Home » The Crystal Hall » Fan Fiction » Not With a Whimper (The last of the tales of Elizabeth Queen)
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|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #44891 is a reply to message #44890 ]
||Sat, 27 August 2011 16:49
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
The room was bare concrete in all directions, the bars double thick steel over the windows. It had been decorated for this occasion, temporary sheets of lead hung like dull gray dry wall as containment protocol was carried out. The only color was the bright yellow of the radiation warnings. In the center of the room was a single chair. The chairs in state prisons are not known for their comfort, especially not ones in front of the parole board.|
But the woman who sat herself in it made it look good. She was strikingly tall, classically proportioned, with the pinup good looks of Betty Page. She was also older, though in that phase of beauty best described as "timeless." The fact that her skin was a pale shade of lavender and her hair a glossy dark not quite color only illustrated why she was in a maximum security mutant containment facility.
"Good Morning," she said, trying to be as demure as possible in a prison jumpsuit.
"Please state your name for the record."
"Violet Stanton." was her reply. She fidgeted nervously, clasping her hands in her lap as she tossed that long spill of hair over her shoulder.
"Thank you. Ms Stanton, the purpose of this hearing is to determine whether, if released, you are likely to break the law again. While this was your first conviction you have been implicated in a number of international incidents, though never charged. What can you tell us about this?
She took a slow breath, shifting in her seat from side to side as she considered the words that might win her freedom. "As you say, Sir, I was never charged. Any incidents were mainly due to my... 'unique' nature. And the government of Burma no longer exists to press charges at any rate."
"Ms Stanton, what we are trying to find out is, was there a reason you chose to commit this crime? Or was there a reason you simply got caught this time?"
Her face pinched up a little, like she'd tasted sometime sour. "My wife left me. I was upset, and I got into a self destructive pattern." She sighed, and tried to brush the hair from her face. "But my work with the State Nuclear Energy commission has proven, well... cathartic. I've paid full restitution for all the civil suit damages."
"If released, would you be likely to fall back into a similar pattern?"
There was a pause, and then in a bitter tone she spat back, "She already left me once. I don't think she'd do it again just for kicks."
"Ms Stanton, what do you think you would do if released?"
"Visit my family." she says in heartbeat.
With a sigh Violet stepped out of the prison fences, the weight of the last four years lifted from her shoulders. In its own way it hadn't been that bad. Not the most pleasant four years of her eighty year life, but not the worst either. Not for the first time she thanked the Almighty for the high level of regeneration that kept the worst of the decades off her.
She snorted as she tried to tug the little black cocktail dress up and down simultaneously. While it had been fine for the night club in Frisco, it provided zero protection against the winter weather. An errant snow flake landed on her bare shoulder, only to die in a puff of steam as she shivered a little and warmed herself.
"Of all the things to be arrested in..." said a soft, seriously British voice. "You look like a right trollop tarted up like that."
It came from an Oldsmobile in the parking lot, the sort of land yacht favored by the elderly and impoverished. Behind the wheel sat an elfin girl, perhaps 20 years of age with strawberry russet hair and the pale complexion to match her accent.
"You knew?" Violet asked as she let herself in the passenger door.
"Of course I knew." she responded. "What kind of mother would I be if I didn't keep track of such things?"
For a moment the two sit in silence in the wide car, the foot of leather cushion, four years, and three thousand miles between them.
"I love you, Mum." Violet stammers softly, the corners of her eyes welling up with tears that sizzled as they fell.
Despite the heat they embraced tightly in the car, hugging tightly.
"I love you too, you silly yob."
[Updated on: Sun, 28 August 2011 12:27]
|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #44892 is a reply to message #44891 ]
||Sat, 27 August 2011 16:53
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
Bethany grinned as she was handed the safety goggles. She just loved the way the new grips stared when she tossed them over her shoulder. "Safety gear," she said quoting her favorite sage, "Is for kittens and pussies. You don't see the lioness hunting with a helmet on, do you?" She cackled heartily as she kicked the motorcycle on, revving the engine hard enough that even she could feel the vibration of it.|
The director grinned as his premier stunt woman prepared for her next scene. "All right! You remember the blocking right? You need to be on the yellow X when the rocket hits. That's where the high speed is set up. These rockets are EXPENSIVE, so we're counting on you to get it right in one!"
'At least he didn't even bother trying to encourage a wardrobe malfunction this time.' Bethany thought as she listened to the director drone on. Honestly, who did he think she was? Some raw greenling? A crunchy? She'd nail this scene exactly the way it was scripted, and of course she'd do it on the first try.
A few moments later saw her barreling down the set at high speed, firing a machine pistol one handed as she dodged around and over debris from the armored car's passing. Right on cue, the top hatch popped and the stubby 90mm wide barrel drew a direct bead on her. Her heart fluttered as time slowed, and she saw the first licks of flame erupt from the rear of that stove pipe launcher.
When the rocket hit it glanced off her hip, almost a foot off from where the shooter should have aimed. The warhead detonated as planned behind her though, shredding the cycle and adding its gallons of gasoline to the bright strobe of flames. For a split second she felt the warmth on her skin, and felt truly alive as she sailed through the air to land on the machine that launched it.
"CUT!" The director shouter, and the grounds crew erupted into cheers even as they rushed to film stock scenes of the burning wreckage and set before it was extinguished. Cheeks flushed and her whole body trembling Bethany hopped off the still moving vehicle, landing on the pavement with nary a stumble.
A huge, ugly Oldsmobile pulled up on set, a glint of eye tingling non color visible from the passenger side. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw the driver step out, and she threw her arms wide to bellow "MOM!" Bethany begin to jog forward toward them, and everyone on set scrambled to clear her path. She hadn't been known as Battleship Lass for no reason!
Everyone on set winced as the solidly built and muscular brunette woman collided with the pale redhead, and doubly winced when she swept her up in a crushing bear hug. But to their astonishment the younger girl simply hugged her back, instead of dying horribly and messily as they had expected.
"Beth? Dear?" her captive victim said softly. "We've got to talk. There's a bit of a sticky wicket. Can you take some time off to come with us?"
The boat of a sedan pointed due east and began to roll down the highway. Traffic in Hollywood was murder, even this early in the day. So while their Mother cursed and made vile threats against all American motorists, Vi took the chance to make a much needed call. At least her cell phone had been returned intact. It was hard getting one with that much shielding on short notice.
"Shhhhh!" Vi called out over the swearing. "I'm making a call!"
That earned her a single finger raised in salute from the driver, and the quiet she needed to begin dialing.
"Officer Brooks? This is Violet Stanton. I was told to contact you within 24 hours."
A soft "Bugger this." from the front seat made Vi's blood run cold. Somewhere beneath her feet the car began to emit an ominous hum as strong vibrations began to tremble the frame.
"No Sir, I have not been getting into any trouble."
Beth's lips quirked up into the sort of malicious grin that only a younger sibling is truly capable of, and she edged closer to her sister.
"No Sir, I am not consorting with known super villains."
Beth leaned over, her head almost against Vi's chest as she let out a languid bedroom purr and moaned, "Oh God Vi! Do that again! Pleaaaaase!"
"No Sir, I have not been drinking."
Her fist flared with a light that lit up the inside of the car like a solar flare as she punched her younger sister in the head, something that made Beth squeal like a sex kitten and really only hurt her own hand. "YES! YES!"
"No Sir, I am not using my powers in public or outside of a shielded safe zone."
Than they were both pushed back against their seats as the car transitioned into ground effect and took off over the highway, rapidly accelerating east.
"No Sir, I wouldn't even think about leaving the state."
As Vi ended her call Beth near to collapsed from laughter, mirth rocking her so hard she snorted like a pig at her sister. "Oh the look on your face!"
"You little GOBSHITE!" Vi hissed, her fist flaring again as she lashed out for some hair to pull.
"Moooooom! Vi's nuking me! Make her stop!" Bethany whined, though her petulant tone was spoiled by the incessant giggling.
"She started it Mum!" Vi snapped back. "She was on my side!"
For a moment there was silence, and then the car took a nose dive straight down.
"Stone the bloody crows, I will crash us into a sodding mountain if you BOTH don't behave!"
|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #44893 is a reply to message #44892 ]
||Sat, 27 August 2011 16:54
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
Safely on the ground again, the car pulled off South Michigan Avenue and into an alley. In front of them stood a stately old tower, its limestone facade clean and sharp. The level of upkeep really seemed to be the only thing that separated it from any other high rise in this area of the Loop. Its two closest neighbors were an empty lot that had succumbed to urban decay, and a drive in parking garage with a Harold's Chicken Shack and a Liquor Store built into the base.|
"So why are we here Mum?" Vi asked as she licked grease from her fingers. She'd just polished off her bucket of fish and fries. After so many years of prison food greasy fried perch washed down with a Guinness was a special kind of bliss.
"Someone else we need." was the slightly morose response from her Mother..
"I think I recognize this place." Beth said, some coleslaw still on her lips. "Isn't this some League or the other Headquarters?"
"Cassi and Di are still at home, aren't they?" Vi asked, reaching for some of Beth's wings and chips.
"I telegraphed them and a few others first." said the driver as she stepped out of the car and began to walk out to the curb. "They're already at the Hotel."
"Texted." Beth corrected as she followed. "It's called texting these days Mom."
Vi waited behind long enough to grab Beth's chicken, but she too scrambled out to catch up. "Then who are we here for?" She asked.
Those slags turned out to be a pair of sultry blonds strutting along the sidewalk, a small boy skipping between them as he held both their hands. At first glance they looked to be twins, but a practiced eye could pick out a mutant healing factor in effect that kept the short haired one in the flower of her youth. The boy looked nothing like the women, his jaw strong while his hair was a deep black with stripes of red growing naturally up through it.
Without a moment of hesitation Elizabeth put herself in front of that trio, the slight grimace on her face slowly fading to wonderment as she got a better look at the young boy.
A sort of face off began, daughters faithfully following their mother to block off the blonds path. The more they sized each other up, the more they could each see the signs of high powered mutations in effect.
"Ok, seriously? Both of them?" Beth asked, disbelief heavy in her tone.
Their mother shook her head, "Not both bints, just one." she sighed in resignation, never turning away from the little boy. "As you may or may not know." she began to the blonds, "I am Elizabeth Queen and I..."
Both of the blond women were possessing of extraordinarily lovely and expressive faces, though the expressions that name caused the two couldn't have been more different. The younger of the two's eyes dissolved into a blurred golden disc, and her face was a mask of extreme concentration and focus. She moved with super human speed to place her hands over the child's ears.
But the other...
An expression of purest terror drained all color from her face, twenty seven years of night terrors realized in the russet red hair and pale freckled face of this girl next door. Twenty seven years of living in fear of this woman returning to finish the job. Her face clearly showed that she knew her life was forfeit, that just as soon as the bullet hit the bone it would shatter her to pieces.
But she would give her children a chance to survive her own mistakes.
"RUN!" the elder blond screamed, a devastating haymaker launched at Elizabeth with speed that would have done a tank cannon proud.
Bethany saw the windup from a mile away though, and had plenty of time to roughly shove herself in front of her Mother.
The punch had enough concussive force to rattle windows and set off car alarms for a square block, an almost visible detonation wave sweeping out from Beth's chin. The concrete beneath the blond's feet cracked into spider webs of gravel as she put every possibly bit of force into that strike. Even more impressive, that deceptively delicate and manicured fist rocked Beth's head back.
In the aftermath of the blast the whole world seemed silent as those caught in it were deafened, the blanket of quiet lifted to the sound of Beth's giggles. "Hello!" she laughed, wiping a hand across her upper lip to check for blood. "Felt that one!"
As Beth wound up for her counter proposal, she was just as surprised as everyone else to hear the younger blond scream out.
"STOP! ALL OF YOU STOP! ARE YOU INSANE! THERE'S PEOPLE OUT HERE! THERE'S CHILDREN!"
Once she had the initiative the young blond took charge with a skill and force of personality that set everyone back.
"Mom, she's not going to hurt me. And you might have seriously hurt Junior with that little stunt. If you really want to help, run up to my room and get Junior's travel bag. You know, the one with the little dinosaurs on it."
She swung her gaze to Violet and those golden eyes narrowed, "Don't even think about it. I really don't want our first meeting to end with everyone but me and Elizabeth unconscious." She turned to meet Beth's surprised glance. "And yes, that includes you too. I love your show, but if I feel you're endangering my son I WILL drop you."
Beth opened her mouth for a snappy quip back, one of the hundreds her film alter ego had delivered over the years. But she doesn't have time.
"NO. That won't matter, I don't make idle threats. No, I don't want to hear it. I don't care who started it. No, I'm not reading your mind. Yes, I know what you're going to do anyway."
She shook her head, long blond hair streaming around her like a cape of golden light. The little boy nervously grabbed at it, pulled it over himself like a curtain of sun shine.
"Hello Elizabeth." she sighed. "You do realize you could have just called right? Now Mom's going to be having nightmares for weeks, and I'm going to have to use force to get her anywhere near standing water."
For once, Elizabeth could only gape.
"I realize you're of a relation of my Father, but don't think that gives you special privilege. If I join with you on this, I call the shots. No second guessing, no complaining. That's condition one. I'm either in, or I'm out. Right now."
For the merest fraction of a second, Elizabeth's lips quirk up. "And Condition two?" she asks. "What might it be?"
"Junior comes with me. He won't get a second chance at this. He deserves it."
"You're pretty trusting pretty fast."
"I have a lot of faith in you."
"Pity you're Father wasn't more like that." Elizabeth sighed. "He should have told you all this himself years ago."
After a few seconds consideration she simply nodded her head, "Agreed. To all your conditions."
Allison let out a sigh of relief, and nodded her head to her half sisters casually. "Whew! Let me tell you, this came as a huge surprise when I found out about it last week." She took the earmuffs off her son and offered a hand to Beth. "I'm Allison. Allison Edwards."
Elizabeth crouched down to regard the shy little boy trying to hide in his mother's shadow. "And what's your name?" she asks him in a very gentle voice.
He only hides further behind her leg, and stays there until Allison gives him a gentle push forward. "Go on Junior. Tell your Aunt Lizzy."
That seemed to be the code word, because he smiled widely and lisped "Nathan!" through a child's mouth of mismatched teeth. He had the usual rounded baby teeth, a few still empty gaps, and a smattering of what looked like the tips of ivory steak knives crowding in with the rest.
[Updated on: Sun, 28 August 2011 12:28]
|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #44895 is a reply to message #44893 ]
||Sat, 27 August 2011 17:00
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
Plenty of hurt feelings and the day later the last pickup was complete. After several more stops in such unlikely places as Wisconsin and Texas, the entire group assembled at the hotel. It turned out to be The Cannery Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, one of the dozens of not famous casinos that attracted more truck drivers than tourists.|
On the plus side, there were plenty of rooms available and no one batted an eye when the group of a dozen beautiful women and a small horse took up residence in one wing. To give everyone some time to relax, eat up, and generally catch up with each other, Elizabeth had planned a mixer function for her guests.
In fact, that's what probably garnered them the most attention. Five women over six foot tall and firmly in the MILF category created quite a stir when lounging poolside in swim wear. Add in five more exemplar ladies of younger age, a prime rib buffet that had to be restocked a half dozen times, an endless stream of champagne, and you're bordering on a Playboy video.
Top it off with a pastel talking unicorn, a woman who's entirely shades of purple, and several other less obvious mutations, and and you've got an event no one who witnessed would soon forget. The little ten year old boy, who was the sole male in the private party, was briefly the most envied man in the state. After all, he was hand fed rare steak by a hot blond in a bikini while riding a flying unicorn around. Does it get any better?
Vi and Beth had met up with Cassi and Di almost immediately. Now the four sisters sat sipping champagne while they caught up on the last few years. The few other ladies were much more socially timid, and after the few obligatory questions to the pony the quality of the small talk greatly deteriorated.
"So do you make it up to Wisconsin much?"
"Not as often as I like."
"I think you should check it out. I think you'd enjoy Madison. I think you could do very well there."
"I'll look into it.."
As things wound down Elizabeth shooed Nathan off her lap and stood up to make her announcement.
"Ladies, welcome to Las Vegas. Has everybody eaten?"
She tried not to stare at the pastel pony levitating a bottle of champagne and a cosmo near her head.
"Everybody sober? Or close enough?"
She sighed and just shook her head.
"Alright, before we get started, no one is on the line here yet. But what I'm about to propose to you is both highly dangerous and highly important. If it doesn't seem like your particular cup of tea, help yourself to the food, have as much as you like, no hard feelings."
She paused to look at her daughters, and then the five others who all reminded her of someone special in various little ways .
"Otherwise, come with me."
Elizabeth led her own daughters into the suite, Beth giggling incessantly as the little boy she now carried gnawed on the ball of her thumb hard enough for it to tickle. Slowly the others followed, until only two were left outside.
"Hey Justice." Allison called softly to the pony. "It's been a while. How was Texas? It nice there? You like it?"
"Yeah." Justice replied softly, drinking more from her flute
"Junior really missed you. How's Aunt Stephanie?"
"She's good." Justice said, her second response if anything even softer than the first.
"That's wonderful. Get in the goddamn room." Allison said cheerfully, the casual toss her head in the direction Elizabeth went the subtle part of the hint.
|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #44897 is a reply to message #44895 ]
||Sat, 27 August 2011 17:06
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
Inside the room a large LCD TV was showing clips of war footage. The images were grainy and seamed, often shaky too as the camera man risked life and limb to capture the scenes. The earliest scenes were from World War II, of a handsome young man standing in the lead of a group of dashing young aviators wearing the famed squadron badge of the Flying Tigers.|
"That" Elizabeth began, "Is Jason Stanton. He is a decorated fighter ace in three wars, with 347 confirmed air to air kills."
The next film clip was the P-47 fighter plane, taken from the cockpit of another. Flying formation with them and easily keeping pace is Jason. "Also known as Warhawk, since he first came to be compared to 'a whole squadron of fighters on his own." She watches the video for a few moments more. "In modern terms, we'd call him a EX-5 PK-4 with a high subsonic flight speed."
Elizabeth dropped the real bomb, the one that made her sick to her stomach as she looked out across the faces prettier than her own. "And he is the biological father of every living person in this room." She pauses, and then smiles a touch as her eyes settle on Nathan. "Or Grandfather."
Of course that provoked an immediate stirring and outcry, though sadly the daughters he'd raised were not the least bit surprised.
"I've already introduced myself to you all. I'm Elizabeth Queen, his former wife. For other introductions, the purple lass over there is Violet, my eldest daughter. Cassiopeia, if you would please stand up? Thank you, now Diana? And I'm sure most of you recognize Bethany, if not by that name."
Seeing those four stately women standing side by side, the family resemblance was obvious. Even more chilling, they shared features with everyone in the room save the slack jawed pony.
"Jason is many, many things. A patriot. A hero. A loving father. A loving husband. A man who swam across seas to be there at the birth of his first son."
Her voice failed her for a moment, tears welling up as she bit her lower lip in remembered pain and joy. The look on his face when he saw that chubby pink face for the first time. The indescribable feeling of sharing that moment with him, despite the heat of the primitive ANZAC field hospital.
"He is also a prolific philanderer, as the number of individuals here who are not my daughters can attest. If you doubt, I can perform DNA comparison checks. If you wish, I can probably even pinpoint the exact date you were conceived..." Elizabeth sighed, an old sickness churning in her gut. "Although I imagine, most of you have figured out by now you're not quite like whoever you were told your father is."
She rubbed the bridge of her nose firmly, the sight of so many faces not beget by her pushing buttons she'd tried very hard to remove.
"I have only to take one look at Nathan there to settle my own disbelief." Her tense face softened a little. "He has his grand father's eyes and chin." Though God only knows where he got that chain saw mouth from.
Elizabeth took a deep breath out of habit, and Violet reached out to squeeze her hand gently.
"Some of you may know who I am. Some of you may have even been warned about me. In all fairness I probably plotted to kill your parents at one point or another. If you want an apology I will give it. If you want your pound of flesh, get in line. I didn't gather you all together for that."
Behind her, the films had continued. Clips from Korea with Jason returning to base holding the wing of a Mig. Clips of Jason being awarded the highest honors of the Republic of Vietnam while wrapped like a mummy in bandages. Home movies of him and a purple headed young girl chasing an older boy and an Asian woman around a porch with water pistols.
"He is a man, who upheld his duty as he saw it to the bitter end. And yesterday, that bitter end arrived." Elizabeth barely whispered, her throat clenched and tight as those tears came freely.
A wave of silence washes across his immediate family, followed by voices raised in shouts and demands all at once over each other.
"But he was getting better!"
"Why didn't you TELL ME!"
But everyone was stunned into silence by the soundless mental wail of grief that exploded out at that announcement. It took a moment for Elizabeth to realize what's going on, to determine why everyone suddenly clapped hands to their ears to fend off a purely psionic scream of pain. Unaffected, she moved to take her Cassi into a tight hug. While just as big and strong as her sisters, she was one of the youngest of the daughters and the closest to her father.
Elizabeth knew Cassi shared a bond with the man that only a mind reader could. "Shhhhhh." she said softly to the physically silent daughter. "It's going to be OK. I'm going to make it right. You believe I can do that. Don't you?" And in the back of her mind, she was a million times thankful that Cassi couldn't read her anymore. Or she'd know it was a lie.
After an event like that, a stiff drink and a bar of chocolate are usually in order. Elizabeth ordered 20 gallons of rocky road ice cream and five bottles of the strongest Irish whiskey the hotel had to offer. As they all sat around feeding their sweet teeth she tried her best to explain the current situation.
"He's got lung cancer." she said, idly swirling three fingers of whiskey in her glass. "An exemplar 5, a man who's healed himself from everything from shark bites to anti aircraft missiles. And the thing to finally put him in the ground are those damn Lucky Strikes of his." She sighed heavily, her emotions slipped already into the acceptance phase.
"Idiot thought he just had a cold. As if that were even possible for four years." she snorted. "He didn't even notice it until it metastasized." She looked over to her daughters, all of which were nodding in understanding. "Just like him huh?"
"Remember that one time with his eye?"
"Oh gross Vi! I was like eight when that happened!"
Elizabeth chuckled, though that mirth was extremely short lived. "He went in for a cough and a headache. Now? Now he's been diagnosed with forth stage lung cancer."
She paused to sweep her gaze over the room, her eyes fixing on Cassi in case of a repeat of the earlier telepathic hysterics. .
"He's currently being held here, at the Nellis Veterans Hospital. And when I say held I mean it. They could have released him at any time to a different hospital, or approved a transfer back home. But they've denied all of those."
"It took me a minute to find out why." Elizabeth began, images of yellowed and faded old documents appearing on the screen. "Way back when, the only way to give a someone a blood infusion was to take it out of someone else. All soldiers were registered blood donors because of this. After surgeons caught on to transplanting organs, everyone originally signed as a military blood donor was converted to an organ donor."
She wondered if the implications of that had already sunk into any of the attentive ladies. Vi had always been smart as a whip, and her pale lavender eyes widened quickly. The look of total comprehension in one set of swirling golden eyes sent a chill down her spine, and she cursed the necessity of having to involve such an uncomfortably capable conspirator.
"They won't let him leave, because the moment he expires he's going to be broken up and studied. There will be cultures, experiments, and even clones. It wasn't enough that he gave them half his life! They want the next one, and the one after that too!"
The four elder daughters started to shift uncomfortably as the rising tone of their Mother's voice brought back unpleasant memories. She didn't mean to be irrational and psychotic, but sometimes she very much did get that way. Normal family picnics didn't include tranquilizer darts and steel belted straight jackets. Forty years later they had named the symptoms Diedricks.
"And I'll be damned if I'm going to let that happen!" Elizabeth screamed, "Not again! No more deniable missions. No more months of him missing, leaving us at home worrying! I will burn this entire city, no this entire COUNTRY to ASHES before I let them keep him! Come hell or holocaust I'm bringing your father home TO STAY. ALL of him."
Vi sighed heavily and rose, since this was usually the part where Mom started ranting about oceans of blood and burning the sky to show that idiot Oppenheimer just who should have gotten funding. But to her surprise, her mother simply shut up and got a sort of glassy stare. A few seconds later she was showing no signs at all of her previous mania.
"I strongly disagree with this policy, since it was not written with cloning or other forms of what amounts to slavery in mind." She started over in a far more calm tone of voice. Schematics began to scroll across the screen, maps and floor plans for everyone to memorize. "The Nellis Veterans Hospital has a long and proud tradition of not supporting the Area 51 staff and operations. As such, they have a bus standing by to take him there."
Photographs of a unmarked silver passenger bus appeared on the screen.
"If Jason is loaded onto this bus, he's already dead. While it would be easiest to simply snatch the whole thing in transport, I think you all deserve better. I think HE deserves better. You deserve the chance to say farewell to your father. Or to a man you've never known, but who most assuredly knows you."
Elizabeth sighed, than took a few deep breaths to steady herself.
"To that end, I've devised a way to hold off the base MP force and the Area 51 rapid reaction unit. I've already emplaced roughly 20 launch silos at Lake Mead disguised as RVs. With the terrain contour maps I've made I can launch the missiles and bracket the hospital before anyone can interfere. The Air Force base itself has an extensive fleet of ground attack drones, so we'll have to act quickly to secure the hostages."
Allison coughed, clearing her throat as she puts her hands over her son's ears. Thankfully, he was too busy watching the pretty pictures of Reaper ground attack drones unleashing Hellfire missiles.
"Now, the 96th Viper wing will probably take at least fifteen minutes to scramble. They're equipped with optical weaponry, so many of our force fields will be ineffective against them. Bethany, that includes even you. The automated point defense turrets are scheduled to be delivered in the morning. They're disguised as Port-a-Loo, so keep clear of any jakes firing lanes just in case."
Allison coughed again, louder this time. And when that failed to stop the farce of a presentation she kept coughing until Elizabeth acknowledged her.
"Yes?" the far older woman asked, her tone soft but her expression tight. It was obvious she did not appreciate the interruption to her carefully crafted master plan.
"I have a question?" Allison asked, turning Junior away from the images of the death dealing landscaping equipment on screen.
"Say the missiles worked as planned, and the drones don't fire on us, and none of the hostages die, and the laser fighters are all shot down, and we manage to escape without being tracked. Are we supposed to just walk out of Vegas without being stopped? How are we supposed to go back to our daily lives afterward?"
Elizabeth opened her mouth, only to be cut off by a sharp nod from Allison.
"Did anyone ask if we could simply visit during visiting hours? It is a hospital, and they allow visits from family usually. So long as you don't go in launching missiles or armed with shitty flak cannon spider tanks."
[Updated on: Sun, 28 August 2011 12:33]
|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #44898 is a reply to message #44897 ]
||Sat, 27 August 2011 17:09
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
After the details of the new, revised, less likely to end in a nuclear holocaust plan had been hammered out, the only thing left was for the ladies to get a good nights sleep in preparation for the morning. As before everyone else drifted away, leaving Justice, Allison, and Elizabeth in the suite. The elder Stanton was ill at ease with the pair, and she didn't bother to hide it.|
"You know, I hadn't quite counted on how infernally annoying it would be working with you." Elizabeth sighed as she sipped whiskey. "But I will grant you this. He probably would want things done your way. He always hoped for the best."
The pastel unicorn didn't comment, but gave Allison a long sidelong look. Allison nodded, idly stirring melted ice cream in her bowl. "I've had a lot of time to plan this meeting, to consider the details. And I have to admit... For the better part of 20 years I've wondered just who my father was. It's hard to describe just how it feels to finally have this chance."
She sighed, and started tapping at the edges of her bowl just to hear the sound. "I could say a lot on the subject, but I suspect that it would be pushing my luck. Quite frankly, you scare me shitless Ms. Queen. But I'm pleasantly surprised to find that you're much more reasonable than I would probably be in the situation."
Justice cleared her throat. "I... don't like being used as, ah, cannon fodder," she said softly. "Or my... family."
Allison pulled her lower lip between her teeth, and held her tongue for a moment as her cousin spoke up. Whirling fractal eyes glanced toward the lady who had called them here.
"Well, the original plan did call for a certain amount of inevitable sacrifice." Ms Queen admitted, her tone a little disappointed. "However, with little miss minge maid here on my side I think the odds are very good that there won't be a single fatality."
Justice bit her lip. A very odd expression on a face like that. "I knew a... uh, a girl in high school," she said, flipping her mane. "Jaime Harding."
That name didn't ring any bells for Elizabeth, though Allison was quick to squirm in her seat at the mention. "Jaime Harding..." the too old cyborg mused, electronic senses reaching out to the net as she searched. "Went to Whateley you say? While you were there?" Her search across the .mu nets quickly bore fruit. "Got all hacked to bits?"
"And, uh, mutilated. Because of... her, ah, father. How many..." She thought. "How much collateral damage has our... father... left behind?"
"Aside from a string of bastards and broken hearts?" The scorned wife hissed.
The pony's expressive ears flattened back against her skull. "...Including them."
"I suppose that's a relative question, isn't it?" Elizabeth sighed. "I mean... There are 400 odd sons that have lost their lives directly at his hands. But that's what happens when you sortie during a war. And then the question of how many people were beneath him on bombing runs."
She paused, the too old and too young woman looking back at the image of the man still on the screen. "But no. He only ever did his duty. He never put on a cape and went gallivanting around after villains. His hands are as clean as they can be after so many years." Her voice tightened up. "He's too good a man for this world."
"And you will protect your family," she replied. "But not us. Even if we... reveal who we are. Putting... stamping it on an MID card is the same as... as..." She snorted. "Wearing a bullseye."
Allison spoke up finally, "It's not as bad as all that." she began. "I mean, the MID card's don't even have anything on them about family relations. And I'm pretty sure that no one's trying to... ummm.." No, that would have been not strictly true. "That is to say, we're already registered mutants. Being a bastard on top of that can't be any worse."
"No, I think the horse faced wonder here is correct." Elizabeth interjected, an empty ice cream carton imploding next to the unicorn. "My children have changed the world. Are still changing the world. Just have a chat with Violet one day. What keeps my children safe is the assurance that I'm stark bloody mad, and a bloke never knows where I'll stop if anyone harms a hair on my babies head."
"I taught the Nips that lesson in '41. I schooled the Jerries in '43. You Yanks thought you could take my baby in '79. The Reds had to be taught a lesson in '86! Harm a hair on my babies head and I will repay that injury a thousand fold!" She'd started to rant again, her artifical skin flushed as she curled a hand into a tight fist.
"But not... us." Justice said that last word pretty much the way Elizabeth might have, and not in any sort of ironic way.
"I came this close to killing her in the womb." Elizabeth said, holding her fingers an inch apart in Allison's general direction. "Quite frankly I'm horrified to see what Jason's bareback filly busting adventures produced. I'd always suspected he'd stick it in the mud if it would have wriggled, but to see such confirmation?"
The unicorn's expression crumpled. "After, uh, fifty years of YOU the, uh, it was a step up!"
"Careful." the unstable cyborg snapped. "It's never too late for an abortion." She steepled her fingers and glared at both of the ladies who appeared to share her age. "You have no idea what it's like! Loving a man who never aged. Being married to someone who carried a nation through it's darkest days. Growing old and withered, until I was too fragile and weak to attend to him at all!"
"Your Mothers were a necessary evil. Your Mothers were cannon fodder. Offerings tossed to the conquering hero to keep him happy. To keep him with his worn out old ball and chain." Ms. Queen glared at them both, small red lights showing behind her pupils like the terminator "Your Mothers are expendable as far as I'm concerned."
There was a moment of tension in the room, like at any moment that petite russet lady might transform into some greater demon. But then she sighed and shook her head, "You girls though... You're his. He cared for you, even if he'd never seen you. He prayed for you. He loved you." Her fist tightened until her knuckles shown white. "And for that... For that I'll respect his wishes. And do my best to not endanger you."
The bottle doesn't shake much as Justice pours herself another glass. "Does he... even know anything about us?"
For a few moments those cybernetic eyes glowed softly, and then she nodded her head, "He does. He knew how you were doing. What schools you were in. That sort of thing. He had funds hidden away for your mothers that he thought I didn't know about. He made sure you were included in his will. Both of you."
"For, uh, a long time... I, uh, thought he was the one who beat them up," the unicorn said abruptly, as she tossed her mane towards Al again. "Her and, uh, Aunt Al. Mom still doesn't think you did it."
Allison had been silent a long time, and only now did she raise her voice. "No one beat me up." she said softly, running her spoon along her bowl. "It was just... accidents. Mom wouldn't mean to. I was just so weak back then."
The sound of the spoon being driven through the bowl came as a surprise to her.
Elizabeth cleared her throat a little, "I've never harmed a hair on either of your heads." She said proudly. "Your Mother overstepped her bounds though." the cyborg sniffed at Al, her tones cruel. "And had to be shown her place."
For a moment it's a tense stand off, the younger generation looking at the older.
"You're a real bitch. You know that don't you?" Allison said tonelessly. Her sister nodded.
"But that, uh, isn't the point." She took a pony sized drink. A long breath. "I don't trust you."
"You don't have to stay, and you don't have to come." The petite redhead said. "You'll still be included in the will, and what protection I can offer will still be extended." She shrugged her slender shoulders, "I'm doing all this for him. Personally I don't give a damn one way or the other."
There was a practiced pause as she let her indifference out. And then the guilt hammer.
"It is his dying wish to see his children. Not mine."
"Even if I look like a horse?"
Her smile is cold comfort, "Well, you'd have to see him yourself to find that out."
Ears flattened down. "He'll laugh me out of the, uh, room, won't he?"
They both looked to Allison, who was busy wadding up her spoon into a bright shiny ball of metal.
"Tomorrow's going to be chaotic as all hell." the blond precog sighed. "It's one big blur."
"Just, uh, tell me." Frowned. "Us." Deep breath and a flip of her violet mane. "Why did you, uh, let him have, uh." A glance to Allison. "You pretty much, uh, threw them at him. Our, uh, moms. You coulda kept them from, uh, y-you know."
From somewhere in Elizabeth's left arm an ominous hum begins, and the air begins to smell of ozone. "You really shouldn't encourage blokes to correct such mistakes as this." she hissed. "I didn't THROW anyone at him. I FOUGHT to keep him! I GAVE MY LIFE to him!" She stood and started to pace back and forth, waving her arms in the air in front of him.
"But what should I have done? Shoot every trollop that caught his eye? Locked him away in the basement with a pair of broken legs? I was OLD. He had NEEDS. And I loved him too much to deny him that."
"Could have, uh, warned them." A deep breath. "Or given them, uh, condoms."
This time her eyes glowed red brightly enough to be seen plainly. "Maybe your Mother should have thought of that. It's not like he bothered to take off his ring. It's not my fault your mother was an easy slag." Sparks like static dance across her left arm, "It's not like I was the home wrecker!"
"You were the... adult. Or, uh, were you?"
"What is it with people these days." Elizabeth ranted. "You're all so fucking childish! Like you expect the world to wipe your bums for you. You think everything should come with a warning label. 'This tea is too hot! Oh it's not MY fault! No one warned me super sex makes super babies!' Bollocks! People are responsible for their own actions and their own mistakes."
Her arm glowed brightly, and a seam began to show down the middle. But before she could deploy whatever deviltry her fiendish electronic brain was considering? She had one of those reset moments again, a few seconds of a spacey look and stillness.
Her arm went back to being an arm, and she grumbled "If you must know, I was in the hospital with a broken hip when you were spawned. And I was recovering from a stroke when that one was sown."
"If you, uh, say so." Allison's eyes widened, but she wasn't quite fast enough to stop the pony from adding, "Step mother."
That word seems to flip some switch in the coyborg's phototronic brain, perhaps some binary flip of a digit that changed the class of those two ladies before her. She took a long, unneeded sigh and shook her head gently.
"Go. Go cock about with your sisters. Hear a tale. Have some cheer while you can. I'll be beavering away here all night getting the calibrations right. Heaven knows we'll all be bricking it in the morrow."
[Updated on: Tue, 13 September 2011 20:56]
|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #45273 is a reply to message #44890 ]
||Fri, 02 September 2011 16:45
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
It was a bright sunny morning outside the Federal Hospital. The mood of the motley collection of mutants was no where near as brilliant. The reality of was different for each of them, but the impeding event was the same. They were about to see a dead man still living.|
Elizabeth had complained mightily about how difficult it was to make a teleportation grid on such short notice, and even more about being left behind with only Vi and the pony for company in the hotel. Though that was nothing compared to the fit Bethany threw at being forced to pick an outfit from Walmart.
The two vans of mutant females had caused quite a stir at the guard post, but proper precautions and compliance had made their passage through the checkpoint as easy as such things possibly could be. Cassi and Al had plotted this entire transaction in advance, and knew just what to say to finesse the security.
The caravan drove without incident up to the base hospital. There Elizabeth found her authority further eroded as Allison's plan was carried off flawlessly. As people left the van, the rest were teleported in from the hotel. In an entirely civil and sedate group, they checked in with the charge nurse and went to see their Father.
"This is a shambles." Elizabeth muttered as she impatiently waited in the lobby of the oncology wing. "We could have been in and out like rhubarb. But noooooo, someone wanted to WAIT."
A very small hand squeezed hers, and a face that was heartbreaking like one she very clearly recalled looked up to her from waist level.
"Momma thaid we th'ppothed to wait." The young boy lisped up at her. "Ith polite."
And for the longest time he was confused, because he didn't understand why that would make Aunt Elizabeth cry.
When the doors to the ICU opened, there was a sort of an osmotic transfer of individuals. No stampede, no pushing and jostling, no one anxious to enter that somber world of beeping machines and sterile trappings. A few nurses and other staff came out, leaving with laundry that smelled of sickness and plague. The ladies all shared a glance, and then by unspoken agreement the four full sisters stood and trudged though the double doors into the waiting room of the afterlife.
In their long lives these four had battled forces of both man and nature. The power they embodied as a clan was staggering, able to topple nations and turn armies to ash and dust. And yet, the twenty seven paces to ICU room 418-ONC were by far the most daunting and draining battle they had ever faced. A battle against their own hearts and memories. A battle against life its self.
For their whole lives, their father had been an intermittent presence. Duty and War wait for no man, much less his wife and children. But such was the force of his personality that even fifty years out of the nest each woman bore the imprint of his greatness on them with pride. Not just his genetic legacy of power, but his teachings and dedication. They were sorely tested when they finally came face to face with the husk that was left of their father.
Thick tubes had been drilled down directly into his chest, forcing oxygen into what was left of his lungs. Muscles had atrophied, their nutrients stolen by the rampant tumors. The man who had once walked with giants and soared with eagles was now a withered scarecrow of a figure, his skin sagging like wax left in the summer sun. He could not cough any longer, as more tubes filled his throat and pierced his skin. A pincushion was what this place had made him, though a pincushion had more dignity and utility.
The waste of it struck them all hard, but none harder than Cassiopeia. There was a thread in the back of her mind, a link she'd always been able to call on to her mother and father. For the majority of her life her parents where never more than a thought away, a warm and comforting presence she could reach out and take solace in. The link to her mother had gone silent years ago, and god curse her for a fool she'd reached out to her father through the remaining link.
That was not a wise thing to do. Pain was written large in his eyes. Even unto death he was more than human, the best sedatives and opiates shrugged off by his system even in doses that should have granted final mercy to a whale. He could FEEL each insult and injury inflicted to keep him alive, even if the compression of his brain prevented him from truly being cognizant of just why he could only feel the sensations of drowning in boiling Tabasco sauce.
Cassi touched his mind, expecting the warm love she'd always found there. What she got was a tortured litany of "NogoodNogoodNogood" and pain like an apple corer being pushed though her chest and lungs. Seeing him that way was bad enough. Feeling it too broke her inside, like all her childhood memories were burned with fire and infected with this one cadaverous influx. Her hero, her father, her strength, bored searing agony into her mind.
Her sisters caught her when she fell, and they wished they could join her in the temporary oblivion of unconsciousness. Anything rather than face the meat husk that wore their Father's face. But that would have been a disservice to him,against the credo he'd lived his life by. "Soldier on." He used to say, and so they did. But first... They needed Mum to fix things, as usual.
|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #45759 is a reply to message #45273 ]
||Tue, 13 September 2011 20:12
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
She alone was not moved to tears when she entered the room. Elizabeth Queen had no more tears to shed from her own eyes. She'd given them up fifteen years ago. She'd given everything up fifteen years ago, though she was loath to admit it. In a way her total cybernetic conversion had worked better than she'd dared hope.|
By reducing her biological components down to a few glands and her brain she'd gained youth and physical prowess. And then she'd had to spoil it all by dying anyway.
The optical computer she'd built to augment her failing mind worked beautifully. So much so that when her organic brain died altogether she'd not even noticed. That was thirteen years ago. Thirteen years that were, arguably, some of the best of her life. No more pain, no more sluggishness, no more screaming fits of mania. The worst had already happened, so what was left?
And thus the lesson was taught: do not tempt the heavens. There was always more to lose.
What good was eternity as a being of pure energy, if you must spend it alone? What good was a mind that worked at light speed, if all you could think about was the love of your life dying before your eyes? "You fool." she whispered to him, leaning over the bed to kiss him gently. "You bloody, bloody fool."
She slid her hand behind his head to gently cradle him, to give him the succor that she'd been providing for the last 90 years. Nano scale manipulators built into her fingers and palm slid out, penetrating his skin like acupuncture needles as she invaded his spinal column with them. Cassi had been a sobbing wreck as she described his pain, and she couldn't allow him to feel that for a minute longer.
So she cut his spinal chord.
Oh, it grew back in a few minutes, but that was all the time she needed to integrate her own circuitry into the C1 vertebrae. It was a bit of a bodge job, but it worked. She absorbed all the pain, and kept his organs running in such a state as they still could. She felt him relaxing as the pain stopped for good. "All better, sweety?" she asked, lifting herself up to lay in the gurney beside him. His eyes started to move, and locked with hers.
That was when she allowed herself the luxury of sobbing.
When the Matriarch emerged from ICU her left hand was missing. She'd left it behind where it could do some good, fused into Jason's spinal column and skull. "He's coming around." She said to the group, moving to kneel beside her psionic daughter and take her hand. "Cassi? Baby? He should be better now. I understand if you don't want to go back..." She paused and reached up to stroke her baby's cheek. "But it would mean the world to him if you did."
As a cybernetic chassis there was so much she could do... But emapthy was not one of those things. "Hlasing? Could I ask you to please... go and check on him? I think he might be aware. Possibly..." The slim Burmese girl rose to her feet with a nod, "And... There's still a fair amount of pressure on his brain... He may... That is to say you look..." Hlasing nodded again, and walked back into the ward. Some things were best left unsaid.
She sat heavily down in the poorly designed chairs of the waiting lounge, as satisfied for the moment with the situation as she could be. Jason was feeling no more pain. And now her girls were filtering back into the ward to greet him. She ran her remaining fingers through her hair, and removed nearly a dozen butterfly clips to let her russet curls flow freely. After a moment, Allison rose up to lead her son in to see his grandfather.
That was the signal. With a flick of her thumb Elizabeth launched the clips up through the drop ceiling, where their homing program and engines activated to guide them to strategic network trunks and security hardware. There they clipped over cables and plugged into routers. In ones and twos her daughters drifted over to their father for last confessions and fare wells. And in ones and twos, the systems of the hospital fell to her invasion.
Elizabeth sat back heavily in that chair, giving the girls the time they needed as she looped, bypassed, unlocked, and otherwise ran roughshod over the protocols of the hospital. Transfer orders were fabricated, back dated, approved, and sent. She glanced over at Justice, the very last in to see him, escorted by nurses to make sure there were no misunderstandings. She tracked down their names and provided a generous donation to each and every nurse who had seen to her husband's care.
It was the least she could do to them.
|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #51073 is a reply to message #45759 ]
||Sat, 07 January 2012 22:15
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
Off to one corner of the waiting room, Violet and Maria stood shoulder to shoulder looking out the window. As two of the largest of a very tall group of girls they seemed to have literally gravitated towards each other. While Violet had perhaps a half inch on Maria, Maria was by far the heavier and broader of the pair.|
"My Condolences." Maria said softly to Vi, looking over at a pale lavender faced that echoed her own strong features in so many ways.
"I wish... that this had happened under better circumstances." Vi said softly. "You would have loved him... And he would have loved you. Well, loved you more." She put her head against the window, a deep slow breath holding her together like so much duct tape.
And then almost against her will she let out a low wolf whistle... "Helloooo Nurse!"
Vi may have been the only homosexual in a large family, but she'd never bothered to hide her orientation. And now she fairly drooled as an absolute perfection of a redhead stepped out of an ambulance parked outside. Two more girls and an admittedly not bad young man hopped out and began unloading bags.
Maria's bi curiosity was piqued, and she slotted in beside Vi to get a peek. "Oh holy...." She breathed, her first encounter with the sight of the red head the woman leaning into the cab.
"Now that is a lovely young lady..." Vi breathed, captivated by the sight. "This is just the best part of my day."
Maria nodded her head mutely, slightly slack jawed as she stared.
"I mean, don't get me wrong. An... improbably perfect and attractive figure isn't the only thing I look for in a girl." Vi mutters as she craned her neck for a better view. "That is to say, I'm still not certain that I would date her. But I'm dying to find out..."
Her voice trailed off as the girl glanced their direction with the pair of captivating green eyes. It was enough to totally distract Vi from the long haired girl moving bags in the background.
Maria shook her head and tried to clear the stars from her eyes. She squinted, trying to manage to see past the redhead and towards the far more humble EMT's behind her. "I think I've seen her before."
"In your dreams?" Vi quipped back. "Because I'm certain she's been in at least a weeks worth of mine."
"No, the one behind her." Maria snipped back. Something was making her VERY uneasy about this whole situation.
"Oh. Well I suppose she's well enough. But why settle for the rump when there's fillet Mignon on the menu?"
"Wilson. Oh lord, that's Wilson!" Maria hissed. "Which makes the others Rilley and Declan."
"What? You know her name? How? Is she some kind of model? Does she have any videos!" Vi was clearly excited at the prospect.
"PTA news letter." Maria hissed, pulling the curtain closed. "We're blown. And we are SO screwed."
Given the potential for atomic holocaust embodied in Elizabeth and Violet, an elite mutant SWAT team didn't really seem like that big of a deal at all. Oh sure they looked competent enough as Elizabeth watched them through the hospital security feeds. The ambulance they rolled in on was almost assuredly nothing of the sort, and they moved with practiced coordination as they unloaded large quantities of gear onto an empty stretcher.
"Right. Not entirely unexpected, and it changes nothing in the end." Elizabeth said with assurance. "The paperwork for his release has been processed and signed. Di? If you'd be so kind as to push the wheel chair?"
If Elizabeth had still possessed blood, it would have boiled when her own daughters looked to Allison for confirmation first. She gritted her teeth as Allison made a few modifications. "Actually, Justice? Can you push Poppa please? We're already under observation, so please no aggressive gestures or statements."
Allison's eyes focused on a spot at the window, and wiry little smile touched her lips. "We're all rational people here, aren't we?" she said to nothing that anyone in the room could perceive. "Besides. The last thing anyone wants is a war zone here in the middle of a hospital. There's already enough pain and misery for all in these walls."
Under the guise of a transfer to hospice care Allison and Cassi placed their Father in a wheel chair with superhuman care. As requested, Justice pushed it along the halls. And as expected, a unicorn pushing a wheel chair attracted a fair number of rubber neckers who trailed the procession right to the doors of the hospital.
At a later date, Allison would chastise herself for being so cold blooded. But bringing along this many innocent bystanders appreciably increased her odds of living to do so.
As she stepped out into the Las Vegas sun she closed her eyes against the glare and let herself truly SEE. She could perceive chains of events like fast forward images, any and all possible outcomes growing from this moment in time like a mighty tree. And somewhere on that tree is the leaf she wanted, only if she could follow every fork and branch correctly.
She felt that enticing little tingle as she became the decider, the outside observer that guided events. She smiled as she found the right leaf in the middle of this whirlwind.
The team sent to stop her didn't look especially intimidating to Allison. Well, not physically intimidating. Only her confidence in her own ability kept her from really wetting herself.
"Hello!" she called cheerfully to the commando. "Fancy meeting you you here. You know I told myself at the school reunion last year, I said, 'Allison? You know those funny deja vu feelings you get? This is one of them.' And now just look!"
That seemed to take some of the tension out of the air. A start at least. Without pause Allison continued to steam roll everyone verbally.
"It's funny isn't it? Since I'm in town for a family reunion today too. One reunion after another. Only my husband couldn't come today. You remember him don't you? Nathan? Would you like to see a picture?"
The young man opened his mouth to try and get a word in edgewise, but Allison took that as a chance to single him out.
"Oh! Speaking of, How is Lily? She was such a mentor to me when I was joining the FSA. Oh but listen to me babble! You know what it's like to try and balance a job and a family. Ever since his teeth started to come in I haven't had ANY luck finding a sitter for Junior."
She took a moment to nudge her shy little boy forward... Again, when there was time, she'd apologize to God and her baby for taking such a calculated risk. But it worked almost immediately, the small Asian lady in the team letting out a high pitched little "Awwwww!" when she saw him smile. Allison turned to address her.
"You know it's not his fault. He wouldn't harm a fly. Well, possibly if it came between him and his bacon happy meal. I realize you're on the clock right now, but could I possibly get your number? That is, if you're not too busy with your own little tots to sit Jr? I remember you were always the best at it in school."
|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #59103 is a reply to message #51073 ]
||Mon, 28 May 2012 16:49
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
Elizabeth watched with mounting horror as one by one Allison flattered, confused, or simply side tracked each of her opponents like the best of old chums. There was nothing at all in the world she hated quite as much as feeling powerless, though Allison was quickly challenging that sensation for the top spot.|
With that oh so smug smile on her face. Those were the ENEMY. You don't let the ENEMY give your son piggy back rides. You don't recommend hair salons to the ENEMY or trade shopping tips. Allison was doing everything wrong, and it was working damn her eyes!
Reaching out with passive digital senses was a poor compromise for spider tanks, but it was the only thing she could really do without endangering the plan. Well, honestly the plan could eat a fat one. Getting Jason to a better place was priority. Discovering the tell tale energy signature of a miniaturized rail gun was almost to be expected, but the variety and destructive potential of the rest of the hardware on the gurney was a rude shock.
Well two could play at that game. Elizabeth opened a channel to her launch silos, and was intrigued to detect a minute amount of interference with her encrypted subspace transmissions. It should have been impossible. Why, she'd have to be right in the middle of multiple quantum relays to get any bleed over!
In a cascade of light she came to the conclusion that she must assume that this commando was using them, too. And while it was vanishingly unlikely that even with her optical processing power she could break their tunneling? Well it was better than listening to Allison prattle on about whatever daft thing.
While her son demonstrated his unicorn riding skills to the delight of the female contingent of the unit, Allison took the male leader of the unit aside. "Just... Just ask yourself? What if it was your father?" She reached out to hold take his hand, not too proud to beg when it came to this. "What would you do to save 'The Colonel' if it were him being held here?"
Of all her mutant gifts, this was her strongest. The one that terrified those who knew she could perform it. The ability to say exactly what needed to be said, to get the results she foresaw, without actually knowing what the import behind the words was. "We haven't hurt anyone. We just want to take our Father to a better place for his last days. Any where instead of an army cloning lab."
The redheaded one started to walk over, grinning despite herself. "I know... I know very well that the potential for disaster here rivals or even surpasses anything ever seen. The Cuban Missile Crises has nothing on the sheer destructive ability of the people gathered here. Billie? Violet? Do you want to see the two of them fighting like they mean it? Fighting to defend this city, and their father?"
"That's why you were sent wasn't it? Visions of a sky burning, of mushroom clouds and the end of days..."
Allison almost had it... Just two more junctions and they would leave in peace. She could see the team quietly discussing with their superiors and reaching a consensus... "Those were your orders weren't they. Your real orders. To keep the peace. To forestall disaster." She gripped his hand tightly as she whimpered, "Not to let an old man die alone..."
And then it all turned to ashes as a vanishingly unlikely and negligible branch of possibility suddenly burned all others. God she hated computers and their random number generators... Totally random. Totally unpredictable. Totally a bitch...
Behind her Elizabeth crowed in triumph!
And they said it couldn't be done! Peons! Mental Pygmies! Luddites! It didn't matter that it was basically just luck! All that was needed was an advanced understanding of Brutager's Equations and a distributed muon detection net. Those spider bots were just proving more and more handy! Pity she'd never need them again.
She adjusted a transmitter to act as a relay, a gateway from her subspace tac-net into those pesky interlopers comm system. Cutting off the commando was just the start. She stamped out their commo net like a particularly noxious cockroach, and found the most fascinating computer domains tied into it. They were like lambs for the slaughter before her.
She uploaded a persona bomb into every attached system she could access, cackling with glee physically as she initiated the cyber space version of Armageddon. Which, given what she did to Brazil the summer before, was not the best choice she could have made. It wasn't until she detected Very Low Frequency radio signals propagating from the nearby base that she thought better of things.
"Ummmm, pardon?" Elizabeth asked the Commando. "By chance is some sort of nuclear submarine off shore? I seem to have triggered some sort of strategic response mechanism whilst hacking into your communications net."
Allison just glared daggers at her step mother as her hair flew back from her face. She was likely the only person not startled by the dust plume of Justice launching herself, Nathan Jr in tow, out of the vicinity.
"And unless I'm much mistaken... We're about to be targeted for a missile strike. With luck, it will not be nuclear."
Allison ground her teeth hard enough to be heard as spat out "Elizabeth? What did I say was the first condition of this entire venture? I CALL THE SHOTS. At what point did I tell you to hack secure military communications and invade Department of Defense computers?"
There is a point where absolute idiocy and sheer brilliance converge, and both Elizabeth and Allison's mother would likely be offended to note just how similar they were in behavior.
[Updated on: Sun, 03 June 2012 21:15]
|Re: Not With a Whimper [message #59395 is a reply to message #44890 ]
||Sun, 03 June 2012 21:55
Registered: July 2008
Location: Texas Y'all!
There comes a time, in the course of human events, when something truly unforgettable is seared into the folds of the minds of the masses. A time of intense emotion that a person will always remember until the end of days where and what they were doing during it. These moments are elevated into the collective consciousness with such authority that there could be no mistaking the event that was meant even when only the name was mentioned.|
Pearl Harbor. The Twin Towers.
Despite the multiple military search radars, weather radar first alerted the public to the impending disaster. What is now known is that on June 17th, 2019, at 11:03am, Las Vegas local weather radar detected a mass of roiling air cresting the mountains to the east of the city at hypersonic speeds. Their passage caused extensive property damage from an intense sonic boom along the entire flight path.
Five minutes later, forty eight tomahawk cruise were missiles launched from a moored cruiser in San Diego harbor. Exactly how the terrorist forces of Elizabeth Queen were able to take control of a missile cruiser remains a question to this day. While it was not immediately apparent where the target of these missiles was, their launch raised the country to DefCon 1.
The missiles launched from Lake Mead were clocked on radar as traveling at Mach 3.5 during their flight over the mountains and reached their targets in seconds. The first flight of missiles from San Diego took 30 minutes to arrive on target, minus two that crashed in the mountains over San Bernardino. All of these missiles had the same destination, Nellis Air Force Base.
It was bedlam at the hospital.
Every window and ear was pounded by the slap of sonic booms, the concussion of twenty one pressure waves combining into a roar that shattered windows throughout the valley and set off car alarms en mass in an orchestrated electronic wail. The military grade windows at the military hospital survived the abuse, though the parking lot became a glittering sea of shards.
Again without asking Elizabeth had escalated the situation, though in this case that may have not been such a bad thing. The missiles slowed until they hung motionless in a perfect dome over the hospital, a single unit descending to ground level beside its maker. As it began to wreak it's havoc she greeted the machine like the prodigal son.
Forty years ago twenty of these devices had allowed the Queen family home and the island it sat on to go holiday over France and hold Paris hostage for a supply of Champagne and chocolate croissants. The shields they generated had held off the combined firepower of a NATO carrier group. The design had been considerably improved since then.
It looked like nothing so much as a very large water heater- just a featureless tube, twenty feet long and eight feet in diameter. It made up for the bland appearance with its capabilities. The device was nothing less than the largest gravity generator possible for the volume, and considerably more. Twenty one of the weapons linked with their master.
The sky began to darken as the units generated a shield strong enough to warp the flow of sunlight through it. Hidden in that bubble two dozen porta potties erupted in fountains of filth as mechanized, six legged spider turrets cut their way out and swarmed up trees and buildings to selected firing positions. Their laser cannons warmed and turned toward the horizon.
Finally, Elizabeth was in control.
[Updated on: Mon, 04 June 2012 23:17]
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