Notice: This is a fan fiction of based upon the stories in Lilith Langtree’s “Comics RetCon Universe”. The story is mine, but some of the characters are not. White Queen, Mystique, Wolverine, Magneto from Marvel Comics’ X-men are trademarks of Marvel Comics. All rights reserved. The Riddler, Joker and Green Arrow are trademarks of DC Comics. All rights reserved. To the best of my knowledge, all the other characters are fiction. Any resemblance to a living, dead or undead person is completely random.
Note:Earlier this week, I received a gentle reminder that this story existed and I felt guilty that it has been so long since my last update. Sorry. Life has been a bit busy and I've been trying to get Whisper finished. A special thanks goes out to Lilith and all of the real CRU authors for providing such an interesting Universe to play in. Hope ya all enjoy. Thanks to djkauf for editing. Enjoy!
** Chapter 7 **
To their credit, they didn’t freak out. Well, not right away anyway. One of the dudes shined his light on me, but after I blocked my face with my hands, the girl knocked it down.
“Hey! Blinding someone with the light is just not cool!” She said.
“Umm, thanks. I really hate to mention this, but there is a bunch of guys with Uzi’s or something down here right now. You should really get out now before they get here.”
They all just looked at each other with disbelief written all over their faces. “Huh?” The rude dude with the flashlight asked.
“We don’t have much time. I was in the VA hospital when some people with Uzi’s opened fire.” I decided to skip the part about them specifically hunting me. “Hey, they killed two DMA agents, I ran down here and for some reason, they followed me.”
The woman looks a little worried, but her two friends look much more skeptical. “We should get out of here.” She said.
“No way! That’s not possible.” Rude Dude said.
“Yeah, you’re making it up. That kinda shit only happens in the movies!” The other dude said.
I heard the faint sound of something metal hitting a pipe or something from behind me. It sounded like the nuts were getting closer. It didn’t look like these guys hear the sound. So, I took a few more steps forward and angled myself to go around them while trying to stay out of their light. I wouldn’t want them to see what I really look like right now. If one of them yells or screams, the Uzi dudes will be sure to come running.
“What if she’s telling the truth?” The woman asks.
“Well, I thought I heard some sirens before we came down here...” The less rude dude mentions.
“Umm, guys? We really need to bail, now. I thought I heard something a few seconds ago. They might be getting closer.” I said as I edged my way past them while staying out of their light. I faced down the hall, in the direction that it looked like they came from. It felt like the right direction and now, if they turned around, they would be following me. Maybe they wouldn’t be able to tell that I wasn’t exactly human anymore. Well, they might notice my silver hair, but that probably wouldn not enough to cause a freak out. I hoped.
“Man...we just got here and I wanted to show Kristen the prisoner cells...” The rude dude said.
[Ka-lang!] Followed by the sound of something large and metal falling over from the direction that I just came from caused them all to jump. The muffled sounds of someone yelling at someone else caused them to all look at each other with the realization that maybe I wasn’t crazy. To his credit, Rude Dude took the initiative.
“This way! Come on.” He fiercely whispered to his two friends as they all turned to follow me. They kept their lights on the ground and walls instead of on me. That helped me in two ways. One, it kept them from really trying to look at me and two, it kept my night vision intact.
Fortunately, we didn’t have far to go, but having the dudes behind whispering “right” or “left” helped get me to the exit faster than I would have been able to just using my own internal guidance feelings. We entered into a large open room that except for an old steel ladder looked like a dead end.
“Up! Ladies first” Rude Dude said.
Okay, so maybe he wasn’t that rude and I totally didn’t feel at all bad about being a “lady” right now. I went first with Kristen right on my heels.
“Oh my god! Where are your shoes?” She asked as we both scrambled up the ladder.
Instead of answering her, I just kept climbing. “Come on!” I said as I opened up a small gap on her. I heard more sounds from my hunters as they got closer to us. I did not want these folks to get hurt, but without any useful powers, there wasn’t anything else that I could do right now.
The top of the ladder turned out to be a small concrete pillbox that, except for a small dirt tunnel, looked like a dead end. I could smell the fresh night air coming from the tunnel, so I jumped through and clawed my way out. It was only a foot or two long, but it was tight and after all the tunnels I felt nothing but relief when I popped out of the earth. The fresh night air made me feel like a million bucks. I looked up and saw nothing but trees and a hill. Down, there was an almost invisible path leading to my current position that lead to a paved walking path 100 feet below.
I heard Kristen struggling to get out of the hole, so I turned to lend her a hand.
“Eeek!” She screamed when she finally saw my face and eyes in the moonlight. Reflexively, she tried to go back down the tunnel, but I already had a hold of her hand and I pulled her out instead. I am not that strong, so it helped that she was pushed out from the other side by one of the guys. Kristen looked fearfully at me as I pulled her the rest of the way out so that the guys could follow her.
“Shhhh.” I said to her desperately as the not rude dude wiggled his way out of the tunnel followed immediately by Rude Dude and the sound of a three round burst from a machine gun. I tugged on Kristen’s hand for her to follow me down the trail.
“Son of a bitch! Let’s get the fuck outta here!” Rude Dude said as he starting to scramble down the trail behind Kristen and me.
Being barefoot sucked, but at least I could see and avoid the worst foot shredding parts of the trail. I thought that I was doing pretty good, until I felt someone grab me from behind and toss me over their shoulders like I weighed nothing.
“Come on! We don’t have time! Why aren’t you wearing shoes?” Rude Dude growled as he raced down the slope at break neck speeds with me bouncing unceremoniously on his shoulders. Miraculously, we made it to the paved walkway without breaking anything. He set me on my feet and turned back to check on the progress of his friends.
I looked up and saw some light coming from the tunnel. The assholes were almost out. “Which way?!?” I asked, trying to not yell.
“That way, run!” Rude Dude hoarsely whispered as his buddy and Kristen sprinted past me. I didn’t have to be told twice, I followed. The pavement was mostly good on my bare feet. I managed to run behind Kristen and not step on anything sharp.
I heard the rapid sound of someone firing their weapons behind us accompanied by the sounds of something whizzing through the trees and impacting stuff. That helped us run even faster.
“Holy shit!” Kristen screamed just before we turned around the corner of a the hillside and I saw the blessed sight of a mostly empty parking lot less than 20 yards ahead of us. Mostly empty because there was also a small SUV parked in the lot and I prayed that it was their SUV. The sounds of keys jangling in the hands of Rude Dude as he put on a burst of speed and passed me made me feel somewhat relieved. Maybe we could get out of here without getting shot after all.
The SUV’s lights flashed as Rude Dude hit his remote to open the doors. He quickly jumped in driver’s seat with Kristen and me racing each other be the first to reach the back seats. I’d like to say that I was the perfect gentleman and waited on her, but I wasn’t, I’m not anymore and I didn’t.
The engine roared to life and before I could get my door completely closed, the tires chirped as Rude Dude floored the accelerator and we careened out of the lot by the most direct route possible. We jumped the curb and turfed the grass to reach the road and race away from the assholes with guns.
“Holy...fucking...shit! That was fucking insane!”” Rude Dude and his buddy in the front seat screamed at each other as we raced down the road. It took us less than a minute to reach the relative safety of a street with some other traffic on it.
My stomach is feeling a little delicate all of a sudden. Jen is leaning forward and she looks a bit tense. She has totally forgotten her wine. “What?! Come on! You can’t stop there. What happened?”
“Umm, sorry, but I have to go to the bathroom. The wine is running right through me or something.” I say, trying to sound apologetic, but I kind of need a break. Re-living the events from less than six hours ago is a bit stressful.
“Ally? Are you okay?” Jen asks as I rush to the bathroom.
My saliva has that weird, pre-barf taste and I feel like I might toss my cookies, and pee. I just hope that I don’t do them both at the same time. I reach the bathroom, rush over to the toilet and out of habit; I lift the lid and the seat together. I am still not sure if I am going to toss my cookies. So, I quickly put the seat back down because grabbing onto the less than clean porcelain lip is a bit gross. I start to pant as I feel spit pouring out of my mouth, but after a few seconds my stomach calms down and my breathing comes under control.
“Ally? Oh my god! Ally! Are you okay? What’s wrong?” Jen asks as she races to my side.
“Hehe, umm, I’m not sure...I just felt a bit, umm, I don’t know, scared or something. It kind of hit me all of a sudden as I remembered how scared I was down in those tunnels.” I say as slowly stand back up, grab some toilet paper and wipe my mouth, and then I remember that I still have to pee. So, I quickly pull down my borrowed pants, dig the panties out of my butt, sit down and let go like a pro; completely ignoring the fact that Jen is standing right next to me. I also manage to ignore the fact that I have Jen’s sexy black thong panties around my knees.
Okay, so I do notice them and that just hits home to me just how weird the last few days have been. I stare at them, completely lost in thought.
“Ally?” Jen asks as she gently touches my shoulder.
Her touch snaps me back to reality. “What?” I ask.
“We can stop now if you want to. Maybe get some sleep or something?” Jen ask as she stifles a yawn.
“No, I’m fine. I’m nocturnal now, remember? It’s like mid-afternoon for me.” I say with a touch of bitterness as I grab a wad of toilet paper as an additional reminder of my new life. Feeling a little ashamed at myself, I purposely avoid looking at Jen as I pull up my borrowed panties and stretchy workout pants.
“Are you sure?” Jen asks dubiously.
“Yep! I’m fine!” I turn and smile at her as I wash my hands. “See?”
Jen doesn’t look convinced, so I splash some cold water on my face to help freshen up, then once done, I turn back to face her. “Really. I’m good now, but we can stop if you’re too tired to continue...”
Jen gently grabs my shoulders and studies my eyes, concern evident in her expression. “How about we just take a small break and not talk about anything? Just be with each other and see how you feel after that? I’m no expert, but it kinda sounds like you might have some post traumatic stress thing going on and after everything you’ve gone through, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
I manage to nod my head. “Sure, umm, thanks.” I say, then sigh with a larger feeling of relief than I expected.
Jen looks relieved as she smiles at me. “I’ll meet you out there, I need to go pee too.”
“Hehe, sure.” I say as I give her quick hug then, leave the room to give her some privacy to do her business.
Jen joins me on the couch a minute or two later, then gestures for me to join her by laying my head on her legs.
“What am I going to do, Jen?” I ask, looking up at her as I make myself comfortable.
“Shhh, let’s not worry about that right now. Just close your eyes and relax for a few. Try not to think about anything.” Jen says.
Easier said than done, but I manage to use Doctor Random’s meditation techniques as Jen gently runs her fingers through my hair. It is very relaxing and if I was tired, I would probably fall asleep. After five minutes, I look up and notice that Jen’s eyes are starting to droop when her hand stops petting my hair.
I decide to get up and fetch her a blanket, but my motion startles her to alertness. “What?”
“Umm, I was just going to get you a blanky or something. You were falling asleep there.” I say.
Jen yawns, stretches and wakes herself up. “Oh no you don’t! I wanna hear what happened.”
“Jen, it’s after 3 AM. Why don’t you just take a short nap or something? I can wake you up in an hour or two.” I say.
“Liar! You would just let me sleep and we both know it. Now, sit!” Jen says, pointing back at my side of the couch.
Reluctantly, I sit back down, but stall for time by freshening my wine glass. I am surprised that the wine isn’t hitting me as hard as I expected with my reduced stature. I feel the pleasure of alcohol hitting my system, but it seems to go away very rapidly. I’ve drank three full glasses to Jen’s one and a half and I don’t feel at all drunk. I take a casual sip and make the mistake of glancing back at Jen to see if she is trying to fight staying awake.
“Now, spill it.” Jen says.
“Okay, okay, meanie...now, where was I? Oh yeah! So...”
Kristen sat in the back with me. She was in the passenger side rear seat, while I was on the driver’s side, but she was huddled against her door and as far away from me as possible. She looked like she wasn’t sure what she was more afraid of right now. Me, or the assholes that tried to shoot us.
“Hey! Are you two, ahhh!” The non-rude dude said as he turned back to check on the two girls in the back seat and saw me for the first time.
That reaction caused Rude Dude to swerve the car a bit as he tried to look behind him to see what his buddy got so upset about. “What? Are they fucking following us?” He asked.
“N-n-nooo, but the girl from the tunnels isn’t...ummm.” The other dude trailed off with confusion as I tried to look as nonthreatening as possible.
“Umm, I’m sorry, but I’m a metahuman. You can just let me off here and I won’t cause you all any trouble. I’m sorry that I got you all involved.” I said while I barely managed to not to cry with frustration. Based on my experiences at the hospital, at the restaurant and on the fact that racism and mutant phobia is common, I knew that my appearance would cause people to react to me and hate me, but after the latest bit of proof from the assholes with guns, I felt more than just a little tired of it all. Maybe I could flag down a cop and get some help that way. Or, maybe the cops would just try to shoot me like the rookie at my mom’s, I mean at Kim’s hospital, wanted to.
Rude Dude pulled the car over to the curb and I reached for the door handle, but a hand on my shoulder stopped me. “No, we can’t just leave her here like this. She needs our help.” Kristen said as Rude Dude twisted around in his seat to look at both Kristen and me.
“What?! Kristen, because of her, we all almost got shot down there and you want to help her?” The Other Rude Dude asked incredulously.
I decided that I liked Rude Dude better. Silently, Rude Dude studied Kristen as she looked at him with a pleading expression. Then,he turned to look at me before he turned back to face the front again.
I have seen that pleading, puppy dog expression before and I know how futile it was to try to resist it when Jen directed it at me. Rude Dude was doomed, but I still tried to get out of the car again just make it look like I didn’t need their help, even though I did.
Kristen held me back. “No, wait.” She said.
Rude Dude punched the top of the dash in frustration. “Okay! We help her, but how?”
“What the fuck!? We don’t even know her damn name!” The Other Rude Dude said.
“Umm, sorry, it’s Valerie. Valerie Wilson.” I said.
“Look, Ed. Kristen is right. We can’t just leave Valerie here. What if they find her and kill her or something? Then, how would you feel?” Rude Dude asked.
That seemed to get through to The Other Rude Dude, or Ed. “Hmmm....” He smiled shamefully at me before glancing back to Rude Dude. “Umm, I guess you’re right, Tom. I’d feel like crap, but what can we do? Those guys had fucking guns and shit!”
That brought them all back to reality. The car was silent as they all furiously tried to come up with an answer. A slew of police cars and swat trucks screamed past us, heading toward the VA Hospital. “Hey, I’ll just follow them, maybe they can help. No need for you all to be in any further danger because of me.” I said.
“Valerie, wait!” Kristen said and once again, I paused in my half-hearted attempt to get out of the car. “The Con! We can take her to the Con! My aunt, Amber the Costume Goddess, has a room there. She could easily disguise her, plus with all the other people wearing costumes there, she,” Kristen gestured to me. “, would fit right in. No one would even notice her!”
Ed glanced at the dash clock. It was 8:16 PM. My how the time flies when you’re on the run from machine gun toting maniacs who are trying to kill you. He looked over at Tom and to Tom’s credit; he nodded his head in acceptance. “Okay, it should take us 20 minutes to get to the hotel. Kristen, do you have some shoes she can wear or do we need to stop for something along the way?” Ed asked looking back at the two of us.
“Umm, yeah. I have my sandals in my bag.” Kristen glances down at my feet. “They might be a touch small on her, but they should work.”
Ed smiles at Kristen. “Excellent! Can you clean her up some too? It looks like she got in a fight with a mud puddle from running around down there barefoot. I think that might attract more attention than her skin color.”
“Sure, I have some stuff in my purse.” Kristen says as she begins rooting through the back of the SUV to get her stuff together for me.
During the drive through the city streets, we all jumped a little, then nervously laughed each time a cop car went past us. Kristen called her aunt and got the okay to swing by her room at the convention hotel. Kristen tried to not sound anxious when she told her aunt that she had someone that she just had to meet about a costume. Based upon some of Kristen’s expressions to her aunt’s follow up questions, I don’t think that her aunt bought it. Especially the one where Kristen responded with, “No, I’m not in trouble. Hehe, why do you ask?”
Kristen and I managed to go through her entire pack of wipes cleaning all the dirt and grime from me, but by the time we reach the convention hotel, I was pretty sure that I didn’t look like a victim of a pig ‘rastling contest. Her sandals proved to be a size too small for my feet, but they were better than nothing.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a huge number of people dressed in a large variety of fantasy, sci-fi and anime themed costumes when we pulled up to the huge hotel that was hosting the convention. Kristen was right; I probably would fit right in here.
“Okay, I will drop you all off here, find a parking spot, and then meet you up in your aunt’s room. What room is she in again?” Ed asked as he stopped near the front doors.
“Umm, room 832.” Kristen said as I slid over to exit the SUV from the passenger side with Kristen.
“Great! See you in a few.” Ed said just before he pulled away, leaving Tom, Kristen and me standing on the sidewalk with all the other convention goers.
I looked around and even though people were looking at me, no one seems at all surprised by my appearance. Kristen and Tom looked a little lost. “Umm, your aunt’s room?” I said.
That snapped Kristen out of her daze. “Right, this way. Let’s go!” She said as we merged with the influx of convention attendees.
I did overhear a few people comment about my makeup. Things like, “Wow! I can’t wait to see her in her costume. She looks like a perfect D&D Drow Elf!” or “OMG! How did she get her hair to be so silvery and her eyes so red and real looking? Those contacts must hurt, but it’s awesome!”, and finally, the winner. “Hey, she looks like a DBO Death Priest! I can’t wait to see her priest gear. That shit is dead sexy!”
We manage to snag an elevator all to ourselves. Outside her aunt’s door, Kristen paused with her hand poised to knock on the door and nervously glanced back to an equally nervous Tom and me. “Okay, here it goes...” Kristen muttered mostly to herself as she knocked on the door.
“Hold on, I’ll be right there!” We all heard from the other side of the door, followed by the sound of the deadbolt being unlocked. The door swung inwards, and then an older woman’s face peeked out from the partially open door. She appeared to be in her mid-thirties, so she wasn’t really that old. She looked very pretty with long, curly blond hair, brilliant green eyes and dark red lips. I wasn’t an expert on makeup, but what little it appeared that she was wearing, it looked to be professionally applied. She smiled fondly when she saw Kristen standing anxiously outside her door before her gaze turned to me. Then, her eyes widened with surprise as her smile briefly faltered.
“Umm, Hello Aunt Amber. Sorry to bug you, but,” Kristen pulled me forward. “She kind of needs some help with a disguise, umm, I mean a costume...” Kristen said, lying badly as Tom nervously jumped at her slip up.
Her aunt didn’t say a word as she cautiously studied Kristen and Tom for a second before her gaze once again turned to study me.
“Umm, hi?” I said with a nervous smile.
She opened her door the rest of the way and motioned for us to come in. “Come on in, you three. I will see what I can do, but not before you tell me why you all look so scared. You didn’t do anything illegal, like rob a bank or something, did you?”
Kristen jumps at that question. “No...”
“Kristen, what happened?” Aunt Amber asks.
Kristen looks at me, then Tom and she is about to reply when someone knocks on the door. “Umm, that’s probably Ed.” She said with relief.
“Go ahead and let him in then, dear, I can wait.” Aunt Amber said.
Just in case it wasn’t Ed, I moved myself to take me out of direct line of sight from the doorway. Aunt Amber followed my action with keen interest, but it was just Ed.
“Okay, now, what happened?” Aunt Amber said impatiently with her arms crossed.
We all looked at each other somewhat guiltily, with no one really wanting to be the first to speak. So, I jumped in. “It’s my fault, so I guess I can tell her.” I said as everyone’s attention turned fully upon me.
“Ummm, so, I recently manifested, I think that they are calling it that and I was at the VA hospital so that STAR labs could examine me a bit more.” I said, and then paused to look at Kristen’s Aunt Amber.
She didn’t look angry at me. “Go on...” She said.
“Well, after being tested all day, I was just resting on my bed when, umm, one of the DMA agents yanked me out of my room. Someone was firing automatic weapons inside of the hospital!” I look over to Kristen and the guys. They look a little surprised, but I don’t blame them since we never really talked about it during the ride here. For Aunt Amber and them, I detailed my escape down and into the tunnels below the hospital. Aunt Amber stopped me once to hand me a tissue. I didn’t even realize that my eyes were starting to leak.
I explained how I was able to navigate my way through the tunnels and how scared that I was to bump into Kristen, Tom and Ed, because at first, I thought that they were more bad guys. Tom took over the story from there and explained it all from his side, which I found a relief because for some reason, I was really struggling to keep my eyes dry.
Tom ended with, “...and then Kristin called you, so, umm, now we are here. Is there anything you can do to help her?”
Aunt Amber silently looked over the trio before turning her gaze to me again. She pursed her lips in thought. “Hmmm, Krissy, do you remember what my car looks like?” She asked.
“Umm, yes, I think so, why?” Kristen asked.
“Can you and the boys go down to my car,” Aunt Amber pointed at her car keys. “, and retrieve the suitcase with the white string while I speak with, umm...” Aunt Amber said, pausing since we all forgot to introduce me to her.
“Valerie, sorry.” I said.
“Yes! Valerie. No worries, dear. While Valerie and I have a little chat until you get back with my extra costume case?”
“Sure, no problem, Aunt Amber.” Kristin said as she scooped up the keys and hustled the boys out of the room with a nervous glance in my direction. Tom and Ed happily followed Kristen out of the room.
Aunt Amber waited for a few seconds after the door closed behind them before she calmly walked over and activated the deadbolt lock. That done, she turned back to study me. “So, you’re a dark elf and that is your real skin color, not makeup. How old are you really?” She asked.
Her question surprised me. “Sorry?”
“How old are you? I know that you’re not really as young as you appear, so how old are you?”
“Umm, 27.” I said.
“27, okay and how long have you been a girl?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer her question because she seemed to know or think that I wasn’t really a girl. I mean, really am a girl now, but not always. How did she know? “Ummm...” I said.
“Look, Valerie. I attend a lot of these conventions and believe me when I tell you this. Con goers are VERY in tune and knowledgeable about magic and super powers. Especially now that Jade and all the other metahumans are in the headlines. So, the question wasn’t that hard, dear. How long?”
“Umm, three days...” I said with a whisper as I looked away in shame. I was scared that she was going to laugh at me or even worse, tell me to leave because she couldn’t help a freak like me.
“Oh dear. I’m so sorry, but I had to know so that I will know what I am working with here.” Aunt Amber said, sounding perfectly sincere and compassionate.
“You’re not going to kick me out?” I asked, incredulous.
Aunt Amber laughed. “Oh, heavens no, dear! I am Amber the Costume Goddess and as such, I have the perfect costume for you, but we do need to get you cleaned up a bit more.” She said
“Huh?” I asked, feeling a little stunned.
“You need to take a quick shower to get the rest of the muck from the tunnels off because the costume I have in mind for you does show a lot of skin. More than you might be comfortable with showing, but no one and I do mean no one; will ever guess that it is really you hiding in plain sight.” Aunt Amber said with a mischievous grin that kind of scared me a little.
“Umm, okay?” I said, not really sure what to think at this point.
Aunt Amber rooted through one of her makeup cases and handed me a shower cap. “Here, use this. Don’t get your hair wet. We won’t have time to dry it if you do.” She said as she pushed me into the room’s bathroom and closed the door behind me.
I stood rooted in the middle of the bathroom floor, feeling a bit stunned by the turn of events. I looked at the shower cap in my hand, then over at the bathroom mirror. I looked like crap. Well, a hot mess anyway. Despite our best efforts on the way here, my clothes were still a bit dirty.
“Hurry up, dear! We need to get a moving.” Aunt Amber yelled from the room, snapping me out of my shock.
“Sorry!” I yelled as I rapidly stripped down, stuffed my hair into the shower cap and started the shower. I didn’t have time to think about, nor did I give myself time to think about the fact that I was standing naked in the shower again. My last shower attempt did not go so well. It went better this time. Well, at least I didn’t run out of the shower dripping wet and crying.
To keep myself from noticing, well, myself. I pretended to be late for work. I got wet, then scrubbed myself with the standard tiny sized hotel provided bar of soap as rapidly as possible while simultaneously rinsing. I followed that masterfully fast performance with jumping out of the shower, grabbing a towel and rubbing myself dry as if I was putting out a fire. My more sensitive skin did not appreciate the rough treatment, but that technique allowed me to get through my second shower experience without freaking out too badly.
Then, the door opened and I jumped back a few feet as I scrambled to wrap the towel around my body. “Relax, dear. You don’t have anything that I haven’t seen before. Well, except for the blue skin, but I guess I have seen that too.” Aunt Amber said in a slightly chiding tone.
I managed to feel a little ashamed of myself for feeling so shy, but only a little because she did surprise me by not knocking. She had a plastic bottle of some sort in her hand. “You were pretty fast in there. That’s good. Here, rub this onto your hips, legs, arms and shoulders.” She said, handing me the bottle.
“Okkaayy, what is it?” I asked as I read the label.
“Just some skin lotion. Nothing fancy, but it will help even out your skin tone and make you look even more fabulous under the lights. Plus, it smells nice.” Aunt Amber said with a grin.
“Lights?” I asked. She didn’t answer and she didn’t leave the bathroom like I expected her to.
“Go on, rub it on. I will need to do your back for you. You want me to do that now, or after you’re done?” Aunt Amber said.
“Umm, now?” I said, somewhat tentatively. I really didn’t want to have to rub lotion all over my body, because taking a shower was bad enough.
Aunt Amber obliged me by taking the lotion bottle from my hands, then after directing me to turn around, she quickly rubbed the lotion into my shoulders and back. Finished, she spun me back around, handed me back the bottle and studied my eyes for a second. “Okay, now, finish while I put together some stuff.”
The lotion really did smell nice and it did feel good when she rubbed it into my back and shoulders. It had a sort of subtle cinnamon, spicy flower-like scent that I couldn’t quite place, but it wasn’t that bad. No, the worst part was the fact that I had to rub it on the rest of my body by myself. Okay, so it wasn’t that hard to do my arms, but except for the towel, I was buck ass naked. I felt like I was giving some hot girl’s legs a massage as I rubbed the lotion onto my own legs. It was just so hard to disassociate what I was seeing with my eyes and feeling with my hands from my male mind as rubbed my silky smooth legs with the lotion.
I was helped along by the sound of Kristen and the guys returning to the room. “Here ya go, Aunt Amber!” Kristen said, sounding slightly muffled by the closed bathroom door.
“Thank you, Krissy! Here are some Con passes for you and your friends, but before you can join them, I am going to need your help getting Valerie ready. Do you mind?” Aunt Amber asked.
“Oh! No! Not at all Aunt Amber! I love helping you with your costumes. What will you need me to do?” Kristen asked.
I couldn’t hear what Aunt Amber said to Kristen, but less than a minute later, I heard the guys yell their goodbyes as they were hurried out of the room. Then the bolt and the chain were used to secure the door behind them.
“Okay, Valerie, the coast is clear! Come on out so that we can get started with your amazing transformation!” Aunt Amber yelled through the bathroom door.
I hastily re-wrapped the towel around my body even tighter before I nervously poked my head out of the door.
Aunt Amber spots me and motions for me to come on out. “Come, Come! Don’t be shy. We don’t have all day. I need to measure you so that I can get your costume altered, then while I do that, Krissy will help get your wig and contacts on.”
“Umm, what about my clothes?” I asked.
“Those filthy rags? Don’t worry about them. I will put them in a garbage bag for you later. Now, come!” Aunt Amber said as I took a hesitant step out from the relative safety of the bathroom.
“Okay, come over here and lose the towel. I need to measure you.” Aunt Amber said, pointing to a spot in the floor directly in front of the room’s full length mirror. She held a tape measure in her hand and Kristen was holding a pen and notepad at the ready. She looked excited to be a part of her Aunt’s endeavor. Kristen didn’t look at all shocked by my protective towel clad appearance, nor did she look like she was waiting for me to remove the towel so that she could laugh at me.
I nervously dropped the towel on the floor, completely exposing myself to the both of them. Aunt Amber had already seen me naked, so she didn’t even twitch. She got right down to the business of measuring me. Kristen could not contain herself. “Wow! Valerie, you look so amazing! I’m like totally jealous.”
“26, waist. excellent!” Aunt Amber said, jarring Kristen back to the task at hand. Aunt Amber continued with the measurements as Kristen dutifully transcribed them for her.
“Okay, all done here. I will only need to make a few minor alterations. You are slightly smaller in the waist than my original model. While I do that, Kristen, can you take Valerie into the bathroom and put this wig on her?” Aunt Amber said as she handed Kristen a wig with long and natural looking red hair. She also handed Kristen a box of hair pins.
Then, still a whirlwind of activity, Aunt Amber handed me a pair of white bikini bottoms. “Valerie, put this part of the costume on for now. The rest will come when I am done with the alterations.”
I could only stare at the bikini in my hand with stunned disbelief as Kristin happily dragged me, unresisting into the bathroom. The fact that I was totally naked in a room with people I didn’t even know until very very recently was totally forgotten by me.
Kristen closed the door behind us. Then, she turned back to me. “Isn’t this so cool?! I can’t wait to see what costume she has for you! Hey, you should put those on now.” She said, gesturing to the bikini I held in my hand. “No sense in being naked while I fix your hair and pin this wig on you. It could take awhile.”
I stared at the bikini thing and tried to puzzle out which side was the front. I couldn’t tell for sure because the amount of fabric on both sides appeared to be the same, but one side did have an extra layer of fabric. I guessed correct, because Kristen didn’t laugh or try to stop me when I bent over and slid them up my even smoother, moisturized legs. The small amount of fabric covering my butt felt awkward and the thin, string-like waistband dug into my hips. Then, Kristen helped me by tugging the annoying waistbands up until they ended up well past the top of my hips. That got rid of the too-tight feeling and it made my legs look even longer.
“Oh, thanks.” I said, even though I was trying not to die on the inside from the embarrassment of finding myself mostly naked and in the presence of an attractive woman who wasn’t my mom or my girlfriend while wearing something that would have looked downright comical on me last week. That’s if I could have managed to squeeze my fat ass or my junk into them in the first place.
Kristen beamed a happy smile at me. “No problem Valerie! Let’s get started on your hair now, shall we?” Kristen asked as she spun me around so that I was facing the mirror.
I tried to cover my breasts, but Kristen handed me a box of hair pins. “Here, can you hold these for me?” She asked.
I gave up trying to cover myself, just stood there and focused on what Kristen was doing with my hair. She brushed it, then pulled on it, then twisted it this way and that way. Then, she put a shit ton of pins in my hair to pull it back and pin it all up behind my head. She must have put 40 or 50 pins in my hair, and that was before she put the wig on. The wig took another 20 to 30 pins before she was satisfied with how it looked and held itself to my head. I had to admit that it looked pretty natural when she was done with it and I couldn’t see a single hairpin.
“Done with the hair!” Kristen yelled.
Aunt Amber walked after a few seconds with two small boxes in her hand. She set them on the counter. “Z-Gothika Yellow Sclera Contact Lenses” I managed to read before she distracted me by gently tugging on the wig. “Looks good, Kristen. You remember how to properly apply full eye lenses, right?” She asked.
“Yep! Not a problem Aunt Amber!” Kristen said with a pleased smile after passing her Aunt’s inspection.
She didn’t have a problem with the lenses, but I did. It was a little disconcerting to have her poking my eyes with her fingers as she installed the lenses. She was fast and precise as she applied the lenses, and not once did she poke my eye more than necessary. I never needed prescription glasses and as a result, I also never needed to wear contact lenses. I did have more than a few eye exams where the doctor did the pressure test, so I was able to grin and bear Kristen’s ministrations.
The effect was effing amazing to see though. My eyes looked scary evil before, but now they looked positively awesomely evil. The contacts felt a little weird, but they weren’t painful, just different. I wasn’t sure who she was going to make me look like. Maybe she was going to put me into a DBO or fantasy Dark Elf costume, but I kind of hoped it was going to be Mystique. She was the only superhero that I knew about that had blue skin. I’m not sure what color her eyes were, but I think that she had red hair. Plus, I really liked her character’s history. She was evil, but not irredeemably evil.
“Okay, Aunt Amber, we are done. What now?” Kristen said as she poked her head out of the bathroom.
“Come on out, the costume is ready. Valerie dear, would you mind closing your eyes? I want this to be a surprise for you.” Aunt Amber asked.
“Ummm, okay?” I said as I closed my eyes and let Kristen guide me out of the bathroom. It took every ounce of self-control to not peek or cover my breasts self-consciously. I prayed that the guys hadn’t snuck back into the room, but I don’t know why it bothered me so much. I’ve only had breasts for like three days now and prior to discovering those additions, I never worried about walking around topless. It was just strange and funny to me at the same time. It made me smile.
“You’re not peeking are you Valerie?” Aunt Amber asked suspiciously.
“Umm, sorry, no. Why?”
“Why are you smiling?”
“Umm, I was just umm, thinking about, umm, stuff?” I said as I felt my face heat up from embarrassment. I was very glad that my skin didn’t betray me.
“Okay, well, hold your arms up so I can get this over you.” Aunt Amber ordered.
I felt her slide something down my arms, then over my head and down the rest of my body. I felt mighty open down below, and a smidge weird when I felt her hands pulling my breasts into position inside the unknown outfit just before she wrapped something around my neck and zipped it up in the back. Whatever I was wearing, it left my arms, shoulders, legs and hips completely exposed. Next, she put a belt or something around my waist. It felt like she put it over my bikini’s waist to cover it or something.
Then, she stuck something to the top of my forehead, followed by lipstick and some gloves. “Okay, now, Krissy, can you guide her over to the end of the bed so that I can put her boots on? Keep your eyes closed Valerie...almost done now. You’re gonna looovve it!” Aunt Amber sang there at the end.
I felt her slide some boots onto my feet, then zip them up. They fit snugly against my calves and when she let the first leg drop to the floor, I thought that I felt a heel of some sort.
“Oh my gawd! Valerie! You look so freaking amazing!” Kristen exclaimed as Aunt Amber zipped up the last boot.
“Okay now, one more final touch. Keep them closed, but go ahead and stand up. Krissy, can you guide her over to the mirror now?” Aunt Amber asked.
“Sure!” Kristen said with a giggle as she grabbed my elbow and guided me shakily over to the mirror.
Somehow, I managed to not fall flat on my face with the sudden addition of heels on my feet. How big were these things? They felt like six inches or more.
Aunt Amber thrust something into my hands that felt suspiciously like a gun of some sort. Also, it felt too heavy to be fake. “What?” I asked.
“Okay, open your eyes!” Aunt Amber said.
I did and my eyes, contacts and all, nearly popped out of my head. I was Mystique! “Holy shit!” I said as I shifted the big ass rifle in my hands. I had to check it out to make sure it wasn’t real. It wasn’t, but holy fucking shit! I looked freaking awesome. I was completely speechless.
“Well, what do you think?” Aunt Amber, the Costume Goddess asked.
“I’m stunned. I can’t believe it. I really look like Mystique. That is who I am supposed to look like, right?” I asked, suddenly afraid that I might have insulted her by guessing wrong.
Aunt Amber surprised me with a hug. “It is and I am so glad how it turned out. You’re perfect, but I will need to put a touch of blue body paint on you, just to make people think you really are just painted blue.”
“Oh, okay, but I’m not sure about these heels. How big are they? They feel like they are six inches or something.” I asked.
Aunt Amber and Kristen both laughed at me. “Oh dear, those are only three inch heels.” Aunt Amber said with a bemused grin. “Krissy? Would you mind heading down and joining the boys while I make some finishing touches on Mystique? Don’t tell them. I want to see their reactions when they see her.”
Kristen laughed and hugged her Aunt. “Sure Aunt Amber! I can’t wait to see their faces either!” Then, she surprised me with a hug. “Wow, just wow! You’re going to knock everyone dead!”
Aunt Amber waited until Kristen was out of the room, then she re-locked the door behind her before she turned back to study me. I had not moved an inch. I was too afraid to. I don’t want to fall on my ass or break an ankle. “Okay, so, I assumed that you didn’t want anyone to know that you used to be a guy and that you have zero skills with heels, right?” She asked.
I nodded my head. “Yes, sorry.”
“Not a problem, it might actually work out better that you haven’t worn heels before.” She said.
“You won’t have any bad habits and I can teach you how to walk exactly the way that I need you to walk.” Aunt Amber said with a grin that scared me a little.
“Umm, okay?” I said.
“Now, thanks to Krissy’s help, it is only a quarter after nine and we have until a quarter till ten to get you registered for the costume contest. So, I will show you how to walk. You will practice it in here for 10 to 15 minutes, then we will head down to the floor for you to get some real practice in those heels before the judging starts, okay?”
“Umm, sure?” I said, not realizing how mean she could be.
I only lasted five minutes before I questioned her expertise with her walking technique. “Why do I have to walk like this again?” I asked because I felt frustrated and silly at the same time. I swear that I looked like one of those silly models strutting some designer’s weird clothing line on the runway. Not that I ever watched a runway show or anything. Well, not for the clothes.
“One, because I told ya too, but two, because with the cut of that dress, if you walk any other way, you will be giving everyone a free show.” Aunt Amber said as she gestured toward my crotch area.
The dress did have a slit on each side that almost made it to my armpits, so I guessed that her second point was a valid one. She took the full 15 minutes to drill me mercilessly on exactly how to walk. Then, she lightly sprayed my upper arms and thighs with some blue body spray.
I thought that walking in heels was tough, but I was not prepared at all for the attention I received. It started to happen as soon as I stepped out and into the hallway outside of Aunt Amber’s room.
“Holy shit!” I heard someone exclaim from down the hallway. “It’s Mystique and she’s fucking hot!” followed by a slap as I turned to see who had spotted me. I managed to catch the angry glare of the dude’s girlfriend as she hustled her boyfriend into the elevator.
The hallway was too damn long with the elevators too far away. Especially with Amber the Costume Demon correcting my every misstep by making me walk back to her door and start over, and over, and over. It took me five minutes to reach the damn elevators. I did a little better on the convention floor, plus the Demon didn’t want to draw too much attention to my lack of girl skills. In addition to making me stop and pose for anyone who asked, even the jerks who just wanted to cop a feel on my ass. She also made me take the long way to everywhere.
“Holy shit! Kristen, why in the hell didn’t you tell us? She looks fucking amazing!” I heard Ed exclaim from nearby just as we reached the costume contest sign up booth.
“Go say hi to them while I get you signed in, Mystique.” Amber the Costume Demon ordered me. She probably just wanted me to get more practice walking. I really was starting to not like her as much, but I have to say, I absolutely slayed them when I stalked my way over to them.
Tom was rendered speechless, while Ed managed to earn a few angry glances from Kristen. “Wow, I mean, just wow. You look amazing, umm, Mystique.” Ed managed to stammer out.
“Umm, thanks and sorry Kristen. You should see how many guys have run into things while trying to sneak a look at me.” I said with a grin. I couldn’t help it. It felt good to be so noticed and wanted for a change. Creepy as hell, but nice.
Kristen ended up giggling and giving Tom a hug to show him that she forgave him. Then, she surprised me by giving me a hug too. “Hey, Tom, can you take our picture?” She yelled.
I had my picture taken by a shit ton of people and with a lot of other people dressed up as both heroes and villains. It was actually a lot of fun. Especially the ones where I pretended to be the other hero’s arch-enemy or partner in crime. The dude dressed as Magneto was especially fun to pose for pictures with. I ended up picking up a stalker, I mean, fan in a Punisher t-shirt. He must have followed me around for a good five minutes taking my picture with everyone I met.
Amber the Costume Goddess was brilliant. There was no way that anyone would ever think that I wasn’t just some normal girl who was painted blue and pretending to be Mystique. I was hiding in plain sight and it was awesome! She made it a point to rub some white makeup on my arm or thigh every now and then, she would ‘fix’ my blue skin makeup. She usually did that when we had the largest audience to witness my blue skin makeup.
The displays at the Con were awesome too. Even the entry way doors. They had these big high-tech displays at every door that had the Riddler, Joker and Batman symbols laser etched all over them complete with fake gun turret lasers that made cool patterns in the logo of the Joker, the Riddler and even Batman on the floor by the doors.
Amber stayed by my side during the entire time, except when I was posing for pictures and I even got asked to pose at the Marvel display with one of their booth babes. She was a model that had been made up to look like Emma Frost, the White Queen, before she joined the X-Men. She was hot, but I have to admit to a little bit of pride; I thought I was hotter.
Amber made out like a bandit too. She got asked to pose with me and for her card by a lot of people. I was just starting to really have fun with it, but then, on our way to the main stage for the costume contest, I spotted a pair of teenagers dressed up like the Men in Black. They reminded me of Agent Rollins and the DMA. That further reminded me of the VA Hospital and the nurse that I was rude to, Stephanie. God, I hoped that they were okay and that Agent Rollins wasn’t really dead.
“What’s the matter dear?” Aunt Amber asked me as she pulled me to the side and out of the main traffic flow.
“Umm, I am having fun, but now I am worried about the folks back at the hospital. I probably should have tried calling Agent Helligan or someone to let them know where I am.” I said.
“Hmm, do you know their numbers?” Aunt Amber asked, then frowned when I shook my head no.
“She gave me her card, but I left it in my purse. Which, I left back in my room along with my cell phone.” I said as my eyes started to once again tear up as the gravity of my situation started to set in once again.
Aunt Amber hugged me to her. “Shhh, don’t worry dear. I will find her number during the contest and give them a call. Okay?”
“Umm, okay?” I said as I gave her a ghost of a smile in return.
She blotted my eyes to remove the tears. “It’s a good thing you really don’t need any makeup dear, but you did make my job a bit too easy ya know?”
I looked at her, feeling confused about the easy part. I mean, I didn’t think there was anything easy about this costume. Well, except for maybe the gloves.
She giggled at my confused expression. “You are a natural and you look stunning all by yourself. You would not believe how many people have stopped to ask me how I got your body paint to look so real and all I can tell them is, ‘trade secret’. I mean, what am I going to do if someone wants me to make them look like you?”
That made me laugh and feel a lot better.
“There ya go dear.” Aunt Amber proudly smiled at me. “Now, Mystique, let’s get you up on that stage so that you can knock the judges dead!”
“But, umm, I’m not really Mystique...” I said, trying to protest against the apparently obvious.
“Ahh, but you are wrong dear. Tonight and right now, you are Mystique and everyone believes that as soon as they see you. You have made such a big impression on everyone that I am 100 percent positive that there isn’t a single soul here who could ever imagine that you are really a Dark Elf that is on the run. So, get up on that stage and ‘be’ Mystique. Have fun!” Aunt Amber said as she motioned me toward the stairs that led up and onto the stage area.
I hesitantly glanced back at Aunt Amber one final time before I ascended the stairs. She just smiled at me encouragingly. I couldn’t let her down. So, I paused, took a deep breath and became Mystique for her. I was sexy. I was dangerous. I was the enemy of the X-Men and everything they stood for. Humans and mutants could never get along. Professor X was foolish to think otherwise.
I sneered at Wolverine as I stalked across the stage. Then, I laughed when he took a reflexive step back from me. I smiled at Magneto and lazily ran my fingers across his chest as I passed him. Everyone and I do mean everyone’s eyes followed me as I stalked to my place in the lineup.
“Holy shit Ally! God, I wish I had been there to see that!” Jen says.
I giggle at her interruption and use that opportunity to top off my wine glass again. I can’t believe how much wine that I have drank, but I still feel perfectly fine. Well, maybe a little buzzed, but nothing like I expected after having drank so many glasses.
“Well, I am here now. You saw me in the costume.”
“Yeah, but to see you with all the other contestants as you teased them? That would have been so cool to see!” Jen says with an excited grin.
I am not sure how to respond that. “Well, umm, it kind of backfired on me though.” I say as I lean back into the couch again.
During the judging break, Aunt Amber came up on stage. “You looked fabulous up there Mystique!” She said as she pretended to refresh my body paint again. Then, she whispered in my ear. “So, as soon as you went up on stage, I called the DMA and they immediately transferred me to someone named Special Agent Helligan. Do you know her?” She asked.
She managed to get a hold of Agent Helligan? That surprised me. As late as it is, I expected the DMA to keep Aunt Amber on hold hell or not answer their phones at all. “Yes, she was in charge and has no sense of humor. Why? What did she say?”
“She said, ‘We don’t her to want to start a panic. Can you have her sit tight and try to not be seen by anyone? My team and I are on our way.’” Aunt Amber said with a smile. “I didn’t have the heart to tell her that you were up on stage wowing the judges and everyone here with my costume. So, I just said, ‘okay’.”
I groaned, but couldn’t help it. I had to laugh too. I figured that Agent Helligan’s expression when she finally saw me was going to be effing priceless! Now, I couldn’t wait for Special Agent Helligan to get here and see me. Well, and I wanted to find out how the other Agents were doing and if they had any idea who the jerks were and why they wanted me.
“AAAaaand, the second runner up in this year’s 10th Annual Comic-Con is....Mystique!”
That announcement earned me a quick hug from Aunt Amber before I was able to stalk back out on stage to receive my awesome prize, a big and ornate, but ultimately cheap ribbon. You know, like those ribbons they give out to kids at high school science fairs that no one really wants because they really want something useful, like money.
Would you believe that I lost to some dude in cardboard boxes that he cut and painted to make him look like an Autobot! I didn’t know what to feel about that. However; I had to admit that the dude’s costume was pretty cool and he could even fold himself up and transform into a car.
Oh well, I came in second, so I guess it wasn’t all bad. Third place was a woman dressed up to look like Witchblade. Her costume was pretty good, but it wasn’t as good as mine. Plus, the Witchblade lady was just a little too big for her costume and there were parts of it that looked more like silver painted paper mache instead of melted metal. Right or wrong, I think that the male judges took some points away from her for that.
The Witchblade lady surprised me by pulling me into a congratulatory hug when I tried to walk past her to reach my little second place box on the stage. That allowed me to spot Special Agent Helligan, Agent Kramer and Fergy, I mean Agent Ferguson, in the crowd as I stepped up and onto the second place box.
I was right. Her expression was priceless. She looked like she couldn’t decide whether or not to cause a riot by storming the stage and arresting me on the spot or shoot me right now. Ferguson and even Kramer had smiles on their faces though, so I guessed that it couldn’t be all that bad. She might get over it, eventually.
Just to add more oil to the fire, I had to smile as I aimed a salute with my fake gun in her general direction. No one else caught the joke, but she did and that made things even more enjoyable for me. She was not a happy camper. I knew that I was probably going to pay for it later, but right now, I was pretty damn happy. I was even happy to see her, but there was no way that I would ever admit that to her.
The entire room shook and I ducked as something on the ceiling flashed and exploded, causing the shards of glass from the huge 20 to 30 foot diameter skylight to rain down on everyone that was directly in front of the stage. Before the dust could settle and anyone could react, a horde of green and black clad, machine gun toting men rappelled into the room from the shattered skylight. Everyone in the room was too shocked to even think about running, but as soon as they did, the huge displays at all the exits suddenly lit up with sparks, whistles and pyrotechnics just before they split in two and revealed a pair of huge green barrels with an old-fashioned alarm clock stuck to them. Everyone stopped trying to rush out the doors.
Maniacal laughter suddenly came over the room’s PA system. On the stage, was a man wearing a green costume with question mark symbols all over it. He had the microphone in one hand and two machine wielding goons standing menacingly next to him. Based on the reactions of the Con officials and the uniformed hotel staff, I would have to say that this might not be fake, but I wasn’t sure. It seemed mighty strange for a costumed villain to pick a Comic Book Convention to stage his entrance.
“Yes! Ladies and Germs! Those are bombs and if anyone breaks the beams that you see dancing around on the floor leading to your freedom, this entire room will explode. Killing you all! Hahhhahhahah!”
I didn’t think that it was that funny and I lost sight of Aunt Amber and Special Agent Helligan in all the confusion.
“Now that I have your undivided attention! Why should you all be like clocks at midnight?”
“The Riddler?! Are you fucking serious!?!” I said loud enough for him to hear me in the sudden silence that his riddle caused. Sorry, it just slipped out. Besides, this had to be staged. I was at a freaking comic book convention. There was no way that this was real.
He turned and smiled at me. It was not a friendly smile, but after the night that I have been having, I refused to let him get to me. Maybe this was real?
“Oh, and we have a brave one pretending to be Mystique.” He motioned for two of his goons to grab me and force me to join him at the front of the stage.
If he wanted freaking Mystique, then I was going to be freaking Mystique. Before his goons could take more than a few steps in my direction, I contemptuously glared at him and his two goons as I calmly stepped down from my podium box. They paused in their advance and that made me grin with satisfaction as I stalked my way to The Riddler’s side. Up close, I noticed that their machine guns looked very real. I also noticed that with my heels on, I was taller than him.
“So, ‘Mystique’.” He said using air quotes around my name in an attempt to belittle me. “, since you’re such the pretty potty mouth. What is the answer to my little riddle?”
I couldn’t believe that he would ask me to answer such a simple riddle. Where did he get this riddle from? Some Batman fan site? I think that my contempt leaked through my already contemptuous expression.
“Quickly now girl. If they,” He gestured, smiling magnanimously to the anxious crowd. “, don’t hear your answer soon, I will have to start shooting them for your failure. Hahahaha!”
In spite of his bluster, I could tell that my attitude was starting to get to him though. I don’t think that he expected me to react to him like he this. “Pla’ease, ha...ha...because both of their hands need to be pointing up. ha...ha...” I said loud enough for the microphone to pick up my answer using as bored of a tone of voice as I could manage. Then, I pitched my voice lower, so that only he could hear it. “Geez, can you be any lamer as a super villain?”
He. Was. Not. Happy.
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