted franticly when she could no longer hear Price’s voice. After several minutes of only the ‘shh’ sound Emma turned off the radio.
“Guess I’m on my own then. Man I hope he was joking about those mutations,” Emma said softly in a worried voice. Looking around, she jumped to the ground, easily landing in a crouching position.
Closing her eyes, Emma spread her senses. Not just her Shadows, but her hearing as well. She listened to the sound of the wind, the rustling of leaves and grass, and even to the snoring of several dogs, or what she hoped was dogs. With the Shadows she saw guards walking around, some talking to one another –not that she could hear anything- and –thankfully- several normal dogs.
Emma opened her eyes as she dragged the shadows back to her. Her path would be clear in 3-2-1-Go! Getting up she ran full sprint. A few feet from the window she jumped and lashed onto the second story window. Quickly pulling herself up, she pushed her hand through the shadowed crack between the windows, rematerializing her hand on the other side. Unlocking the window, she pulled her hand back and went inside. Quietly closing the window, she made her way toward the rooms. While there were no guards inside the house, it was littered with security cameras. A quick Shadow over the lenses kept her from being seen.
Now if she was a Crime Lord…Over Lord…Crime Boss…or whatever person, where would she put a flash drive containing valuable information. Emma thought for several moments before the obvious answer came to her.
“The office,” Emma said, smacking herself in the head. Closing her eyes she connected to the shadows. There were two offices, one on the first floor and one on the second floor. The second floor office looked like his personal office, and it was closer, so she would go to that one first.
The office looked pretty nice: There were several pictures on the walls. Next to the door was an electric fireplace, a coffee table and several couches in front of it. A wine rack stood against the wall. Filling cabinets stood against the opposite wall with two bookcases next to it. A desk was at the far side of the room with a black BOSS chair. Price totally needed to get a BOSS chair. Then again he probably had a cooler one somewhere.
Emma walked to the deck and tried to open the top drawer, but it was locked. Fortunately she can use her Shadow powers to open normal key type locks, and even if she couldn’t, she knew how to pick locks. Electric locks were a completely other thing. Unlocking it she opened the drawer only to slam it shut a second later, her face heating up. Moving away from the desk, she started to search the bookcase. She took books out, moved them around, and even opened a few. Then she noticed it.
Someone else was in the room.
Normally she would spin around, but Price’s parting words echoed through her thoughts. “Whatever happens, act calm!” He also told her he would help her, but the radio was down. She was on her own. What was she going to do! She was going to be thrown in prison, or worse! Killed! Oh when she gets her hands on Price she’s going to-.
Price! She’ll act like Price! She mentally took a deep breath, used her powers to see who it was and calmly put the book back on the shelf.
“Is there something I can help you with Miss. Yelrood?” Emma said as she turned around.
Dorathy sat in front of her mirror, brushing her long hair as she got ready for bed while humming quietly to herself. Suddenly she heard something slam closed. It came from her father’s office, but her father wasn’t home yet. If he was he would have come to her first thing. And everyone knew that the office was of limits. So…so.
There was a stranger in her house.
A Stranger who got through every shred of security money could buy. Standing up she grabbed her gun and her robe. She shoved the gun into the back of her pyjama pants, put on her robe, and made her way to her father’s office.
When she reached the doorway the sight of the Stranger shocked her. While the room was dark she could still see someone. A figure dressed completely in black. No hair, skin or anything else was seen. It also seemed to blend into the shadows, like it was a part of it. Dorothy was sure it hadn’t seen her yet as it flipped through the book. Ever so slowly she reached for her gun, watching as the figure re-shelved the book.
“Is there something I can help you with Miss Yelrood?” the creature said. It turned to her. Or at least she thinks it turned to her. Dorathy couldn’t distinguish between its front and its back.
“Who are you?” she asked, though the question ‘what are you?’ would have been more appropriate. It stared at her at least she thought it did.
“Why are you here?” she asked again after a few minutes.
“I’m…looking for something,” the creature said calmly.
“You’re looking for the flash daddy stole,” Dorathy said in a pleasant voice, putting on the smile her father uses when talking to people he disliked.
It tilted its head.
“Smart girl. Looks like there is a brain in that head after all,” it said to her. Dorathy ignored the comment on her intelligence. It not as if she hasn’t heard every ‘dumb girl’ comment ever made directed toward her.
“A flash stolen from EnterPRICE,” she said. The Stranger didn’t react.
“I assume Mr Price hired you to get it back,” she said.
“People with IQ’s below 10 shouldn’t assume anything, Miss Yelrood. No one hired me….Now be a good little girl and give me the flash,” it said to her, its voice turning nasty.
Dorathy was surprised the Stranger thought she knew where the flash was. Well she did, but it didn’t know that. It made a very… gambled assumption.
“What makes you think I know where it is?” she asked. Suddenly the arm chair right in front of her started to sink into the ground. She looked at it, fighting the urge to step back. The Stranger also looked at it, before turning its attention to her again. Dorathy knew what that meant. If she doesn’t give it the flash in the next minute, what was happening to the chair will happen to her.
Quickly she crossed the room, taking a path furthest from the Stranger. She walked up to the photo frame behind her father’s chair and opened it. Behind the frame was a safe.
“A safe… behind a frame…. You can’t be serious,” came the Strangers disbelief voice. Hearing it gave Dorathy new confidence.
She opened the safe and started to shuffle through the documents inside. She quickly found the pen shaped flash, having seen it the day it was given to her father. She took it out and closed both the safe and the frame.
“Good girl. Now give it here,” the voice came. Very close by. Dorathy froze. The hand was right next to her. How did the Stranger get so close so quickly? And without making any sound. Gathering her courage she glared at it.
Dorathy turned and walked to the wine rack. Taking out on of the bottle she filled two of the wine glasses on top of the rack. Taking them in hand she turned to the Stranger, who had put down its hand and was staring at her. She walked up to it and half shoved one of the glasses into it hands. Then she turned away and forced herself to calmly sit down in the same arm chair that had started to sink into the floor only minutes ago.
Sipping a bit of the wine she told herself to stay in control of the situation. She kept repeating this in her head as she watched the Stranger. It stretched out it arm and tilted the glass in it hand, spilling the wine on the floor. After the last of the wine was spilt it dropped the glass, shattering it. Then the Stranger walked forward, through the chair, through the desk, through the couch, and stopped a few feet from her. The Stranger held out its hand.
Dorathy felt like she was going to hyperventilate. The creature in front of her wasn’t human. But she held it in. She set down her wine, her hand shaking slightly, and stood up. Walking up to the creature she found herself a few inches taller.
“How much?” Dorathy said, forcing her voice to sound calm.
“I don’t negotiate,” it said, pure truth dripping from its words.
Within a second Dorathy jumped back, pulled out her gun and fired. However the creature already moved to the right, took out a dagger from the belt she hadn’t seen and threw it at her. Dorathy dropped to the ground, the dagger sailing past. She jumped up ready to fire again, only to see nothing. Behind her! Her instincts screamed. She spun around, just as the second dagger (or was it the same one? They looked similar) came at her. She moved her head as fast as she can. Not fast enough as the dagger made a small scratch on her cheek. She started shooting repeatedly as she followed the creature as it moved. It ducked behind the couch. She ran over, only to find nothing. Suddenly she felt something hit her back. She turned around to see the creature hold its belt in its hand, using it as a whip. Very well too.
From outside she heard the guards running toward the house. She also heard Toto running to her. She smirked; there was no way she could lose now. The Stranger also seemed to think so because she used the belt to grab her wrist and pull it towards her. The sudden motion caused her to drop the flash. It disappeared even before it reached the ground. Angry, she shot at the creature. The bullet pierced through the creatures shoulder, causing it to drop the belt. It staggered, but made no sound. The creature ran toward her. She moved to shoot again when the stranger…
Dorathy fell to the floor as a large monstrous dog ran into the room, her body finally giving into the shakes that it had been suppressing since she saw the Stranger…since she saw that nightmare.