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 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:I appear to be in the zone for this story, but this chapter is a bit shorter than my previous chapters. Sorry, but it does get us back to the start of the story and I hope that I managed to make it work for you all. A special thanks goes out to Lilith and all of the real CRU authors for providing such an interesting Universe to play in. An additional kudos goes out to EoF for the use of his Green Arrow character and all of his stories. Hope ya all enjoy. Thanks to djkauf for editing. Enjoy!
** Chapter 8 **
“Ally! Oh my god! What in the hell were you thinking?” Jen says with her mouth agape. She looks totally shocked by what I did.
Hell, I am shocked too. “Well, I guess that I wasn’t really ‘thinking’, but I couldn’t take it anymore and it just didn’t seem real to me.”
Jen stands and paces back and forth in the middle of the living room floor. “Not real? How in the hell could it not be real? They had freaking machine guns and they just blew out part of the roof?”
Oh yeah, she is pretty upset with me. When we were dating, she only did the pacing thing a few times, with the last time being when she broke up with me. “Well, I dunno. Maybe the fact that in the span of 24 hours, I discovered that I am a girl, and not just any girl. A mutant freak girl and everyone hates me!”
“Everyone? Really?” Jen asks, interrupting the start of my rant with a dose of reality as she stops her pacing to cross her arms and cock her hip with disbelief written all over her expression and posture.
I sigh with frustration. “Well, okay, not everyone, but a lot. I still got chased through the hospital by some religious freak with a huge ass knife. Let’s not forget finding out that my own parents have disowned me and top that off with a big commando style assault on a fracking VA Hospital that got at least a few people killed. Followed by a delightful chase through some underground secret tunnels and I challenge anyone to not feel more than a little, umm, stressed.”
Jen posture switches from outright disbelief to thoughtful. “Hmmm, well, okay. I guess I can kind of see that, but really?! All you had to do was act like a normal and scared human girl. You do know that right?”
I can only nod my head with agreement. She is right. Things would have turned out so different if I had just kept my cool and not been Mystique, because I am not Mystique. That shouldn’t have been that hard, right?
I am a little lost in self-doubt, recriminations and might-have-beens when Jen surprises me when she plops down beside me and gives me a hug. “Okay, please tell me that you dropped the ‘tude after that.” Jen says.
I manage to give her a guilty smile in return. “Weellll, not exactly.” I say as her face clouds up again.
For a real Metahuman without any real superpowers to actually save my ass, did I just push him too far? That question flashed through my mind as his expression hardened in anger, but at the same time; I could not seem to find the energy to care as much as I probably should have. The last 24 hours had been completely crazy and I just couldn’t believe that this was happening. I felt numb to the fear that logically, I knew that I should have felt. I should have been hugging the floor and praying for my life like all the other people.
“Okay, ‘Mystique’. Since you’re such the clever one here, how about if you riddle me my next riddle?” He asked with a sneer. “...and, just to make it interesting. How about for every five seconds that it takes you to answer the riddle, I will shoot one person? Sound like a fair deal to you?”
“What? Has the cat got your tongue now or something? Not so brave now, are you?” The Riddler asked, taunting me.
He had me beat, until he said that last bit. “Oh, please. You’re just a two bit crook with delusions of grandeur pretending to be The Riddler!” I said as I cocked my hips contemptuously in his direction.
He backhanded me in the face for that. That stung a little. Okay, a lot. He split my lip and I could taste blood in my mouth, but I absolutely refused to give him any satisfaction. I would not touch the side of my face or acknowledge the pain in anyway.
“Okay everyone! Hahahaha! As you can see, you sometimes have to whip your subordinates into shape! Hahahaha! What kind of pet always stays on the floor?” He yelled into the microphone to a sea of scared people with their hands still up in the air.
I wasn’t sure if he would really follow through with his threat, but just in case, I had to answer the riddle. Thankfully, he was still using childishly simple riddles. “The carpet!” I yelled.
“Hahaha! Hahaha! You heard my partner in crime! On the floor! Down!” The Riddler yelled as he directed his goons to fire their weapons over the audience’s heads.
It didn’t take everyone long to hug the floor and as soon as his goons stopped firing, he turned and looked at me with a smirk on his face. “Thanks babe, you can be hard to work with at times, but you’ve been a ton of help!” He said just loud enough for everyone to hear via the microphone.
Oh, now he was trying to make it look like I was his partner or something instead of a too smart for their own good victim. “Grrr, you’re just fucking lucky that this isn’t a real gun!” I said while being careful to not actually point my fake gun at him. I wouldn’t want his goons to ‘accidentally’ shoot me.
One of the closed metal exit doors were suddenly ripped out and away. The Riddler paused, and then started laughing as a police bomb robot started to try and enter the room.
One of the fake laser turrets on the bomb display turned out to not be so fake. It blasted the robot to smithereens.
“Hehehe! Hahaha!” The Riddler turned to one of his goons. “Detonator please!”
The goon handed the Riddler a small, round, shiny metal tube with a clear plastic cover that protected a red button on the top of it. He flipped the cover off of what had to be a detonator, and then he casually pressed the red button. When he did that, green strobe lights on all of the bombs started to flash.
Just like in the movies, it looked like he activated the bombs with a deadman’s switch. If someone shot him or he let go of the button, all of the bombs would blow up.
“Tsk, Tsk, Tsk! Now, now people. What is a room that no one can enter?” The Riddler asked as he looked around the room.
Crap! How could the police disarm the bombs if they couldn’t even get a robot or person into the room? With the detonator in his hand, how can they stop this asshole without shooting him? How could they rescue all the hostages, not to mention me?
“Hehehe! Hahaha! Come now folks! Surely someone among you can answer my riddle?” The Riddler, hands on his hips as he taunted the mostly terrified crowd. “Mystique? I’m starting to feel bored and my finger might slip on this button. Could you be a dear and help out our friends here?”
Oh god. How I wished that I really had Vylencia’s spells right then. I would have loved to melt his freaking ass. “A fucking mushroom! Just get whatever it is that you’re trying to do here over with and leave, asshole!”
The Riddler turned the mic away right after I answered the question. So, except a couple of people who happened to be unlucky enough to be stuck front and center by the stage; no one else heard me tell him to leave.
“Hahaha! Oh my! That’s right folks! This room is like a mushroom! As in, BOOM! One giant explosion if anyone tries to enter the room or if I let go of this little button here!” He said, making a show of letting everyone see the detonator. “Hahahaha! You all are so lucky that I let my good buddy Mystique join me here tonight. You would all be so dead without her wit! Hahahaha!”
I really wanted to kill him, but why was he here? It didn’t make sense. Holding a Comic Book Convention hostage just wasn’t smart and in spite of his stupid riddles, he didn’t seem all that dumb to me. “Why are you here?” I asked.
He turned back and grinned at me. “Ahh, but that is a good question my love! Hahaha!”
“Grrrr!” I so wished that I was still a dude so that I could just punch him and have him actually feel it.
“People need me but they always give me away. What am I?” The Riddler asked.
I didn’t have to answer him. Money. My eyes widening with surprise was all the answer he needed.
“Hahahaha! Oh yes, I do believe the babe gets it! Hahahaha!”
“You bastard! There’s no money here! It’s just a fucking comic book convention!”
My eyes were drawn to the sight of a second set of doors being ripped open by the police. From my vantage point on the stage, I could see lots of police officers in black combat gear spread out and ready to try and rush the room. I prayed that they didn’t because if they did, they would set the bombs off when they hit the beams.
“Hahahaha!” The Riddler laughed at the police response, and then he mimed looking at a watch that didn’t exist on his arm. “Oh drat! It looks like all my guests have finally arrived, but would you look at the time? Well, my love, this is when I must bid you, adieu.” He said as he and his men hit a small button located on their belt buckles.
I watched as a balloon inflated from behind their backs. Then as it filled, it slowly raised above their heads, then quickly shot up into the air and through the open skylight as the balloon stretched tight under full inflation; A small cable trailing behind it.
“Are you freaking kidding me?!?!” I yelled at him just before I saw something large and dark flash over open skylight.
Laughing maniacally, the Riddler and all of his men shot straight up and out of the open skylight. The Riddler let go of the detonator just as he reached the opening and I watched it tumble end over end as it started to fall back down to earth. I managed to catch it before it hit the stage, but the button was no longer being held down and there was nothing that I could do to change that.
I turned and helplessly watched as more sparks and pyrotechnics started to shoot out of the bomb displays. Everyone in the room was screaming in panic and the ones who weren’t; they were praying or just hugging onto their loved ones. Then, it happened. It looked like it was happening in slow motion to me. Hoping to beat the bombs, a few panic stricken attendees started to run, screaming bloody murder for the nearest open doorways.
I just wondered why the bombs had not already blown up. I had the Riddler’s deadman’s switch in my hand. Was there a delay? If there was a delay, then the people that were just about to reach the laser zone were sure to set off the bombs as they tried to run to safety.
“No!” I yelled in an doomed attempt to get them to stop before they killed everyone.
Of course, they didn’t listen. They ran through the doors and the bombs didn’t blow up. That is when I noticed that the police robot that had made it through the doors and promptly got zapped by the laser turret was in the trip zone with all the flashing Riddler and Joker icons. If the robot didn’t trigger the bombs when it broke the beams; maybe the bombs weren’t real?
“Come on! Let’s get out of here before they blow!” Someone yelled after they saw the first few make it out to safety.
Then, the mad rush for the doors started as everyone bolted for the same set of open doors. It was chaos as hundreds of panic stricken people all tried to fit through the same narrow opening. The SWAT teams decided to risk it and sent their people in through the closed doors after a few of the braver folks ran through them without setting off the bombs.
I had the fake detonator in one hand and Mystique’s fake gun in the other. I looked up, through the empty skylight and saw nothing but the open sky above. “You fucking bastard!” I yelled in frustration.
The air was pretty smoky from all the fireworks, but that did not seem to slow the SWAT team as they rushed in to secure the room. I would have just jumped down from the stage, but there was no way that I was going to try that in these heels. Instead, I started walking towards the left side of the stage to exit via the stairway.
Off to my left, I heard someone yell, “FREEZE! Drop the...”
I turned towards the sound of the voice and I just had time to glimpse a black clad police officer in full SWAT gear with a M16 or something pointed at me. I saw it flash once and time seemed to stop, but not enough for me to do anything about it.
I felt something slam into my right leg.
Then, something punched me in my stomach.
Finally, I felt a sharp pain in my left shoulder and I was spun around from the force of the impact. My hand spasmed and I dropped the detonator. I tried to catch it before it hit the ground, but then I had bigger things to worry about when my leg gave out. I tried to put my arms down to stop me from falling on my face as the stage rushed up to meet me and I mostly succeeded in stopping myself, but my left arm did nothing to help me.
Son of a bitch!
The bastard shot me and he didn’t just shoot me once. He shot me three fucking times! Funny, but other than the initial sensation, I didn’t feel any pain. Did he just fire blanks and I imagined bullets hitting me?
Something wasn’t right. I tried to move my left arm and that was when the pain started. It shot through my body and I screamed from the pain. Something inside of me clicked and I felt my essence surge through my body and it felt good. Real good! Now, if I really was Vylencia and I could use magic. I would have activated all my buffs. Then, to heal my wounds, I would drain the bastard that shot me.
With that thought, I felt my essence flare as I activated Vylencia’s Unholy Armor buff. A dark purple, fiery glow shot out a few inches from my skin, before it rapidly faded away. That was what I saw, but in DBO, Vylencia’s eyes would flash and flame out for a second too; It made for a really nice and scary evil effect. I wondered if that is what the cops who shot me saw and I hoped that it made them reconsider their decision to shoot me.
I had no idea if magical armor would help, but it was habit to cast that spell first when I was getting ready to play Vylencia. In DBO, the buff was advertised to increase my armor level and thus reduce the amount of damage I took, but I never really noticed a difference. Vylencia wore cloth armor and it wasn’t Kevlar either. Besides, compared to Jax with his plate armor, it didn’t take much to hurt Vylencia, but oh well, the activation effect looked cool.
The pain from my gunshot wounds faded into the background. Instead of the pain stopping me, it helped me focus on what I needed to do next. I needed Vylencia’s shield spell to stop any more bullets from hitting me and with that thought; a lightly glowing translucent bubble popped into existence all around me with a slight thrumming sound. Bullets weren’t spells, arrows or swords and I hoped that my shield bubble spell would stop a bullet. If not, I was really going to feel pretty stupid here in a second or two.
I pulled myself to my feet. My right leg tried to give out on me, but I managed to catch myself by temporarily using the stubby barrel of my fake gun like a cane. The cop who shot me looked a little surprised to see me standing. “Drop it! Down, down, down! On the floor now!” He yelled at me while aiming his machine gun at me again.
I just got up! There was no way that I was going to lie back down on the floor again. Tears of pain and frustration streamed from my eyes and I am sure that I looked more than a little pissed as blood ran down my right leg and left arm. I tried to shift my weight, but that just sent bolts of pain shooting up and down my leg. My stomach felt like I had a brick in it and my left shoulder hung limply at my side. I needed some health and I knew just how to go about getting it.
I looked at him closer and I saw life. Life that I could use to heal me. He didn’t like the fact that I ignored his order. I watched the end of his rifle rapidly flash as his bullets slammed into my shield. That caused my bubble to flash like a strobe light with each hit, but none of his bullets made it through my shield. They all just stopped, flattened out and fell harmlessly to the floor in front of me.
I smiled with satisfaction as I shifted my weight to my left leg as I lifted my right arm, fake gun pointed at him. His eyes widened with shock as I channeled my Vampiric Heal through my right arm. A sickly, glowing green beam shot out from my arm and hit him square in his chest. His surprised and determined expression shifted to one of horror and pain as he fell to his knees, screaming from the pain. He fired his rifle uncontrollably in my general direction, but none of his bullets hit my shield this time.
I felt powerful as his stolen health flowed into my body. I was able to use both legs to stand as the pain in my stomach and shoulder began to fade. Oh god! It felt so good. It was like eating chocolate while downing a shot of tequila during sex. I don’t know if that was actually possible, but I just felt so damn good. I wanted more! I needed more!
It was a shame that he was such a low-level human. He was almost dead and I needed to find someone else to drain. I canceled my spell just as he fell face first onto the stage floor. That seemed to break the rest of the cops from their momentary indecision because my shield started to flash like crazy as more bullets slammed into it in a futile attempt to avenge their fallen comrade.
I laughed and I am sure that I sounded a little crazy, but finally, something was going right for me. I wasn’t helpless! I could do something to stop the people from hurting me. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t stop myself. I laughed as I pointed my now functional left arm and hand at my next meal. My leg and shoulder felt good, but my stomach still felt a little tight. Once again, I willed my vampiric heal to activate and hit the next closest cop.
My sickly, green glowing beam shot out from my hand and unerringly lanced into the officer’s chest. Screaming in pain, he fell to his knees, grasping at his chest in a futile attempt to dislodge my beam while I only felt pleasure as his life flowed into me, filling me as the rest of my wounds healed over and except for the blood already lost; my wounds healed without a trace.
I was totally full of health, but I didn’t want to stop. It felt so good! I felt so powerful and unstoppable behind my shield.
A loud explosion and a brilliant flash of light slammed into my shield. The shock surprised me and made me take an involuntary step backwards. My health drain on the second officer stopped and I felt the pang of loss. I craved more!
I looked down and saw the first cop that I drained. He was just lying on the stage, pale as a ghost with some blood pooling under his leg. I noted the occasional flash as another bullet hit my shield. The flashing was a little distracting. I looked past him and I saw the second officer that I had drained holding his stomach and moaning in pain as another officer knelt next to him and tried to administer first aid.
All of those observations happened in an instant and the realization that I did that and even worse, that I liked it; No, not just like it. I loved it! That realization shocked me to the core.
My entire shield flashed and faded away. I was momentarily blinded. My shield just took a direct hit and the very loud explosion caused me to stagger a few steps back as the shock wave buffeted me. I did not know what it was that just hit me and as I looked around, searching for the cause; I failed to spot anyone with what had to have been a bazooka. Fortunately, all of the officers that were shooting had stopped due the explosion. They appeared to be just as surprised as I was.
They were looking around trying to spot the same thing that I was trying to find. Who or what had just shot a freaking bomb at me? It seemed to come from higher up. Maybe it came from the ceiling?
As the spots cleared from my vision, I looked up and I spotted a black and green shape moving up in the center’s catwalks. Just in case, I refreshed my shield and I wasn’t a moment too soon because a fresh round of bullets slammed into it with renewed force as the officers resumed their assault on me. Through all the flashes of my shield, I watched as the black and green shape stood up. The shape was about a hundred yards away and maybe 30 feet up.
She? Well, the shaped looked feminine to me and I thought that I saw a flash of blonde hair, but what really captured my full attention was the bow that she held in her hands. While she was pretty far away from me and it was hard to make out some details, but I was definitely able to see that: (A) She had a bow and (B) there was a big fat arrow nocked and ready to fly. Whatever it was, it was definitely not a regular arrow.
She had to be that Green Arrow chick that I had heard about in the news. I needed to get the hell out of there before she had a chance to fire another one of her bomb arrows at me! I didn’t see any damage to the stage where the first bomb hit, so maybe they weren’t really bombs, but they were loud enough.
I dropped my Globe of Darkness on the floor directly in front of me and prayed that it worked like it did in the game. In the game, a dome of pitch black darkness would surround the caster, or a location chosen by the caster, in a twenty foot dome of an impenetrable gloom that only the caster could see out of or through. I think that it worked, because it suddenly looked like I was in the shade and the officers stopped shooting and even cautiously retreated a few feet backward.
Maybe they were worried that the darkness was going to eat them or something? I needed to get out of there, and fast! In a near panic, I searched for an exit and I spotted a convenient trap door with a metal pull ring set into the stage floor. It was only a few feet away from me and I was surprised that I had not noticed it earlier.
Desperate to escape before the cops started shooting again or the Green Arrow fired another bomb at me, I ran over to the trap door and pulled on the ring. The door easily lifted for me, revealing the smooth concrete floor only five feet below me. I dropped down and I almost twisted my ankle from the fall. Fortunately I didn’t, so I turned around and pulled on the rope that was attached to the underside of the door to allow people to close it from below without having to reach up.
I managed to stop the door from slamming shut and giving away my escape, but I was also very thankful that the stage wasn’t any higher. I might have broken my ankle. Damn heels!
Hunched over due to the stage’s low ceiling, I could hear the officers yelling at each other as I ran toward the rear of the stage area. Underneath, the stage was a forest of aluminum struts and supports that held up the plywood floor. While sturdy, it looked like the stage was just a temporary construction. In addition to that, the front walls of the stage were also constructed with sheets of plywood and it probably wouldn’t take the officers long to pry a few sheets down and enter my current hiding place from the front.
Against the back wall, I spotted a stairway leading down. My sense of direction kicked in and told me that the stairs led to some deeper tunnels and maybe a way out. So, I made for the stairs and then down them as fast as I could without breaking my neck. Have I mentioned that I hated the heels enough, yet? I dropped another Globe of Darkness at the top of the stairs. Casting it a second time should have cancelled out the first Darkness up top, but I figured that my second one would slow anyone from trying to follow me. I hoped so anyway.
I had no idea how I was going to get out of here now. While I could try losing myself in the maze of hallways underneath the convention area, I was pretty sure that they would eventually find and trap me. These tunnels were a lot better lit and more traveled than the abandoned tunnels I escaped from earlier. Plus, even if I ditched the costume, there is no way that I would be able to blend in with the crowd.
There was only one thing left to try. Now that I had successfully cast some of Vylencia’s spells, I decided to try casting her gate spell. If it worked like it did in the game, I should be instantly teleported to my last anchor point. I just hoped that my last anchor point was somehow set at my home in Virginia. It would really suck if I ended up back at the hospital or even worse, standing in the hallway with nowhere to go but to jail. That’s if the cops didn’t just shoot me first. I had just hurt and maybe even killed one of their own. Cops don’t really like people who do that.
I activated my Gate spell and a small distortion appeared in the air directly in front of me. Over the span of 10 seconds, the distortion rapidly expanded to form a semi-transparent glowing circle in the middle of the hallway that looked to be about six feet in diameter. Other than the glowing circle floating in mid-air, there was nothing that looked like a teleportation gate to me. There were no cool liquid wormhole effects like on that Stargate TV show. Just a boring ring that I could see right through and down the hallway. So, I really hoped that I didn’t just conjure up some useless ring of light.
“Well, here goes nothing!” I said as I stepped through the ring.
The hall that I was standing in suddenly warped and it appeared to twist around me for a second. Then, it felt like I was being stretched like a rubber band before I snapped back into place an instant later and all the freaky special effects stopped.
I half expected to find myself still in the basement hallway of the convention center, but as I looked around the room that I found myself standing in; I recognized it as the living room of my apartment back in Virginia.
“Oh thank god!” I said.
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