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 thought that his one was ready last week, but I wanted to get the next Whisper chapter out before I posted this one. Then, I got distracted with a different story idea. Then, I found some 'bugs' in my writing for this chapter. So, I fixed them...I think. Here it is, enjoy! Please. Thanks to djkauf for editing.
** Chapter 10 **
Jen drags me to a clothing store first. I feel pretty happy about what I did for Cody, but also a little disappointed that I won’t be able to see his mom’s reaction when the doctors discover that he is no longer sick. Walking hand in hand with Jen helps remove some of that disappointment, though. I can’t believe how happy she makes me feel.
Unfortunately, along the way to the store, I notice a few more sick people and it saddens me that I can’t just run up and help them. In DBO, when I was waiting on the rest of the team to login, I would sometimes ninja-heal and ninja-buff, I mean sneak heals on the newbies in the low level zones. As we walk through the mall, I feel the same urge to help, but this is real life and not a game. In DBO, the players that I helped would sometime shout out their thanks, but in real life, I can only imagine what might happen if some sick dude in a wheelchair got up and walked away after I healed him.
I am distracted from those darker thoughts as we enter the store. I look up and I am practically assaulted by the huge range of clothing options spread out before me. Men’s stores never had this much variety and I have no idea what to even start looking at. Until, I spot ‘it’ displayed on a mannequin off to the side of the store. ‘It’ is a dress and not just any dress, but a black dress that I am pretty sure that if I wore it, Jen would not be able to keep her hands off me and I find that idea making me start to feel embarrassingly aroused again.
Jen spots the object of my fixed stare. “Oh! Yeah, Ally. With your complexion and hair, I think that would look awesome on you!” She says as I make a beeline straight for it.
One of the sales girls intercepts me and I immediately detect the early stages of eczema that she is hiding beneath her clothes. Poor girl, that must really itch. Her name badge identifies her as ‘Andrea’.
“Here, let me grab a pair of shoes for you that I think will match that dress and you perfectly.” Andrea says with a pleased smile. She knows that she has a fish on the line and that I am solidly hooked. “What size are you?”
As Mystique, I mean, my other self, I was a size 7, but now that I am taller and Jen’s size 7 shoes are too small for me.
“Umm, 8?” I say with an ashamed grin as I look down at my feet.
Andrea smiles. “I’ll be right back!”
She leaves and I pull a copy of the dress in what I think might be my size off the rack. I hold it up against my chest and it looks like it might be too small.
Jen nods her head and smiles at me. “Oh yeah, that is the one. It looks like it is the perfect size for you. Good eye, Ally!”
“Really?” I ask because it really does look like it will be too small for me, but I decide to trust her assessment. After all, she is the expert and I am just the noobie in this zone.
“Yep, but we also need to find a bra for you too. You can’t wear what you currently have on with that dress.” Jen says as she gestures towards the bra and panty, umm, lingerie section of the store.
They have a ton of, dare I admit this, very cute and sexy stuff back there. Jen’s pointed glances at specific bras and panty designs serve to drive the point home with me. What is left of my fragile male ego is huddling in the corner of my mind screaming for mercy because I can’t stop myself from imagining myself wearing some of those items for Jen and feeling sexy while doing so.
I look at the black dress in my arms, and then hesitantly reach for a black bra and panty set that I think will go with the dress. Jen confirms my selection with a nod and smile. I am not sure what bra size I wear now, but I was a 34C. I think I have the same size chest, but I am definitely a little smaller up top, so I grab a 34B to try on instead.
I take the dress, panties and bra to the fitting rooms and Jen surprises me by joining me like nothing is wrong. I mean, she would sometimes join me in the fitting room when I was a guy so that she could provide her feedback right away. I am a girl now though. Guys never ‘help’ each other in the fitting rooms when they shop, if they even shop. Maybe girls are less uptight about that?
Jen makes it a little difficult on me when she sneaks a kiss on one of my exposed nipples when she ‘helps’ me remove my sports bra.
Her kiss sends a little shock straight down my spine and directly to my groin, making me gasp with surprise. “Jen! You’re so evil!” I whisper as she just giggles at my reaction. My breasts also feel so much better not being smashed by the sports bra. She was definitely right about that.
I try on the bra and it fits, but it also pushes my breasts up a lot more than the bras that my mom got for me. It seems that my mom, umm, I mean Kim, was a bit more conservative in her selections for me. Not that I am complaining in any way. No, no, no, because I think that if she had bought me one of these sexy bras; I would have screamed bloody murder.
I take off my pants and as I bend over to pull my feet out from the ends, Jen uses that opportunity to pinch my butt. “Jen!” I half heartedly slap her hand away and I feel myself blushing from head to toe with embarrassment. Now I know how she felt when I would sneak a grope on her in public.
“What if someone sees us?” I ask, with a whisper.
Jen just smiles at me and hands me the panties that I picked out. “Really? You try on underwear too?” I ask, flabbergasted by the idea that women get totally naked and try on underwear at the store. What if they don’t fit and they return it to the rack?
Jen answers me by rolling her eyes and sighing at me. “Yes, now put them on, and then let’s get that dress on you. I can’t wait to see how it looks on you.”
This time, I turn to face her so that she can’t pinch my butt as I remove my panties and try on the new ones.
“Killjoy...” Jen says with a sigh.
Oh, they feel nice. I kind of forgot that I had a string up my butt, but these feel comfy right from the start. Next, I grab the dress and try to figure out just how I am supposed to wear it. It doesn’t look like I can step into it like a pair of pants. There is only a small button that closes a small six inch slit that reaches down from the back of where my neck should go. Maybe I put it on like a t-shirt? To confirm my guess, I glance back to Jen before I try that technique.
“Yep, over your head, like a t-shirt, then button it up in the back.” Jen helpfully instructs me.
I self-consciously slip the black dress over my head and pull it down until my head is through the neck hole and the bottom, umm, hem reaches to just below my knees. My arms and shoulders are exposed, but my chest is completely covered from just below the top of my breastbone. It feels a little strange to be wearing something that covers me so completely, yet also feels so tight against my body as it hugs and shows off my every curve. However, the killer feature of the dress is the single slit on one side that extends to just above mid-thigh.
“Okay, that looks, ummm, really nice on you.” Jen says with a slight flush. “But, I think we should head back out to the floor, find a belt and see if Andrea has those shoes for you yet.”
Jen stuffs my borrowed exercise pants, panties and sports bra into her purse as I head out to find Andrea. I don’t have to go far because she is standing just a few feet away from the door to my changing room with a grin that I can’t quite decipher. In addition to a pair of black suede boots in her hands, she also has a gold colored, narrow metal chain belt with a faux diamond heart shaped buckle.
“Here you go. I think that this gold belt with your hair, along with these boots would look perfect on you.” Andrea says as she hands the items to me.
“Umm, thanks.” I say with a slight blush. She has to know what we were doing in the changing room.
Both Jen and Andrea patiently wait as I wrap and buckle the belt around my waist before I step into the boots. Why am I not surprised that the heels on these boots are even taller than my Mystique boots? They do look nice though and after Jen and Andrea team up to make me walk down the hall and back; I now know that my Mystique walk has become a permanent muscle memory for both of my bodies.
They both look slightly jealous of me and that makes me smile with satisfaction. “Well, Jen? It might be a little dressy, but what do you think?” I ask as I twirl for her, even though I already know exactly what she is thinking. The flushed skin on her neck and how she is shifting her stance tells me all that I need to know.
“Is she a model?” Andrea mock whispers in Jen’s ear.
Jen just hands Andrea her credit card. “We will take it and she, will walk out of here wearing it. That is okay, right?” Jen asks without really asking for permission.
“Of course, ma’am.” Andrea says as I follow them both up to the front of the store.
“I hate you!” I whisper to Jen, but make sure that it is loud enough for Andrea to hear too. I can feel my new bra pushing up my breasts, causing them bounce just a little more than I am used to. Not that I am really used to them just yet, but the motion is, umm, different. The strange cut of my new panties against my skin also add to my general awareness of my femininity and even though this dress isn’t as revealing as my Mystique costume; I feel more exposed due to the fact that this is a real dress and most definitely not a costume.
Andrea is all smiles as she rings us up and wishes for both of us to have a good day. I toss a Purify her way as I pass her and I anxiously watch her reaction as she shivers for a second. Then, she nervously looks around to see if anyone noticed her shivering for no apparent reason. Nope, just me.
“Sorry, got a chill there all of a sudden.” Andrea says.
It might take her a few hours or even days before she realizes that her eczema is all gone. She will never know that I cured her of it. She will probably just think that it is in relapse versus cured and by the time she and her doctors realize that, if ever; I won’t even be a memory to her, but I will know and that makes me feel very happy with myself.
The gaggle of senior citizen shoppers that are making their way towards us almost brings me to my knees. Jen is the only reason that I don’t fall flat on my face.
“Ally? What’s wrong? Are you hurt? Did you twist your ankle or something?” Jen asks as she searches my face while maintaining a firm grip on my arm to help steady me.
I don’t actually feel their pain, but it is sort of like when I played the healer in a large raid and the big, bad boss monster we were all fighting suddenly unleashed their nasty breath weapon on everyone. Bam! Flashing red and black icons and as the player’s health bars drop like rocks while whatever fire, ice, disease, poison or acid the big bad monster used worked to kill them. Then, I scramble like crazy to cure/heal them all and myself before the raid is wiped out. Plus, as if I didn’t already know that they needed heals, the players themselves would sometimes scream at me to heal them too.
Okay, so it is not that bad. The ‘raid’ of senior citizens is not yelling at me to heal them and their health bars are pretty steady, a little low, but steady. The thing that stands out about them is the fact that almost all of them are suffering from at least one chronic disease and half of those are also suffering from early stage and long term fatal diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. I almost feel like I am abandoning them when I finally manage to tear my eyes away from the group.
That doesn’t help very much because when I turn away from them, I spot a young man with a short haircut in a wheelchair. He looks like he is or was in the military and I can see that the left side of his face is heavily scarred; he is blind in his left eye, deaf in his left ear while his left shoulder is held together with titanium rods that will do nothing for the destroyed muscles and torn ligaments. However, the worst injury and the one that put him in the wheelchair is the damage to his spine just below his shoulder blades. How I know exactly what his injuries are, I cannot say because in DBO; all I could see what the player’s overall health score. Individual disease or poisons, yes, but specific injuries, no.
“Umm, I know that I need more clothes than just this dress, but can we go home now? I think that I need to rest, or something.” I say as clutch on to Jen for dear life. I want so badly to run over and heal that guy, but something like that would be pretty hard to explain away.
Jen holds on to me and I can sense her worry for my health as she studies my face to gauge how I am feeling. Her head turns away from me to follow my gaze. “Oh...” She says just as the guy spots us both now looking at him.
His one good eye flashes in anger. “What!? Do you two have a problem with me?” He asks somewhat bitterly and since we are about 20 feet away; loud enough for a lot of people to overhear.
I glance around to see if anyone else is watching this little scene, but as soon as people see what the commotion is all about; they all turn away with embarrassment and shame. They are probably just glad that the dude didn’t yell at them.
The guy wheels his chair towards us. “What? You don’t like seeing a ‘cripple’ in the same mall with you while you try to laugh and have fun on your mommy’s dime?” He snarls at us with a surprising amount of pain and bitterness.
I find it hard to blame him. Now that he is closer to us, I can tell that his injuries are fairly recent. The scars on his face are still healing. I can also tell that he is suffering from some radiation based nerve disease. I remember seeing something on the news about depleted uranium ammunition. Maybe that is what is causing his current disease. Seeing something that I can help him with helps steady my resolve. I glance over to Jen and she looks like she is thinking about telling him off.
“No...” I say, smiling to show her that it is okay before I turn back to face the guy head on.
He stops about five feet away from us and glares at us like he expects us both to wilt, apologize or run away screaming in terror from the sight of his injuries and his anger.
“I’m sorry.” I say as I step towards him. “I didn’t mean to stare, but the sight of you reminded me of a soldier I saw at the VA Hospital earlier this week. Are you in the Army or something?”
Well, I did see a few injured soldiers at the hospital, but always from a distance and very briefly. I was kind of busy and isolated on my floor, but he doesn’t need to know that. His expression starts to falter as he realizes that we might not have be looking at him with the revulsion that he might be used to seeing in other people. “Yeah, I was...” He softly says.
His simple three word reply is so heavy with emotion that I can almost feel his regret and sense of loss myself. “I’m sorry, but when I saw you sitting over there. You reminded me of how much pain he was in and also how much pain his family was in and well, I just wanted to say, thank you.” I say, sort of laying it on a little thick there, but the tears that are threatening to burst from my eyes are real and they help sell it.
He surprises me by gently grabbing my hand with his good hand. “Hey, sorry ma’am. I didn’t mean to snap at you like that. I’m just so, ummm...” He says trailing off with shame.
In return, I squeeze his hand. Then, I impulsively lean over and give him a kiss on his forehead, just as I release my Purify spell on him, causing him to shiver a few times. “Sorry, that I can’t do more.” I say with a whisper as I pull away from him with the tears now falling freely from my eyes.
I quickly lead Jen away and as I glance back at him, he has turned his wheelchair to follow us, but he looks like someone just punched him right between the eyes. He is just sitting still, but he is smiling and it is one of those dreamy, “I can’t believe that she just kissed me” smiles that I remember feeling just this morning with Jen.
That brightens my mood considerably as Jen hands me a tissue from her purse. I can’t believe that she has any left in there. Jen doesn’t say anything as we walk, hand in hand to her car. Once again, she has that ‘I’m thinking’ expression. I am worried about what she is worried about.
That makes me start to think about the DMA, FBI and everyone else now hunting for me. What if I turned myself in like I am now, a High Elf healer? I could heal the police that I hurt and probably everyone else in that hospital. That would have to make them not want to put me in jail, right? I would be too important to have around. Hmmm, I could probably make a shit ton of money too.
Who else can cure cancer? I mean really cure it, not just have it go into remission. I think that I could even heal that soldier’s spine injury. I have a regeneration spell. It didn’t actually regenerate limbs or organs in the game, but it might in real life. I could save so many lives that the government would be crazy to put me in jail.
I am so lost in thought with planning my life and trying to adjust the shoulder belt around my breasts that I realize that Jen still hasn’t started the car. I self-consciously glance over at her and she is just staring at me with what looks suspiciously like wonder or something.
“You know? For being new at this, you are really good at being a girl.” Jen says.
That announcement stops me in my tracks. “Huh?” I ask as I quickly self review all my actions to try and spot what she is referring too.
“Ally, you’re amazing! This morning was nothing short of...” She stops and blushes as she recalls what we did before coming here. “...and ummm, how you reacted to that sick boy in the restaurant. How you spotted the dress. How you handled and then kissed that guy in the wheelchair. You’re a natural.”
“Umm...” I am floored. Other than all the bleeping crying, I never thought that I was doing anything weird enough to be considered “girl” behavior. Well, other than kissing that guy, but I didn’t really kiss, kiss him. That was just like one of those European goodbye kisses that even the guys do over there, right?
“No, really. You even just sat down like a woman who has been wearing dresses all her life.”
Jen says as she grabs my hand and pulls me closer to her.
“I did?” I ask.
“Yep!” Jen grins as I mentally rewind my alleged girl sitting technique.
I really don’t think that I did anything all that girlish with that. It was really the only way to sit in her car without flashing everyone my panties or wrinkling my dress. Besides, I have seen plenty of women sit down at the office using the same technique and I also remember seeing the lines on the dresses for the women who accidently forgot. Not that I was actually staring at their butts or anything so creepy. Even though, I have to admit that some of them did have some really nice butts, purely from an artistic perspective.
Jen kisses me as she sneaks her hand up my dress and I sort of lose track of where I was going with that line of thought. When she finally breaks our kiss, she leaves me gasping for breath and squirming in my seat. She giggles at me before finally starting the car. “You should see your face!”
“Meany!” I say as I stick my tongue out at her in a perfectly adult manner before we both break down into uncontrollable giggles.
I am in a very good mood again as we leave the mall parking lot, but then Jen turns her radio on and as luck would have it, instead of music, they are providing an update on the “gripping” Mystique story and the now nationwide manhunt for the “vicious” and “dangerous” villainess, me. That depresses me again and the up and down mood swings are really starting to get on my nerves. Why can’t they just leave me alone? I didn’t mean to hurt those cops. Why hasn’t the DMA said something?
I can’t take it anymore. I turn off the radio. Then, I sigh, lean back in my seat and stare despondently out the window at the city with all its happy people just moving on with their lives. Why can’t I do the same? I feel sohopeless. “I should turn myself in. They won’t give up now.” I say.
Jen doesn’t say anything, but she does reach over and hold my hand as she pulls her car into an open parking lot, stops the motor and turns to me. “Ally, look at me, please?” She pleads while pulling my hand to her breast with both of her hands.
I really can’t believe that I am not dehydrated from all the tears I have shed today. I don’t want her to see me crying again, but I also don’t want to ignore her either. I turn to face her and the pain in her eyes almost breaks my resolve.
“John or Ally or Valerie or whatever form or name you take, I don’t want to lose you again.” Jen says as tears begin to stream from her eyes and slowly drip onto my arm.
“They won’t give up. You heard them. I am a vicious and dangerous killer.” I say with bitterness and anger as I pull my hand away from her and fold my arms across my chest.
“You’re not either of those and they didn’t say you were a killer.” Jen says, trying to diffuse the situation.
I refuse to let her talk me out of my decision. “When they do find me, they might kill or hurt you just to get me and if that happened, there is no telling what I might do. It would literally kill me to see you get hurt because of me.”
“Ally, I’m an adult. I know what I am getting into and you’re worth it.” Jen says as she reaches for me to try and pull me into a hug.
I push her away because I don’t think that I would be able to maintain my resolve and do what I know is the right thing to do. “No, no I am not. I also don’t want you to spend even a second in jail for being an ‘accessory’ or an ‘accomplice’ of mine when they finally do catch me.”
Jen starts to really cry and that more than anything breaks my heart. “Please...” She says, pleading with me to change my mind.
“Sorry Jen. Just let me out here. I will flag down the next cop I see and turn myself in.”
“No! Damnit, John! I won’t let you!” Jen says with desperation and panic fighting each other to escape.
I am glad that she pulled into the empty side of the lot and that no one can hear us, but I notice that she accidentally called me by my old name. She is more upset than I expected her to get about this. Can’t she see that I love her more than anything? More than life itself and that I can’t let her get hurt because of me?
Jen refuses to give up. “I will turn myself in with you, and then once they see all the good that you can do, they will let you go and we can both be happy.” She starts her car and I can tell that she fully intends to do just that; probably by driving us both to the nearest police station.
I hesitate. The idea is tempting. I can help a lot of people and the government would be pretty damn stupid to keep either of us in jail once they find out what I can do for people. I almost give in, but then another possibility or consequence bubbles to the surface of my mind. It scares the crap out of me.
I scramble for her keys and turn off the ignition before she can put her car in gear to pull out of our parking spot.
“Ally! What are you doing?!?” Jen yells.
“I can’t turn myself in like this!” I say, desperately gesturing down to my current body.
Jen looks confused. “What? Why? I don’t understand...we can do this, together. Don’t you want to be with me?”
Now she looks positively devastated by what she must think as me not wanting to be with her. Tears are pouring down my face and I can barely speak from all the emotion that I am feeling. “Yes, I mean no. You mean more to me than life itself. Jen, you ‘have to’ know that, but if I do turn myself in like this, I will never ever be free again. Together, we will never be able to be free and I can’t, I just can’t let that happen to us.” I desperately say, hoping that she will understand.
Jen doesn’t. “Ally, I don’t understand. What do you mean?” She asks.
“Jen, what happened to the last person who could heal the sick, walk on water, turn water into wine and make bread out of thin air?” I softly ask.
Jen might not want to make the connection, but she is smart and it takes her less than a second to arrive at the same conclusion that it took me over an hour to finally piece together. “No, they wouldn’t!” She gasps as she reaches for my hands and I don’t pull them away this time.
“Jen? Do you honestly believe that for even a second?” I ask as I gaze sternly into her eyes.
I watch as her resolve flickers and fades. “No...” She whispers as she slowly turns her head away from me to stare out of the front window.
I hate to do it, but I have to drive home my theory before she starts trying to find holes that are just too thin to provide any real hope for me. “Look, Jen,” She turns back to face me. “, if I was lucky, they would keep me in what would effectively be a golden cage and parade me from hospital to hospital, city to city and maybe even country to country to heal the sick. You know that, right?” I ask and she slowly, but hesitantly nods her head even as her eyes tell me that she is trying to find some sort of hope to cling on to.
“...and, if I was unlucky, only the rich and powerful would get access to me. I would be forced to heal only the people that they thought deserved to be healed and even if that didn’t happen, as soon as the public found out about me; half of them would think of me as some angel from heaven. Cody and his mom are perfect examples of that and they didn’t even know. The other half would think that I am some demon in disguise and want to kill me, while all of the major religions would be out to get me, for one purpose or another. I would be the anti-Christ to some and the second coming to others. In other words, it would be pure hell on earth for both of us and there would NEVER be any rest or peace for either of us. We would NEVER be allowed to be together. You would just become a tool that the evil bastards would use to control and hurt me with.”
That does it. She breaks down with defeat and this time I am the one who reaches for and holds her as we both sob our hearts out in each other’s arms. It takes us both five or ten minutes before we are able to regain some measure of emotional control. Then, we just sit in our seats staring listlessly out of the front windshield for another ten minutes or more before either of us can dredge up the energy to start thinking about what to do now.
“Jen, can you drive me to someplace near my old apartment? Like maybe find some alley that I can just jump out of your car, switch back to Mystique and hide in for long enough for you to get back to your apartment and be safe? Then, I can just walk out, flag down a cop and let them arrest me. I will just pretend that I was hiding out in the sewer or a trashcan or something.”
I can tell that she doesn’t like that plan, but she tiredly nods her acceptance. Then, with one last, pleading glance at me, she starts her car and pulls out of the parking lot. I silently watch her stony and tear streaked face as she merges her car back into the early afternoon traffic that is just now starting to pick up as some of the nearby office workers begin to trickle out and leave work early.
I direct her to a run down and half vacant shopping center that is only a mile from my apartment. There used to be a really good Chinese restaurant in that place, but it closed down six months ago after its owners could no longer attract enough business.
I once drove through the back side of the stores there, thinking that I could find a shortcut home, but instead I was forced to turn back around when my way was blocked by the train tracks that ran behind the place. I was really bummed about that because I could see the side street that would have saved me three traffic lights on my way home with a hot takeout bag of General Tso’s chicken.
However, the two really important things that I remember about that place is how secluded it was then and that there was a large drainage culvert that would make an excellent place for me to hide out as Mystique. I just hope that hasn’t changed since then.
We end up driving only a few blocks away from my old apartment complex, but we have a flash of panic when we are forced to the side of the street when a horde of police cars scream past us; heading right for my apartment complex. I think that they might have just figured out that I might not be in California anymore.
Yeah, they are definitely pissed at me and after Jen and I share nervous glances at each other, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am making the right decision. I think that Jen knows that now too. I might end up in jail for hurting those cops, but eventually, I will get out. Unlike the other option, there is no future that I can envision for either of us with that path.
Jen slowly drives her car into the area behind the shopping complex while I look in every direction to try to spot any security cameras or people who might be able to see us. I see neither, but I am still a little reluctant to leave Jen’s side when we reach an area of the complex that is partially hidden from outside view and the area is directly across from the drainage culvert that I plan on temporarily hiding out in until the police can ‘find’ me.
I jump out of her car and hide beside a big trash dumpster to make my Aspect change. I thought about trying to change in the car, but I wasn’t sure if that would have worked. I think that I need to be standing and in the open. Well, that is how it works in DBO, but there are also no cars in the game. So, who knows? I am not willing to take the chance that I will end up as part of Jen’s car like some Star Trek transporter accident victim.
After a quick glance around to make sure no one can see me, I flip the mental switch and after the flash of dizziness passes, I feel...I am not sure what I feel. I didn’t expect to feel anything, but the sudden loss of four inches, the extra weight on my chest, and as I look down at my body, the blue skin and the Mystique costume with the fake gun all combine to make me feel trapped.
It has only been a few seconds, but I already miss being a High Elf. I am a Dark Elf and there is no way that I can ever hope to walk down the street or a mall without attracting the wrong kind of attention. Even if by some miracle, I am acquitted of all the charges that I am sure they have just waiting for me.; There is no way that Cody’s mom would have ever let me sit next to her son or even felt comfortable with me being in the same restaurant with them.
Will Jen find this body attractive? Heck, what about Kim and her family? I know that she didn’t have a problem with me as a Dark Elf, but what about now? Will her husband and children feel safe with me around? Will Kim still love me? The shock of all those realizations makes me want to scream in panic as I feel myself starting to hyperventilate.
“Ally! Is something wrong?” I hear Jen anxiously whisper as she furiously works the crank to lower her window.
Her voice snaps me back to the matter at hand and I reflexively look away from myself. I look back up and at her. She is what pulls me back. Jen is why I am doing this. Okay, so not all Jen, but this plan seems to be the best chance to keep her safe.
“Thanks.” I whisper to her since I am officially trying to be sneaky and you don’t yell in these situations.
I decide that here and now would also be a good time to reset my home bind point. If things don’t work out the way I expect them to and I have to gate out of someplace, I do not want to end up back in my apartment where they would know where to find me. I just wish that I had thought to do it sooner. Like maybe back at the mall, someplace more public and easier to get lost in.
Finally, I activate my Unholy Armor buff to provide me with some protection. It won’t stop a bullet, but it should help if the cops get a little rough in their handling of me. Plus, if things really go to hell, I will be ready for it and now that I know what I can do; I will be able to handle things better and maybe not kill anyone in the process.
My little mini-freakout, plus my prep work gives me time to reconsider my plan. Is hiding out in a drainage culvert and having Jen call the police hotline from a pay phone the best option?
It would probably look better if I was able to walk into a police station and officially turn myself in, but there is no way that I could do that without getting Jen involved and I do not want to risk getting her hurt. The hiding out and getting found by the police isn’t a bad plan, but it might work out better if Jen drove me to a station so that I can turn myself in. That way, when the police to decide to look at the ex-girlfriend or if we missed something back at my apartment; she won’t have to lie too much about her role in helping me evade justice.
Jen will honestly be able claim that she helped me, but only so that she could talk me into turning myself in and keep anyone else from getting hurt. The police might be a little suspicious of her, but they probably won’t dig too hard or apply a lot of pressure on her when they have most of the answers standing right in front of them. Me.
I surprise Jen when I jump back into her car and duck down and into the front passenger well to avoid being spotted by other motorists. “Jen, different plan. Drive me to the police station near your apartment and I will turn myself in there.” I say.
Jen looks a little skeptical, but she shrugs her shoulders. “Okkaayy...” She says, but she does put her car back into gear and drives away from the area.
I feel the car bump once as we exit the parking lot and turn onto the main road. Jen glances down at me. “Okay, what’s this new plan of yours?” She asks.
It takes a little work and her questions force me to really think and plan hard, but in the end; I think that we both end up with a better plan. Her mind is definitely twisty because she is the one who comes up with what we will both tell to the police. She is positive that they will question us separately and it will be critical that our stories match. It will also be critical that we trust each other to not fold under pressure and rat the other out. The old prisoner’s dilemma trick.
Jen finally nods her acceptance of my new plan. “Hmmm, I think that you are right, Ally. We didn't give the first plan enough thought, but I think that this one is much better. Besides, I won’t have to lie as much and it is less risky for both of us.”
Phew! I was getting worried there. “Now, like I said. There is no Allison or Ally. My Light Aspect doesn’t exist and you never saw me transform into her. If anyone manages to remember us from the mall, we are screwed. So, we need to do whatever we can to make sure that you don’t end up on TV. I have to be Valerie from now on and maybe forever. Okay?” I ask and I feel a lump start to form in my throat as my post change surge of concerns start to hit home for me again. I like being Ally. I like being a High Elf and being able to walk around in public and feel normal. But most of all, I love being Jen’s girlfriend.
“Okay...” Jen says, softly and also with some regret in her voice.
A few minutes later, she looks down at me. “We are here...” She says as she carefully drives her car and parks in what I assume is a guest spot near the front of the station.
I try to sigh to help calm my nerves, but it comes out as a shudder as tears threaten to spill from my eyes. I watch as Jen silently sits, staring out of her windshield and gripping the steering wheel of her car with frustration as she digs up the willpower to do what we agreed for her to do.
“Jen? You have to do this. It will work out in the end. Trust me.” I softly whisper while I pray silently to myself that it will work out..
Jen sighs heavily. Then, she leans down and gives me a quick kiss on my lips that almost makes me change my mind. “I love you...” She says as she pulls back with tears threatening to spill from her eyes. She steadies her resolve, then without another glance at me, she opens her door and gets out of her car.
“Sir?” She yells at someone with a wave to help get their attention.
“Yes? Can I help you ma’am?” I hear a man’s voice ask Jen and approach the car.
“Yes, please. I have a friend that did something bad and she wants to turn herself in so that no one else gets hurt.” Jen says.
I take that as my cue to make myself seen.
“Holy shit!” The police officer yells as he scrambles to pull out his pistol.
“No!” Jen screams in panic.
I toss my fake gun on the ground in front of me and calmly raise my hands in the air before he gets too far with his pulling his weapon out action. My painfully obvious surrender and lack of resistance doesn’t slow him down in the slightest.
“Down! On the ground now!” The officer yells as he glances desperately around for other officers to back him up.
As directed, I lower myself to the ground while his weapon tracks me the entire time. It isn’t until I am on the ground and on my stomach that he reaches for the mic on his lapel and calls for help. Things get a little tense pretty damn fast after that and the lucky officer that I surrendered myself to, Officer Daniels, is a touch rough with me. He digs his knee into my back just a little bit too forcefully when he forces my unresisting hands behind my back to handcuff me.
That makes me glad that I thought to activate my armor buff because even though I am face down and have mostly naked skin touching the pavement, it feels like I have a thick leather jacket and pants protecting my skin from scratches. Jen is crying hysterically with worry for me, but the officers seem to view her more as a terrorized victim than an accomplice because they keep trying to comfort her and tell her that she is safe now.
Then, a female officer arrives and takes charge of Jen. I am not really paying any attention to what the overeager officers are saying to me as they manhandle me and search for additional weapons. I would laugh, but that might make them even more upset with me because really, where would I hide a weapon in this costume?
No, I am focusing all of my attention on what is happening to Jen because if there is even a hint that they are going to try and hurt her; I will go ballistic. I watch as the female officer gently and carefully leads Jen away while repeating that she is safe now. It’s all over and I can’t hurt her. That, more than anything else is a relief for me because it looks like she will be okay.
I lose track of Jen when Officer Daniels and some other burly police officer roughly lift me off the ground by my arms without any concern that it might hurt me to have the cuffs dig into my wrists or that it might hurt my shoulder joints. I am on my feet, but it doesn’t seem to matter because they don’t let me walk into the station under my own power. Instead, they bodily drag me as I scramble to keep my feet under me. It freaking hurts to be dragged around like that, but they don’t seem to care about how I might feel. I am pretty sure that they know it hurts, but it makes them feel tough and in charge. It almost makes me want to fry their asses to teach them a lesson, but I restrain myself because it would only make things worse.
They are directed to take me straight to an interrogation room and it turns out to look just like the ones on TV. It has the simple metal table that is bolted to the floor with the matching sturdy and uncomfortable metal chair for the condemned to be shackled to. There are two additional chairs and they look much more comfortable, but they are on the other side of the table. So, I know who those chairs are for. There is also the standard one way mirror along one of the walls to allow other people to witness an interrogation without the suspect knowing who is watching.
As they push me into the uncomfortable chair, I notice that the table has a sturdy looking eyebolt built into it to allow the condemned to sit in what might be a more comfortable manner with their hands locked in front of them and to the table instead behind them and to the chair. However, instead of removing my handcuffs so that they can re-attach one of them to the eyebolt built into the table, they just use a second pair of handcuffs to loop around my handcuffs and lock me onto the chair with my hands still behind my back. So rude and I can’t stop myself from glaring at them when they happily wave goodbye to me as they exit the room; leaving me locked uncomfortably to the chair and alone in the room.
After about five minutes, the chair really starts to get uncomfortable and try to find a more comfortable position. There isn’t one. After what feels like ten minutes, I start to get cold. The room is air conditioned and I am not wearing the proper amount of clothes. The armor buff does not provide any insulation or protection from the heat or the cold.
I debate trying to use my Break free ability to see if it will free me from the handcuffs, but I am pretty sure that they are watching me and I don’t want to give that ability away right now. They need to feel confident that I am securely under their control. That doesn’t mean that I can’t voice my complaints though.
“Hey! It’s a little cold in here! Can you at least send someone in with a blanket; turn up the heat or something?” I yell at the mirror.
It doesn’t take too long after that before two plains clothed male officers enter the room together. They both seem relaxed as they both pause and take a lazy sip from what appears to be a steaming cup of coffee. Their charade is ruined for me when I notice that the dude on the left isn’t armed. I notice that when he lifts his arm to exaggerate how delicious, warm and refreshing his coffee tastes and the front of his jacket flaps open enough for me to catch a glimpse of his shoulder holster. His empty shoulder holster. Yeah, they are nowhere near feeling relaxed about me. I bet that they had to give up their weapons in case I somehow break free to prevent me from gaining control of their weapons, but I pretend not to notice that little detail.
“Mystique?” Cop on the Left asks.
“I’m not Mystique.” I say, but he doesn’t listen.
“Hi, I’m Detective Olson and this is my partner Detective Roberts.” Detective Olson gestures to a glowering Detective Roberts. “Sorry about the wait, we were both a little busy trying to get things organized.”
Detective Roberts says nothing as he lowers himself into his chair and glares at me.
Detective Olson smiles at me and places his hand on his partner’s shoulder as if to try and calm him down. “Jack, I know that you are anxious to hear her story, but how about if you wait a bit before we start asking her questions. I am sure that she is cold and if she is willing to cooperate with us, maybe I could grab her a coat or something warm for her to drink from down the hall?” He says while pretending to look concerned for me.
Seriously? Are they really going to try the old “good cop/bad cop” thing on me? Don’t they know that I am not really as young as I look? Well, okay. I guess if that is how little they think of me, then who am I to complain? I smile with appreciation at Detective Olson. “Please? I’ll be good. Can you at least move my cuffs to the table? My arms are really starting to hurt.” I say.
Detective Olson pretends to look both surprised and outraged by that. “They left your hands cuffed to the back of the chair?” He asks as he makes a show of walking over to the door, knocking on it and then when it opens, sticking his head out and yelling down the hall for the keys to my cuffs.
His concern for my comfort is ruined by the fact that I know that he has a key that will unlock my cuffs sitting in his pocket. Police handcuffs all use the same key to allow for officers to easily restrain suspects without having worry about who might have a key when it comes time to free a suspect. None the less, my buddy Officer Daniels hustles into the room and tries to look apologetic to the detectives as he unlocks the cuff on my left wrist and relocks it to the eyebolt on the table, leaving my left hand free and my right hand locked to the table. That is infinitely more comfortable.
Before Officer Daniels can leave the room, the Detective Olson orders him to get and bring me back a cup of coffee. Finally, He turns back to me with a smile while Detective Roberts pretends to look annoyed by how easy his partner is going on me.
“Damn it Mark! She has a hand free now. How much more time do you intend to waste here? Do you really need to let her have a cup of coffee too? Are you forgetting that she is directly responsible for the death of those two officers in San Francisco and that the longer it takes to question her, the more time her partners have to get away with all the money they stole from the bank?” Detective Roberts asks.
Regardless of Detective Roberts’ objections to my “easy” treatment by Good Cop, they still let me sip some mostly warm coffee from a very small cup. Definitely not enough liquid to use as a weapon, even if the liquid was hot enough to burn.
“Damn it Mystique!” Detective Roberts slams his hand down on the table to get my attention. I oblige him by flinching and sending a pleading look towards Detective Olson. “Tell us how you met the Riddler and what the plan was?” Detective Roberts snarls at me.
I don’t bother trying to correct him about my name. Instead, I try to tell him that I didn’t meet the Riddler until he assaulted the convention and that I was just at the convention for the costume contest, but Detective Roberts doesn’t believe me and he doesn’t want to believe me while Detective Olson pretends to believe me, but I know that he doesn’t believe me. They both end up alternating between badgering me, bullying me and pretending to be nice to me. They also try to tell me that if I tell them what they need to know, that they will help me by requesting that I be charged with a lesser offence or even some immunity from prosecution an effort to get me to “crack” and “spill the beans” about my role in the plot, but I stick to my story about the costume contest and that pisses them both off.
Amazingly, not once do they ask how I escaped and managed to get to Virginia from California and nor do they ask me about Jen, Kristin, Amber the Costume Goddess or the VA Hospital. That, more than anything else, tells me that they really don’t believe me and never will believe me when I try to tell them the truth. So, there really is no point in trying any longer. Besides, they still haven’t even bothered to read me my rights or even offer me a lawyer, so nothing I am saying is even admissible in court anyway. Not that I really expect much help in that area either. They can always claim that they read me my rights. Who will the judge believe me or the sworn officers of the law? In the eyes of these officers, I am already guilty.
I decide to sit back and not say anything else to the pair. Maybe they will get bored and put me in a real cell, with a real bed and a blanket, along with a prison jumpsuit so that I can feel a little less naked and cold. A knock at the door surprises me and I glance at the door to see who might be knocking. Maybe it will be a lawyer for me or even better, someone who can end this farce and lock me up in a cell so I can get some sleep. Now that I am back to being a Dark Elf, I am feeling a little tired.
Detective Olson is not happy with me and he is not happy with the interruption. “Damn it, Mystique!”
“I’m not Mystique...”
Again, he ignores me as he stands and walks over to the door. “When I get back, you better fucking tell me what I need to know!” He says as he glances back and angrily points at me.
I think that my buddy, Detective Olson, has forgotten that he is supposed to be the Good Cop here. Since the door is controlled from the outside, he taps impatiently on the door to signal that he is ready for it to be opened. As soon as it opens a crack, he steps partially out the door. “Who in the fuck is interrupting ‘my’ interrogation?” He says.
I can’t make out a reply, but his body language tells me that whoever he just yelled at isn’t who he expected. Detective Olson stiffens into a stance of attention. “Sorry sir! I didn’t mean to yell at you sir! Of course, sir. Roberts and I will leave immediately, sir.”
I glance over at Detective Roberts and he looks as mystified as I feel. “Good luck kid.” He softly says to me as he lazily slides his chair back and exits the room.
I guess that he is really the “Good Cop”. I hear his footsteps fade away down the hallway, followed by a buzz and another heavy door opening and closing behind him. The door to my room remains open for a surprisingly long time before I hear anyone open the outer door and head down the hallway towards my room.
I am starting to get worried that maybe this is another trick to get me to try something when two older men wearing suits that just scream, “Federal Agent” to me, enter the room. Followed by two younger looking Federal Agent types who stand guard at the door, but make no move to close the door. On the contrary, they appear to be there to keep the door open.
“Hello, Miss Wilson. I am Special Agent King Faraday, DHS and this gentleman with me is Special Agent Michael Brown, FBI Metahuman Crime Taskforce.”
“Sorry if I don’t get up and offer to shake your hand, but I am a little tied up right now.” I say as I rattle my cuffs for emphasis.
It looks like a smirk flashes across their faces. I am not sure, but my smart ass comment seems to amuse them. Good, unlike my previous interrogators, these guys seem to have a sense of humor.
“Is there anything that we can get you?” Special Agent Faraday asks.
I glance down at my skimpy costume and naked legs. “A blanket or some sweatpants. Hell, even a nice prison orange jumpsuit would be swell right about now.”
“Sorry, but we have a flight to catch...” He glances at his watch. “...in 45 minutes. You are being extradited back to California, but we have your suitcase on the plane. Would that help?” Special Agent Faraday asks.
Is he for real? Is this a new interrogation tactic? I glance to the FBI agent to see if his expression betrays anything. It doesn’t. He looks serious too. “Ummm, I guess so, but what about the police here?” I ask.
“They have been informed that we are taking over this case for them.” Faraday says like it is nothing.
“What about Jennifer?” I ask.
“She gave her statement and the police are in the process of releasing her even as we speak.”
“Is she going to be charged with anything?”
Faraday focuses on my face. “No. She’s a heroine for bringing you in, right?”
“Yes. Can you make sure that the papers and the TV reporters don’t find out about her? I don’t want her to get harassed.”
“I think that we can arrange for her role in your apprehension to be hidden. Is there anything else?”
I know that it was in the news, but I have to ask anyway. “Umm, yes. Are Agent Rollins and Agent Thompson okay?”
Faraday’s expression hardens into anger. “No.”
“Anyone else get hurt?”
“One security guard and a nurse were killed. Two others in critical condition with another expected to be released tomorrow. Thanks for asking.” He says with a quick glance at his watch.
I want to ask if he knows why they came after me, but he looks a bit impatient to leave. There is one more thing I do need to know though.
“The cops, umm, officers at the convention. Did I really kill them like the police here are saying?”
Both Faraday and Brown shake their heads no. “No, but the first one that you drained with your power is in critical condition still.” Faraday says with a frown.
I feel a huge sense of relief flood through me. I was so worried, but he did say the one guy in still in critical condition. That sobers me quick. “Oh, okay. Thanks.” I say.
Faraday nods. “Well, we still have that plane to catch. We can talk more during the flight. Are you ready to go?”
“Yes, but...” I rattle the cuffs again. “...unless you have a key, you will need someone to get me out of these things.”
Faraday smiles patiently at me. “I have been doing a little research on that Dragon’s Bane game and your character class in particular, which will be something we will need to further discuss during the flight. But, in the meantime, why don’t you just save us some time and get rid of the cuffs yourself?”
Damn, he is a little scary. I debate trying to fake him out, but I think that if I try my Break free power, and it works; then they might believe me more when I tell them that I can’t get my Aspect change to work. With that in mind, I dip my chin in acknowledgement and activate my escape power. The cuff holding my right hand pops open and falls off my wrist. Then, I simply stand up and smile at the agents because it looks like I surprised everyone except for Special Agent Faraday.
“Good, we will grab a fresh to-go cup of coffee for you on the way out. However...” Faraday reaches into a pocket and pulls out a pair of handcuffs.
At the sight of the handcuffs, my heart catches in my throat and I start to feel angry. I was just starting to trust him and even worse, I wanted to trust him. Why did he trick me into revealing my escape power? He had to know that it has a three minute cool down timer before I can re-use it to escape again. This is so fucking frustrating and to make matters worse, my eyes start to sting as tears build up inside them. I don’t know whether to go ballistic or to give up and cry, and it is the “cry” option that worries me the most.
Why would I even consider that an option?
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