or, enter your birth date.*
So, having ducked out of class and with little else worth doing, Sophie allowed melancholy to sweep her off her feet. She felt like she would lay where she lay for days lost tumbling in the fog of her own jumbled thoughts.
|You can’t keep this up|
“You can’t tell me what to do.” Sophie chided back to the formless voice. She wasn’t in the mood.
|I don’t like repeating myself|
“Then don’t. Be quiet.” She warned.
To call the nebulous, formless thing that spoke to her as an alternate personality wouldn’t quite fit. Although ‘she’ has been around for as long as Sophie could remember, there wasn’t much that ‘she’ could do to interfere in her life. ‘She’ just speaks once in a while; mostly innocuous comments that invariably go off on a tangent. In more ways than one, ‘she’ was a passenger - a less-knowledgeable, more simplistic Siri in many regards.
|I can feel what you’re feeling| ‘She’ said, neutral. |You miss her|
“What do you care?”
|I don’t - She’s not my girlfriend|
“Do me a favor, just let me suffer in silence.” Sophie thought aloud, not in the mood to debate with the thing at the backseat of her head. It was an odd sensation, every time she had a ‘conversation’ with ‘her’.
‘She’ doesn’t have a face, yet Sophie had a good idea of what ‘she’d’ look like if she did.
‘She’ wasn’t a friend in any sense of the word - there was no bond to speak of between them.
‘She’ was just there; looming, peering at her like a stray cat used to getting scraps of food left out for it in the backyard. ‘She’ always had been, and if it weren’t for one important fact, Sophie would have sought more answers on what the hell ‘she’ actually is.
Sohpie sighed, mouthing the words as she thought, “You’re not going away any time soon, are you?” Rolling onto her back, she let toned, athletic legs stretch; felt her ankles pop slightly and her tendons going taut in her calves for a few moments.
|Not while we keep doing it| ‘She’ answered. |After all - it takes two to -|
The conversation to nowhere was then abruptly interrupted by a loud ringtone. It was one of only three that Sophie had set to always sound off at all time.
Taking her phone, Sophie’s eyes widened. She bolted to sit upright, her stomach knotting tight. On her screen were five words, strung together into a sentence that told her the first thing that had gotten her to feel anything more than detached bemusement since the year began.
‘At the station got something.’
With fire in her bosom, Sophie Scott swung out of bed, threw on a jacker around her shoulders, grabbed what she needed and hurried towards the door. She doubled back when she realised she was just about to step out of her dorm barefoot.
|Who was that|
“Someone who’s got answers.”
|Real answers or just-|
“You want me to do something. I’m doing something now.” Sophie growled in her mind as she shoved her keys and turned it in the keyhole.
‘She’ only said |I hope this works out| before retreating.
But even if Sophie felt even the slightest bit grateful or encouraged by what ‘she’ had just said, that feeling was quashed the moment she bumped into someone right as she burst out the door.
“Whoa now, hey… hey…” The annoying, wannabe suave-guy voice was instantly placeable. It was Lothario. “You, uh, in a hurry or somethin’ babe?” He was still dressed as he was when she and Kirsten had seen him way earlier, and just out of place. How exactly did he manage to end up here of all places, she couldn’t quite begin to understand - or care for at the moment.
“Look, I really have to go and -” She said, locking her door and holding her keys in between her fingers. She turned to walk away, she hadn’t the time to humour this knucklehead hours ago and she didn’t have time to deal with him now.
He wasn’t going to give her a choice in the matter.
“Hey, Bitch! I’m talking to you!” A grip far stronger than Sophie would have thought a person like him could have shackled the wrist of her key-holding hand. “Don’t you fuckin’ walk away from me, you think you’re too good for me?!” He threw his cap on the ground in what he fondly imagined was an intimidating gesture. He raised an eyebrow and grinned, probably thinking he was channeling some dread villain from the Dark Times. All he managed to get out of Sophie was a scowl - and a heel jabbing into his groin.
“Get away from me, you fucking creep!”
Groaning, the now obviously fake delivery man rolled on the ground, one hand still reaching out towards the redhead he had set his eyes on. Before the broad could get away, he shuffled shakily onto his feet, teeth clenched. That was a harder kick than he’d like to admit. “Alright,” the thug muttered, “time for me to unveil my p-plan b…” As clever as he thought he was being, ‘plan b’ boiled down to simply pulling a gun on his target. It was a revolver; .38 caliber, snub nosed, ugly. Ideally, he’d have a tranq gun but those things were expensive. “Okay gorgeous,” the jumped up thug began to say, already sure that his victim had been paralysed by fear - what kind of woman wouldn’t be afraid of a gun pointed at her? “This is what’s gonna happen… Y-you’re gonna do exactly as I say, ‘kay?”
“...Alright…?” Sophie answered cautiously, her quiet response seemingly egging the bastard on. He reached into his jacket and clumsily rolled a small, clear bottle with a rag taped to it. Sophie didn’t have to look to know that it wasn’t aftershave.
Standing a bit taller, the fake delivery man kept his pistol trained on the girl. Already beginning to undress her comely form with his gaze, he said “Go on and take a good, looooong sniff of that…”
He blinked. He had been expecting some sort of protest - they always say no, especially the feisty ones, and this fine looking vixen certainly did look like she had plenty of fight in her, which was fine by him on any day. But the way she just flatly asked him caught him off guard. Wasn’t she afraid?
“Don’t you know that I’ve got a gun!?” he growled.
Sophie didn’t give an immediate answer. She could hazard a guess that the man in front of her fondly thought that she was frozen like a deer caught in a semi’s headlights. Of course there was no way in hell that she’d indulge the bastard, but he was still armed -and by all signs he looked desperate enough to do something he’d regret.
Moving in a slow, deliberate motion, Sophie raised her hands. “Alright…” she said, inflecting a little bit of reedy shakiness in her voice. “I-I’ll do what you want…” With her palms open and facing him, she got down on her knees, not breaking eye contact with the creep. With her right hand, she reached down and took the bottle, a cursory glance confirmed what she already knew it contained: chloroform. The asshole was honestly expecting her to drug herself at gunpoint. By the looks of his twitchy eyes narrowing into a leer, lips curling out into a self-satisfied grin, he had already gotten into his head that her submission was a foregone conclusion.
“W-well? What’re you waiting for?”
“I… Just wanted to be sure…” Sophie looked deep into his eyes - much as she loathed to do so. “That you want me to…” she swallowed, affecting a look of nervousness. “T-to……”
“Oh yeah, babe,” he chuckled, “I want you to soak that motherfucking rag and put yourself to sleep… Or-”
“Or you’ll shoot me?” she asked, visibly trembling now. “Wh-why are you doing this to me?”
“Shut up! J-just do it before I put you out myself!”
“O-oh, o-o-okay…” Sophie quickly unwound the small length of clear tape holding the rag, laid out neatly on the floor, and unscrewed the bottle’s lid. She didn’t go halfway, and dumped the entirety of its pungent, sickly-sweet smelling contents onto the rag.
“Whoa, hey! Are you into this kind of shit?” the would be kidnapper giggled giddily. “‘Cause if you are, whooo, babe you’re-”
“If…” Sophie cut him off, “if I don’t do… this…” she paused, and made a show of taking a deep breath. “You’ll… hurt me…?”
That was a dumb question, he thought. There she was, on her knees, with rag sloshing wet with chloroform right in front of her. There he was, with a gun and all the cards, and she still thinks she could bargain her way out of this? He gave a short, derisive snort. “What do you think you dumb bimbo?”
Sophie hung her head, in an instant appearing downcast and defeated. With her hands in front of her knees, she certainly looked like a handmaid submitting to the master who held her leash. “Then…” she seemed to start saying before her voice trailed off.
And then she looked up, eyes gleaming like blazing emeralds. When she spoke, she spoke with a hard edge in her voice. “Then why the fuck is your safety on?” Oh she had had to use that particular trick before, but usually she was quite sure that the weapon aimed at her had its lethal intent enabled. As it was, delivery boy here had cocked up from the beginning by not cocking back his hammer.
“What-” was the only thing he managed to say before something cold and hard slammed against the bridge of his nose. “AAUGH!” in reflex, his finger squeezed on the trigger, but nothing happened. He staggered back, stars in his vision for a good few seconds before he looked back up, snarling. Now he made sure to ready his gun. But when he brought the weapon up he found the hallway vacant. “What?” he repeated. The rag was still there, but the girl wasn’t. The empty bottle of chloroform rolling idly at the tip of his foot, but she wasn’t kneeling at his feet anymore. Wait, where was she?
As he contemplated this, he noticed something peculiar. Right where the chloroform soaked cloth lay. It was… rippling? No, that shouldn’t be possible.
He looked behind him and found an empty hallway.
He returned his gaze to the front and found and empty hallway.
Cautiously, he approached the rag and reached out to get it. Might as well save it for the next time the opportunity to knock a dame out comes knocking. He chuckled at the clever thought, right up until his arm sank into the floor.
“Whadda FUCK!?” One second he was reaching out to the floor, then in the next the floor reached out at him like living muck, hungrily lapping at his arm right up to the pit. Naturally, he began screaming his lungs out. He pulled and tugged and heaved, but found the floor to be made of sterner stuff. It wasn’t letting go, it was pulling him in even further. “Get off! GET OFF ME!” he bellowed, any hint of bravado disappearing as he fought against the half-liquefied surface. So panic stricken was the foolhardy thug that he didn’t even notice a light tapping on his back, nor did he notice his dirty red jacket warp around his torso, the sleeve around his free arm ripping free to coil around his wrist and squeeze the gun out of his hand. It tumbled down and clattered at the tip of a pair of long, silver boots which reached up to their owner’s knees.
“Psch, jackass…” She kicked the gun away and did an about face and walked away long, black coattails lined red swishing behind her almost theatrically.
On a good week, Detective Vera Allison and her partner could make enough progress on any given investigation to get the case progressing sufficiently. Ever since new year, the bad weeks outnumbered the good, and with her partner out of action, she found herself outgunned by the staggering amount of work to be done. Add to that the new, big case that the Captain had mandated everyone to quietly look into, and the precinct’s busted air conditioning unit into the mix, and things were getting just unbearable enough for the detective to consider taking a sabbatical. Fat chance of that though, the Captain had said time and time again, “It’s all hands on this one until we find out just what the hell is going on!”
Vera leaned back in her chair and groaned at the prospect of hauling yet another all-nighter - without air conditioning. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, the cold never did bother her. The heat was another thing entirely. Even with the aircon running, she would walk around the precinct house jacketless with her shirtsleeves neatly rolled up to her elbows. Now she sat back in her chair with her white, blue-striped shirt with the three top-most buttons popped, revealing more than a little of her ample bosom, barely held in place by her tight, black undershirt and bra beneath those. Her blonde hair, darker at the roots and flowing out into a lighter, finer platinum towards the ends, had been tied back into a tight, high ponytail to keep it as far away from the back of her neck. She wasn’t asleep, but Vera’s keen, amber eyes were shut, soft breaths coming out of her half-open mouth. To finish her ensemble, she wore a pair of black pants which hugged her long legs most appealingly. She had shoes, too, but for the moment, they’ve been kicked under her desk.
With a sigh, she put the back of her left hand against her bare forehead and sighed out. “Ohh, just shoot me…”
“Um, should I be concerned?” A voice asked, chipper and inquisitive.
“Mmm?” Vera’s eyes rapidly blinked open as she stood properly upright. Immediately drawn to the redhead peering over her desk. “How long have you been standing there?”
“Long enough to know that you’re dying in this heat.” Sophie smiled. With the heat being what it was, Vera wouldn’t have been in the mood. That was, until she noticed the tall glass of iced coffee the young woman before her had set neatly on the desk. “How’s your partner?”
“A bit dinged up, but he’ll bounce back.” Without thinking twice, the detective took her drink and, eschewing the straw transfixing the plastic lid, drank straight out of it. She drained half before setting it down on a bed of folded up tissues. “Since you brought me a cold drink, I’ll let you live.” she gave a wan smile which the girl in front of her mirrored.
“Definitely not abuse of power there.” Sophie gave a half-hearted chuckle. “So, you said you had something?”
Vera regarded her for a moment. Despite the surface of carefully orchestrated nonchalance in her stance, the detective knew that Sophie was anxious. She was subtly shifting her weight from one foot to the other, the look in her green eyes focusing to each movement happening around her rather than fully towards the woman she had come to see. If her left hand hadn’t grabbed at her right elbow, Vera wouldn’t have readily found her looking nervous.
She stood, slipped her feet into her shoes and went around her desk. “Sophie, listen to me… What I’m about to tell you, promise you won’t act rash after I tell you…” Vera warned, her cool contralto dropping half an octave as she looked squarely into Sophie’s own eyes. “I’m doing this as courtesy for what you did,” she said in a more conspiratorial undertone “and not an invitation for you to do something that’ll put people in jeopardy. Okay?”
“Geez, Allison, what’s with the Third Degree? Relax… I know the score...” Sophie assured her.
The blonde detective shook her head, her long ponytail swishing behind her in the dry air. “Ugh, I know… It’s just that the Captain’s been riding everyone’s ass lately.” She took a breath, then looked at Sophie with those sharp eyes of hers. “Okay, I’ve got two things. One, check out this security footage of Miss Tae-yeong’s kidnapping.”
That caught Sophie’s attention. So far, neither the police nor Yumi’s agent had disclosed any significant detail on her disappearance. The former had only parroted what the latter, that absurd little Mr. Lee had said about Stellar going on hiatus in preparation for one of her planned world tours. Since no one had filed a missing person’s report, that had been the end of that, which surprised Sophie to no end that Vera was disclosing this bombshell of a development to her.
“What the hell?” Sophie hissed. “Where was this when I asked last-”
“We’ve been doing our best in keeping a lid on all the disappearances.”
“All the disap-”
“Quiet!” Vera shushed, and clamped a hand over Sophie’s mouth. Both ladies’ eyes darted around the squadroom - aside from a couple of other detectives hanging around by the watercooler, there were no one else in the room - and more importantly, no had noticed them. When she continued, she spoke in a half whisper. “We’ve got nothing substantial yet, but there’s a pattern here.”
“Whmph - feh! What pattern?”
Making sure that no one was within earshot, Vera beckoned Sophie over to her desktop computer and played a video file. Sophie held back a gasp as she saw Yumi for the first time since their last terse exchange. She was standing in front of a white backdrop, unnamable photography equipment set up around her.
Despite it being a mid-resolution footage from a security camera, Yumi’s radiance seemed to shine on through without difficulty. She wore a deep purple dress in the style of an 18th century noble complete with ruffled sleeves, an elaborate double-breasted front to her dress resembling a nutcracker’s, and black ankleboots. Vera fastforwarded into the relative middle of the footage, just as a pair of photographers were taking snapshot after snapshot of Yumi in various poses. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary yet… Until…
“There.” Vera pointed out, right at the point where Yumi’s beaming face abruptly went blank - as if she’d been struck by lightning. Even from the security camera’s high angle, Sophie could see clearly how her girlfriend instantaneously went stiff, and then, crumple into a heap of limbs as she fell - apparently unconscious. The two photographers were visibly still for a few seconds. Then, the pair nodded at each other and went over to the stricken idol’s side. Another pair of men then came into frame bearing what looked like a carrying case for an oversized guitar. Yumi was quickly grabbed by her armpits and her legs by three of the men, while the fourth opened the coffin-sized case. Just as she was lowered into it, that very same fourth man looked up and finally noticed the camera peering down at them. He drew a silenced pistol and aimed, then the feed abruptly devolved into static.
“That fourth guy, the one with all the spec-ops looking gear? We’ve got footage of people like him hitting the National Bank and a Chemical Plant and…” Vera trailed off at her impromptu presentation once she looked to her side. “Sophie…?”
“Oh my God… Oh my fucking God, Yumi…” While the darker part of her had thought that something might have happened to her girlfriend, Sophie didn’t think that she would be taken by a bunch of black-ops goons like that. She replayed the scene that had played out on the detective’s monitor over and over again inside her head. It interlaced with the last memory of Yumi that Sophie held - their quarrel at new year’s eve. “God, I’m so fucking stupid…” Oh how she wanted to just be able to reach into the screen and pull Yumi out of there, away from her assailants and in her arms once more.
But no. It was too late for that.
“...Sophie? Still with me…?”
One deep, calming breath was all it took for Sophie to affect a mask of calmness once more. “Yeah, I’m here.” she said, not breaking gaze from the screen. “What was the other thing?”
“I can’t help you more from where I’m standing-”
“Gee, that’s helpful.” Sophie scoffed.
“Would you let me fucking finish what I’m saying?” Vera snapped.
“No. That’s… Listen, I can’t help you but there might be someone who can.”
“Who?” Sophie’s eyes lit up as she tore her gaze away from the screen.
“A mutual friend.” Vera said, in all seriousness.
“Okay… who the fuck is this mutual friend?”
By way of answering, the detective handed Sophie a scrap of paper, pressing it against her palm and pushing the college student’s hand shut. “She’ll meet you there… I can’t really say how helpful our friend may be…” Vera shrugged, “but they’re looking into this for their own reasons, and maybe you two can work things out…” She paused, gauging her friend’s mood. “Maybe it’s a longshot, but…”
Sophie squeezed the scrap of paper tightly. “Longshot’s better than no shot.” Before Vera could say anything in edgeways, the redhead pulled the taller woman into a brief, intense hug. “Thanks, Vee…”
Surprised but not at all perturbed, Vera returned the gesture. “Stay safe out there. Let me know if anything comes up.”
“I will!” Sophie said sweetly as she pulled away. “Oh, one last thing-” she stopped herself as she was about to walk away. “You might want to send a someone to pickup a creep at the SU dorms. Second floor, right at the hall.” and with that, she hurried off into the afternoon.
Sophie Scott would have a date tonight at 8.30.
-THAT VERY EVENING-
The meeting point that Vera had set up was, unimaginatively, a warehouse down by the docks. It was cliched a place for illicit meetups as it could get, but at this point Sophie could care less about that. She had taken the bus from downtown to the harbor district, and then skulked through back-alleys to get where she was now, an elevated catwalk running along the warehouse’s dingy walls, overlooking the vast empty space beneath usually filled with all sorts of cargo bound for shipping.
Sophie had been waiting for an hour now, and still there was no sign of the supposed ‘mutual friend’. The last time she checked her phone, it was 8.15, and that had been at least half an hour ago before the damn thing died. Though she was getting miffed that no one had showed up yet, that gave her time to familiarise herself as much as possible to her surroundings. First, there was no electricity. The powerful industrial lights suspended from the ceiling were off, and a quick look about the premises showed that the circuit breakers had all but rusted away. The only source of light were the large windows lining either side of the warehouse, and the two wide open doors at each end. There wasn’t much in the way of cover save for some stairwells, a few crates that have somehow been left on the catwalks instead of their proper place below, and a few forklifts and loaders which had been left to rot away.
It wasn’t like she was expecting a fight, but after what Sophie had gone through in her life behind the mask of a self-appointed superheroine, it pays to be prepared.
As Sophie was scanning the interior of the warehouse for the third time, her ears picked out the faint tapping of footsteps. She tensed. This was it.
Diving back behind the stack of crates she had used to hide herself, the redhead took a deep breath and steeled herself for what was to come, whatever - or whoever - it was.
Sophie closed her eyes, and, her voice barely above a murmur, activated her powers. “Are you watching closely…?”
Immediately, her entire body was engulfed in thick, obscuring black smoke. When it cleared, Sophie Scott had become someone quite other than the distracted student she had been for the past few months.
She was now clad in a pair of long, silver boots which wrapped tightly around her shapely calves. Her thighs were left bare by the cut of her golden leotard, which accentuated the trim musculature of her abdomen, emphasised by a red band around her midriff, and the fullness of her breasts. A long-sleeved jacket with a pair of sweeping coattails that reached almost to the back of her bare knees completed her ensemble, topped off with a pair of white gloves and a vibrant, venetian-style mask in deep crimson.
Here, without much fanfare, was Entrancegirl - the Bedazzling Belle of Seacouver.
“Well, here goes…” With the increased agility afforded to her by her peculiar set of powers, Sophie leapt out from behind her cover and landed with catlike agility on the warehouse floor below. She stood, spun, and… found nobody in the immediate vicinity. Odd… She could have sworn-
Entrancegirl turned just in time to see ink-black tendrils shoot out from the darkness underneath the catwalks right at her. She barely dodged them, careening out of the way in a pirouette that took her behind one of the abandoned machinery.
“If that’s your idea of an introduction…” Sophie began to say, “Well, you’ve got some fucking nerve.” She stepped out into a light-footed fighting stance, eyes trained towards the direction where the living shadows had come from. “Before you get anymore ideas, I was told by a mutual friend that you might be able to help?”
Silence hung in the air until a lone figure stepped out of the shadows. Unmistakably feminine, she was clad almost all in black. From her jet-black hair which flowed behind her in a tight topknot, to the tips of her fingers and toes, it looked as if this woman had taken a dip in ink and that had become her costume. The only clear indication that she was not some intangible shade was her face; chiseled features and high-cheekbones, with her eyes hidden behind a blindfold-like visor which ringed her head, it was the only part of her which showed off her ivory skin.
She came to a halt about ten paces in front of Entrancegirl, casting a long shadow that the redhead immediately skipped away from. Sophie had never seen the woman before, and she couldn’t tell if the statuesque figure before her was on the right or wrong side of the law. Nevertheless, she had answers to find.
"Alright, let’s cut to the chase,” Entrancegirl declared. “I was told by a mutual friend that you can help me find out something about a disappearance. Is that true?”
“You’re Entrancegirl.” the woman before her noted. Her tone of voice was distant and aloof, as if she were looking at a painting rather than a living, breathing person she had almost entangled in her shadowy grasp. “I’ve heard about you.”
“Yeah? Well I’m flattered.” Sophie managed a quick stage bow. “I don’t think I’ve heard of you though, Miss…”
“Spectre.” the other woman said, tilting her head to one side, accentuating her swanlike neck in the process. “I don’t blame you if you’ve not heard of me…” She said, a noticeable hint of a Japanese accent in her voice. She extended her hand to one side, and to Entrancegirl’s growing sense of surprise, the shadows around this woman, this Spectre were drawn towards her hand, encasing it and hardening into a length of tapered obsidian. “Not a lot live after they see me.” Spectre admitted, lunging full-speed towards the redhead in front of her.
Heightened as her agility was, Sophie was hard pressed to dodge such a sudden attack. She leapt backwards, pushing against the concrete beneath her and somersaulting into the air. She landed a good few feet away, and saw the forklift she had taken refuge behind split cleanly in two.
Not intending to grant a reprieve to her opponent, Spectre raised her shadow-bladed arm and struck once more. This time, her long, filiform legs too were borne up by pillars of solidified shadows, lifting her high before immediately dissipating. But that was enough to give her an optimal angle to smite down at her red-masked opponent.
Entrancegirl just barely managed to roll out of the way, dodging a dark blade that bit deep into the concrete. That was when she took her chance. With quick steps, she dashed into Spectre’s guard before her opponent could properly ready herself and... touched the ground beneath her.
Upon contact, the concrete beneath the maiden of shadows softened and warped into a swirling slurry. For a moment, Spectre seemed caught in the trap, but then came the shadows, pulled towards her form and wedging into the tarpit she had suddenly found herself in. That allowed her to vault out of the quagmire, legs kicking out against the manipulated darkness as she loosed off a pair of javelins at her nimble adversary.
But Entrancegirl had counted on this, and for the first time since the uncalled for duel began, she was one step ahead. Having correctly deduced the path of Spectre’s flight, Entrancegirl had extended her matter-altering towards the exact spot where she knew her opponent would land. And just as the taller woman’s right foot touched down, the very ground itself rose up to meet her - liquefying and solidifying almost at will - too quickly for her razor edged shadows to cut free from.
That was when Entrancegirl truly struck.
Dashing towards Spectre, it was now the red-masked, red-haired heroine’s turn to lunge, barreling into her leggy opponent with a momentum that floored booth of them.
“Augh!” Spectre cried out, hitting the hard ground flat on her back, and for a moment losing control of her shadows. It was the only moment Sophie needed.
Scrabbling over the Japanese’s tall form, their lithe, physically fit bodies rubbing against each other in an unintentionally sensual display, Entrancegirl’s white-gloved hand reached out to tear off the visor obscuring Spectre’s eyes.
“Alright, you!” Entrancegirl cried, one hand pinning Spectre by her left wrist against the hard ground, the other holding her by the underside of her chin. “Look at me!”
“GRrrgh! Unhand me you…! Y-you…” Struggling quite fiercely in the initial moments of their grapple, Spectre’s resistance almost immediately fled her body as Entrancegirl’s namesake power began to work its way into her body. While most would understand it as a form of advanced hypnotism, the truth was far more complicated than simply compelling her target to ‘Sleep!’ with a loud call. Whenever Sophie could gain both eye and skin contact with her target, she could - with considerable effort on her end, manipulate her target’s nervous system to varying effects. In this instance, her immediate concern was to stop Spectre from attacking her, and more importantly, put her in a more pliable mood to get answers from. “Ohhh…” now that her visor had been removed, the full extent of her face was revealed to Sophie. Her eyebrows were immaculately plucked and styled into elegant arcs set elegantly over eyes of the deepest shade of jade. Her tapered nose and high cheekbones gave her the look of an aristocrat, a queen, even as she lay on the warehouse floor, blinking slowly and breathing heavily.
Spectre was not the only one out of breath.
Having exercised her powers twice in one day without the proper conditioning she had accustomed herself too, Sophie was quite simply running out of energy. But she had to know… She had to push just a bit more…
Rolling herself off of Spectre’s body, she ran her fingers along the length of her erstwhile opponent’s abdomen, up her torso and along the pass in between the pert mounds of her breasts. To Entrancegirl’s relief, Spectre’s suit was not made of shadows. As the black, satin-smooth fabric began to bend to Sophie’s whim, ripping and reforming into a sort of loose straitjacket that pinned the woman’s arms tightly to her side, the acres upon acres of her Spectre’s smooth, ivory skin was revealed as she was - for all intents and purposes - stripped down to her plain-looking underwear, the menacing form of her suit shifting into a revealing prison for her.
“Ahhh…. N-no… C-can’t… Move…” she moaned, head lolling to rest on her cheek, long, ebon hair pooling around her head and shifting with each minor movement she made.
“Damn right, you can’t…” Entrancegirl breathed, dragging herself on her arms and knees. She settled on her soft, plush buttocks and, after steadying herself, pulled the entirety of Spectre’s tall, smooth form to drape over her lap. “N-now…” she began, cradling the dark-haired beauty’s head by the back of her neck - firmly gripping her spine and gaining a direct link to her nervous system. She concentrated on compelling the woman into helpless docility - and it was working. Indeed, with her upper body bound tight by her own warped attire, and her long, powerful legs reduced into weak passivity, thighs rubbing against each other tamely, the Spectre was reduced to a quivering shade.
“Wh-who are you…?” Sophie asked, straining to keep her eyes wide open and staring intently into her captive audience. “Wh-what did your parents call you?”
“Mnh…. Ohhh…” The tall woman blinked once, twice, before she breathily confessed. “Mmhh….ar...iko….”
“Mariko… Mariko, is that it?” Loathe as she was to pry into such personal details, Sophie felt as if she had no choice now. This was the longshot that she had been looking for, and she wasn’t about to lose that link now.
Spectre, Mariko to those who knew her as such, nodded weakly, her hair flowing down to blanket Sophie’s arm, shimmering under the moonlight which filtered through the large windows of the warehouse.
“Where is she?” Entrancegirl cut to the chase, holding Mariko close, desperate to keep her on track. “Where’s Stellar?”
Again, it took a few unbearably long seconds for Mariko to respond. While Sophie had been successful in mollifying her nervous system, it had the unintended side effect of slowly plunging the woman into unconsciousness. For the moment though, the Japanese maiden hung on. “Wh… Why… Stellar? You… Sh-should know…..hhhhnhh…”
Like a person looking into their own distorted reflection in a funhouse mirror, Sophie’s jaw dropped, her face contorting into a scowl of disbelief.
“What do you mean?” She shook Mariko hard, addling her as much as she jolted her remaining cognisance. “What do you mean I should know!?”
“Y...you… T-took her…”
“I’m looking for her! Ve- our mutual friend told me that you might have a lead for me…!” She waited for Mariko to answer, but as the seconds tumbled away, she was only met with weak moans and feeble shifting of the woman’s limbs. “Answer me!”
“Aahhuhhh…. Hhmhh…. M-my c-contact…. inffhh...ooorrmmmedd….”
“Yes? What about your contact?”
“I… C-can’t…” Mariko moaned, green eyes going dull as they slowly went cross inside their sockets.
“Yes. Yes! You can! Hey!” Sophie practically screamed into her face. “Stay with me!”
But it was not meant to be. Having never been exposed to Entrancegirl’s neural snare, Mariko was quick to succumb. As if a line had been severed, her head lolled back in Sophie’s grasp, neck wilting into its full length as her entire body shuddered one final time before unconsciousness overtook her.
“Ngghh…. Aaaaoohhhnh…” Mariko’s eyelids slid shut, just nearly, leaving a sliver of her sclerae visible from the gap. Her jaw went slack, mouth hanging half agape as her body went limp, trussed up by her own attire, in the grasp of the person she had been told was an enemy.
“Mariko? Mariko!? Fuck!” Sophie tried to shake the woman back into wakefulness, even though she knew it was a futile gesture. Cursing under her breath, there she sat, with a stunning asian beauty draped across her lap - a sleeping beauty, a slumbering princess, prize for the Bewitching Belle.
But she was not the princess Entrancegirl was desperately seeking after.
“Well…” Sophie said, craning Mariko’s limp head up to look at her, “I’ll… I’ll get answers out of you, yet… Spectre…”
Resolving not to depart from the encounter empty-handed, Sophie carefully, shakily, stood up to her full height. With a grunting heave, she tossed Mariko’s tall form over her shoulder.
It was a good thing that at least half of her was tightly bound, that Mariko was easily settled onto her unintended captor’s shoulder. Her long, glossy black mane flowed to almost reach the ground in a single, thick mass - exposing her vulnerable nape. Her legs were held securely in Sophie’s grasp, unbound for she couldn’t risk expending more of her energy to manipulate matter.
Without another word, and with her mind reeling from the answers - and questions those answers raised - Sophie stole quietly into the night, her unexpected prisoner in tow. Sooner or later, answers would be forthcoming…
or, enter your birth date.*
“Yumi. Are you ready?” the voice that spoke her name washed over the young starlet like a blanket of velvet. The way she said it, so smooth and indulgent, made Yumi Tae-yeong squirm slightly in her seat with anticipation. She nodded, lips gently pressing against each other and eyes shut tight. She took long, almost labored breaths as she tried to push the tension that had built up over the past weeks out of her slender, maidenly body. She had tried to shrug it off - as she often did - but as her tour ground on, Yumi couldn’t ignore the pent up fatigue and stress that came bearing down upon her. The fan-meets, the rehearsals; choreography sessions with her coterie of backup dancers and long hours of practicing stage routines - at the starlet’s own insistence - it was all she could do not to faint dead away on the spot.
The voice spoke again, managing to sound even more luxuriantly soft, and as her name was uttered, Yumi could feel a kind of warmth blooming from her cheeks, and from the depths of her stomach.
Sophie Scott giggled from where she stood behind her adoring, blushing paramour. “Are you sure, Yumi? We’re missing out on a new Force Maidens episode...”
“Yes.” Yumi nodded. She turned her head slightly to the left. Rich, deep auburn hair cascaded smoothly from her shoulders to flow freely, blanketing her bare back. “Yes, Sophie… I…” A hand landed on her naked shoulder, and Yumi grasped at it gently. “I want this…”
“I’m glad that you do…” her girlfriend said, smiling.
Warm hands began to knead the pop star’s shoulders; thumbs and forefingers pressing lightly upon Yumi’s traps and ever so slowly began to press outwards, tracing along her clavicles. Sophie had barely even begun, and already her touch made the lithe, petite Korean sigh in pleasure. Soft, brown eyes began to roll up behind those closed eyelids, ever so slowly as a growing arousal filled in the gap where her fatigue was, which Sophie’s deft hands were lovingly wringing out of her sore muscles.
“Oohhh…” With each gentle kneading, pressing move Sophie’s hands made along her trapezius and deltoid muscles, Yumi’s lips parted wider and wider. Her head began to loll back on a limber neck like a reed caressed by gentle summer winds. Sophie had had to prop her up by the base of the skull every few seconds - or pull her up by her delicate, porcelain chin when she began to nod forward. In her haze of contentment, Yumi felt a hand cradle the right side of her head; felt a thumb fit snugly behind her ear, her cheeks filling Sophie’s palm as her skull was tilted towards it, stretching the musculature of her neck, and it was there that another thumb went to work. Rubbing firmly down, but not up, Sophie’s digit skated down the taut tendon bulging slightly underneath the Korean’s flawless skin. Yumi was already like putty in her fire-haired lover’s grasp, her neck plied with one side at a time, three pressing passes before her head was tilted to the other side. With each careful pass, more of Yumi’s tension uncoiled and melted away. With each press, Yumi would let out a soft gasp or a muted, caught sigh of “Ahhhh…” like the soft hiss of delicate, expensive machinery being calibrated by the most meticulous of smiths.
But like the fadeout of a slow tune, Sophie eventually ceased her work, the pressure applied at the tips of her thumbs and fingers lessening until they simply rested at the curve of Yumi’s shoulders once more.
When she murmured her query, Yumi’s voice had become even more demure, almost breathless. “Hhnn…? You stopped…?”
“I haven’t even begun…” Sophie answered, careful to cadence and modulate her voice as far away from her usual tone of voice. “Not really…” She gave Yumi’s long hair a few loving strokes, before planting a kiss right at the top of her girlfriend’s head, filling her lungs with the sillage of her conditioner.
“Alright, now… Before I start this for reals, I’m the one who’s gotta be sure about some things now.” There was a pause, followed by a short chuckle. “Just a formality, you know…”
“I know…” Yumi breathed, her anticipation beginning to bubble over into mild impatience. “You’re such a tease, Sophie. You are always such a horrible, horrible tease!” She already said she wanted it, wanted her, what more proof does Sophie need to-
“Do you know who you are?” The redhead asked, her fingers combing through the cool, silken length of Yumi’s hair, gently pulling it all to flow neatly over one shoulder with swishing strokes.
“Yes, of course…!” Yumi said, breathless once more despite a hint of testy tartness in her lilting voice. She gave a gasp at the lapse of her accent, which she was working diligently to sound more American than Korean. “I’m sorry…”
“There’s no need to apologise… Not to me...”
The blushing starlet became silent as she bit back her apology. Sophie had been telling her not to apologise too much. “I am Yumi..” she finally said, just a bit too officiously for her girlfriend not to smile. She was playing along.
“Do you know what you want, Yumi?”
“This.” the pop idol declared with a quiet confidence her lover had planted in her. “I want you. I want you… to make me feel good…” A deep intake of breath and a soft, slow exhalation followed as Yumi said “Every… inch… of me…”
“Are you sure I’m up to the task? I’m just one person.” Sophie murmured, her hands now gently perching on the dome of the Korean girl’s shoulders by the tips of her thumbs and fingers.
Yumi, eyes still closed but not shut as tightly as before, reached for her girlfriend’s hands, the ends of her own slender fingers nestling in between Sophie’s knuckles. “You are all the person I need.” she confided with a smile.
There was a short silence. Then, Sophie spoke, the velvet cover of her voice slipped, and the giddy excitedness beneath showed like a midmorning ray of sunlight peeking through thick drapes straight into the face of someone sleeping in. “You- wow, really?”
“Mm-hmm.” Yumi replied, soothed.
“Wow… Well, fuck...” Sophie gave another chuckle - not the cool sound of a seductress, but rather the endearingly forward chortle that was so contagious to her lover’s ears. Her facade was cast aside for a moment as she gently squeezed Yumi’s shoulders, and Yumi held the redhead’s hands tighter. “Like, geez, Yumi, you can’t just fucking say that to a girl, God! Like, God I...”
“Wh-why? Did I say wrong?”
“No!” Sohpie assured, “No, no-no-no-no-no. You didn’t. You didn’t I… was just- I’m just being a big fucking idiot right now.”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, don’t worry Mimi I just spazzed out, y’know?”
“...S-spazz? I don’t understand…”
“Mimi. Don’t worry about it.” Warm, bare arms wrapped Yumi in a loving embrace, holding her tight and secure. Kisses rained down the top of her head, and then her left cheek. “Just… Don’t you worry, about anything, okay?”
As she felt her girlfriend’s bosom press against the skin of her back, and the weight of her arms settle reassuringly around her shoulders, Yumi thought it all felt… so right. Sitting here in her apartment overlooking the Seacouver skyline, with the lights dimmed and the aroma of scented candles mingling in the air and with Sophie holding her so close…
Her arms felt safe, and sure, and warm… So warm…
“Damn it, you threw off my routine… I worked on it all week, too!”
The mental image of Sophie repeating those words in front of the mirror, practicing her cadences and delivery put a smile on Yumi’s delicate lips. For a change, someone was putting in effort to give her a show.
Whenever Yumi stepped on stage, a throng of adoring concertgoers would greet her. Buzzing, cheering, squealing. They hung onto every verse she sang, every sway of her hip as she danced, utterly enthralled by the singular presence of Stellar: singer, songwriter, superheroine. To admirers and fans of her music, Stellar was the queen of the stage, a goddess with a golden voice whose albums and solos consistently find a spot on the Top Ten of any given Pop hits list. To the costumed heroes and heroines who worked alongside her, she was a Star; black, blue, or white, she was the diminutive diva who could, and despite spending more time in concert and tours than prowling streets for do-badders, she was quickly gaining a reputation as one of the people any cape would be glad to have on their side. Yumi basked in all this, to be adored for her voice, to be recognised for how her flexible - and growing - power-set is nothing to be trifled with…
Yet, as she sat there in her posh apartment, clad in a backless negligee which clung precariously to her form like mist, she thought that no one in the world would have her, could have her, quite like the redhead standing behind her.
Dedicated to her.
In love with her.
She opened her eyes, big and doe eyed and glinting with a purity of affection no camera could preserve. For the quenching of her longing for her lover is not something for the public eye.
Everyone knew Stellar the K-Pop idol.
Everyone knew Stellar the superheroine.
Only one knew her as Mimi.
Yumi smiled bashfully at the reflection in her vanity table. It was an exciting, odd sensation to feel shy facing that audience of one. Being gawked at and having pictures taken of her had become something that Stellar was able to shrug off - it came with the territory after all. But she wasn’t having a camera pointed at her, or had some besotted teen giving her a gaping, fish-faced look. Bright, green eyes glowing like witchfire in the dim lights greeted her, casting a half-lidded gaze at her. Long, wavy, thick curls of coppery red tresses spilled out from underneath a tall top hat, covering the Korean girl’s bare shoulder. Those arms, slender and athletically trim and ever so lightly dusted with freckles at the top of her shoulders, hung about her like an interlocked scarf. Yumi’s own hands went up to gently grasp Sophie’s forearm. She leaned forward and gave her girlfriend a kiss on her wrist.
“What was that?” Sophie asked, looking at Yumi through her reflection.
“Yeah, I know what a kiss is, Seoul Stunner.” she rolled her eyes, giggling and in turn eliciting a giggle from the young lady she hugged. “I mean, like, what was that for?”
Yumi could have said ‘For everything’ then, but that would just be an open invitation for Sophie to jest and jibe and make her laugh some more. Much as she adored her paramour’s quirky sense of humour, that wasn’t quite what she was looking for tonight.
She leaned her head against Sophie’s, who had rested her chin on her shoulder. Closing her eyes once more, Yumi smiled and said “I love you, Sophie…” and willingly let herself be lulled into a state of calmness she hadn’t felt in a long time.
Sophie Scott was not happy. Hanging in there and thriving, but far from happy. She hadn’t been ever since her senior year began. Her disgruntlement didn’t stop life from going on, though, and as one of her professors had so helpfully pointed out to her after she tried to explain away a late submission of an assignment, “The world doesn’t care about your flu, Miss Scott.” Of course it wasn’t flu, but the headache she got was real regardless. So as she sat at the back of the class, nursing her pulsing temples, Sophie stared daggers at the lecturer - the very same who had told her off about her ‘cold’ and docked her grade five points. “Asshole.” she thought, simmering like a kettle about to boil over, “Well the world doesn’t care about you either, you third rate, positivist hack.” Despite the vehemence of her inner-monologue, the lecture ran its ninety minute course - sixty minutes more than Sophie could bear listening to the old bag of hot air talk about the ‘imminent failure of the Yugoslav state.’ She gathered her things into her backpack and placed it on her lap, almost cradling it as she waited for the other attendees to file out of the lecture hall.
When it was sufficiently less crowded, Sophie went over to her friend Kirsten, who was still going over her notes where she sat at the relative middle of the class.
Plopping onto the vacant seat next to the lovely Filipino, she put her head in her hands, green eyes regarding her dark-haired friend/roommate the way a puma would look at any particularly interesting sight. She smiled, and said “Hey…”
“Hey yourself, Sofe…” Kirsten said without looking up from her compact, sleek laptop. She smiled back though, so her lack of full attention wasn’t because of irritation. Her fingers tapped rapidly on the keyboard, and there was a satisfying, almost mesmerising quality to the staccato ‘tap-tap-tap-tap-tap’ of keys being pressed in rapid succession. In minutes, Kirsten had finished whatever she deemed necessary to jot down and promptly folded her miniature computer, putting it to sleep. She then turned towards her friend, eyebrow raised.
“So…” Sophie asked, raising her own brows in anticipation.
Kirsten didn’t speak for about ten seconds that felt way longer than they actually were. “So… what…?”
“Did you do the thing…?”
Kirsten gave a small half-chuckle. “The thing?”
“Yeah, the thing I asked you to do.” Sophie nodded at the table, where her smartphone lay. “Remember?”
“Oh… Oh! Shit! I totally forgot!” Kirsten exclaimed. “Shit, okay, uh… I, like, didn’t check if the thing was on or not after you handed it to me and I had these notes to take-”
Sophie rolled her eyes as she reached for her phone, sitting besides her roomie’s laptop, and unlocked it with a press of her thumb. The black void gave way to a lock-screen bearing the picture of a young Asian-looking lady half-hidden behind a corner wall; her hair done up in a messy ponytail, her left, bare shoulder visible from the way an oversized ‘SU’ shirt hung about her slender frame. She looked as if she were peeking from behind a wall with those large, almost glassy looking doe eyes. In the split second the phone took to register her thumbprint, the display shifted to show the home screen. Now the lady stood center stage, arms outstretched in a welcoming fashion and a beaming smile upon her beautiful, oriental features.
Sophie felt a pang, and swiped up to bring the voice recorder up. The latest recording saved was an 80 minute file. “You’re a terrible liar, y’know that?”
Her friend shrugged, the mask of faux-anguish on her lightly tanned face disappeared. “One of these days, I’ll get you.”
“Yeah? Well not today.” the redhead gave an impish smile as she stood and slung her backpack.
“Are you coming with tonight?” Kirsten asked as she too stood, her short, pleated skirt swishing appealingly as she went around her chair to join her friend.
“Not tonight.” Sophie said simply, an apologetic smile upon her soft lips.
Kirsten pouted. “Aw, come on! There’s this new girl, transfer student from around where I’m from-”
“South of it.” They began to converse as they walked; Kirsten in her gladiator-style wedges, off-white skirt and matching tube-top, Sophie clad in a daring, shoulderless, frilled top in the shade of ripe strawberries, a pair of tight-fitting black jeans with well-worn, but still good looking brown moccasins encasing her feet. Next to the rhythm ‘clack-clack-clack’ of Kirsten’s shoes and amidst the crowd, Sophie’s footsteps barely made a sound.
“Malaysia?” Sophie guessed with an inquisitive glance at her friend.
“Indonesia.” Kirsten corrected. “Apparently her family’s, like, super loaded and she’s got a shit ton of money to burn.” the half-Filipino enthused, she began to grin as she raised her voice slightly over the crowd moving in between classes. “Her parents set her up at this super swanky penthouse apartment downtown-”
“The one at the teepy-top of the Jonathan-Jones Tower?”
“Oh my God, yeah!” Kirsten fished out her phone from her large purse and showed off a couple of Instagram pictures of the place. ‘Swanky’ was putting it mildly. It was a sumptuous, two-storey property with a sweeping view of Seacouver’s bustling downtown on the first level - that was where a home theatre system, a fully-stocked bar, and a modern, stylishly chic main area built around a spiraling staircase leading up to the master bedroom and who knows what was up there. The whole thing had the expensive,
“Geez, the place looks like what you’d get if the Enterprise’s bridge and Harvey Spectre’s office had sex.” Sophie muttered, just a bit too quiet for Kirsten to pick up fully on what she just said.
“Sorry, what?” Kirsten asked as they made their way out of the building and into the expansive campus plaza.
“I said geez, place looks ritzy as fuck.” Sophie said, making a show of displaying an envious-looking grin.
“I knooow! But, like, it kind of suits the girl, y’know?” With a few deft flicks of Kirsten’s thumb, the party-thrower’s photos were brought into view, and Sophie’s eyes widened just a bit. The girl in the picture looked a year younger than what her actual age might be. A diminutive thing with luscious-looking, shoulder-length raven hair, she looked at the camera in the pictures Kirsten showed of her with half-closed hazelnut eyes and a full, melancholy smile. She wore jackets and scarves - and tight, black leggings which showed off a pair of pleasingly supple-looking thighs - in the three pictures Sophie saw. The fact that she looked coyly candid despite being perfectly centered and angled in all of the photos let Sophie to suspect that this ‘eyeonyou’ knows much more than she’s letting on.
“Hmm… She’s cute I guess.” the redhead admitted readily enough.
“By the way, how’d you know her place is at JJ Towers?”
Because the big, gaudy neon letters that spelled out the apartment towers’ owners were bright, garish eyesores from where Sophie was looking down through the windows at Yumi’s penthouse. “I overheard a couple of guys in class talking about crashing some party there.” Sophie shrugged, “after you told me about it, I put two and two together.”
“Aha, so are you coming or not?”
At any other time, Sophie would have definitely gone - if only to accompany her social butterfly of a friend and see what all the fuss was about. If word about campus was right it. Ever since Thanksgiving last year, though, well… Things haven’t exactly been coming up Sophie. Then the new year swung in like a wrecking ball, slamming her against the wall. Fuck the lecturer. Fuck the party, and fuck this rich nobody, she doesn’t need any of them.
Fighting down the bile building up in her, Sophie offered Kirsten her best ‘can’t, love to go, but can’t.’ Something her friend readily rolled her eyes and scoffed at.
“But really though, I don’t feel like going out anywhere, y’know? At least not there.” She wasn’t lying. Ever since her fight with Yumi at what was supposed to be a nice new year’s eve dinner for two, and what happened afterwards, Sophie hadn’t felt like doing anything but numb herself and bang her head against the proverbial wall. Oh, no one knew of course, about Yumi or the tumult gnawing at her bosom each time she woke, or the small voice at the back of her head giving her non-answers. To put it succinctly, it was all a bit much for her to deal with at the moment. Realising that she hadn’t spoken for almost two full minutes, Sophie gave her friend a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder “I just need some me-time, y’know?”
“You’ve been taking a lot of me-time lately.”
Sophie sighed. “I know…”
“Well, if you’re not too busy with yourself this weekend, maybe we could go and spend some us-time?” Kirsten moved to stand in front of her usually cheerful friend. Her request was an earnest one, borne of concern, and Sophie couldn’t rightly fault her for that, could she? “We’ll get takeout and watch some B-list horror flick like, I dunno - attack of the fifty foot whatever or something.”
Sophie chuckled, an eyebrow raised to be half hidden behind her thick red fringe. “Wow, a night in? Are you sure that’s not too exciting for you?”
“Oh fuck right off, you!” Kirsten chided playfully. She wrapped an arm around Sophie’s shoulders and pulled her into a mock pin. She laughed, her friend laughed…
Then came the loudest fake cough any of them had ever heard.
They turned to find a wiry delivery man for what looked like a fast food joint. His baggy jeans and red jacket were at least two sizes too big for him, but his gray shirt seemed to be the opposite, exposing his skinny midriff in a way that was unappealing any way you looked at it.
“S’cuze me, ladies…” Lothario asked, brown eyes peeking from behind a pair of sunglasses sitting precariously on the bridge of his nose. “Sorry ta be botherin’ ya on such a good day n’all, but y’wouldn’t happen to know where, uh,” he made a show of rifling through his pocket to fish out a receipt of some kind, “Seacouver University Library is, wouldja?” Oh he fondly imagined that he was channeling some A-list rapper the way he wore his red baseball cap turned back like that.
Sophie took one good look at him, at the cartoon bowl of ramen smiling and giving her a thumbs up, and felt thoroughly nauseated.
“You’re way off, pal.” she said, leveling a glare she usually reserved for the thick-skulled ‘bros’ who thought lame pickup lines and beer breath would get her absolutely wet. “Library’s down back the way you came from. Waaay down.”
“Oh.” he took a look over his shoulder. Clearly he was expecting another response entirely, because when he turned back towards Kirsten and Sophie, he tried channeling Lothario again. “Well, maybe one of you fine ladies could, uh, show me the way? Y’see…” he paused, giving an exaggeratedly deep ‘Ahahah’ “I’m still pretty new in this line o’ work. I would really appreciate it if-”
“You literally just need to turn back and walk straight on the path.” Kirsten said, and gave her own ‘what a hack’ laugh. “See that big blue building there? That’s literally it.”
Lothario didn’t answer. His brows knit, and from the way his eyes shifted it was clear he was thinking of something to say or do. He gave a few noncommittal “Uh, well, y’know…”s before Sophie thought enough was enough.
“I’ve got Campus Police on speed-dial. I’m sure they could sort you out if you’re lost or something.”
Obviously rattled, delivery man raised his hands defensively. “Oh no! No, no, uh, that’ uh, that’s not gonna be necssary miss… I think I’ve got it now.”
“You sure?” Sophie narrowed her eyes disdainfully, even has her red-tinted lips spread into a smile.
“Yeah-yeah, sure thing, I’ll uh, be on my way then…” He grinned, flicked a pair of finger guns at the two university students, and promptly did an about face, walking away at a faster pace than Sophie thought he could manage in those atrociously ill-fitting sneakers.
Once he disappeared into the crowd, Sophie groaned and rolled her eyes, a split second after Kirsten did the same. They had a chuckle at that.
“Oh, my, God. What a fucking creep!” the darker-skinned girl shivered.
“Ugh, I know.” Sophie agreed. “Did you feel the way he was fucking looking at us? Like, Ew.”
“Oh my God, I know! Geez…! LIke, stranger danger much?”
After the run in, the two walked together until the footpath reached an intersection, chatting amicably about this and that all the way. It was midday now, just five minutes past one o’ clock and they had less than half an hour to get to their next class.
“Hey,” Sophie began to say, then stopped.
Kirsten gave her a look and stopped as well. “What?”
“Remember when I said I needed some me-time?”
From the apprehensive look on her face, it was clear her friend didn’t like where this was going. “Yyeeeaah….?”
“Think I’m going to take some. Like, right now.”
Kirsten blinked. “What?”
“I’ll see you after class, maybe, kay?” she grinned and promptly spun her heels and began to walk towards the dorms. “Later!” Attendance for that particular class wasn’t mandatory, so Sophie wasn’t risking anything important by walking away from a talk that’d put her to sleep in under an hour. She left Kirsten standing there, shaking her head, not knowing what to make of her friend. Had Sophie at least walked a couple of more minutes with her, she would have noticed someone following them.
The walk back to her dorm was a short one, past the door, up two flights of stairs and down a sparse hallway. Almost everyone would be up and about at this hour, so she didn’t bump into any faces she’d have to put on a plastic smile for, and there was Yumi’s ugly-cute sweater on the bed waiting for her - she could already picture its light purple, knitted texture. So she had that going for her, which was nice. With a sigh, she stopped in front of the room she shared with Kirsten, Room 213, unlocked the door and closed it behind her with a grateful exhale.
She made it.
Sophie kicked off her moccasins into one corner of the dormroom. Eyeing her half of the room, she shrugged off her practically empty backpack.
“She shoots…” The thing arced across the room and landed a feet short of Sophie’s bed and skidded underneath it. “She scores, whooo…! Big fucking deal.” With not much else to do, the redhead fell heavily onto the bed, face-first into the purple pile that had caught her eye from the moment she entered.
Sophie lay perfectly straight on the narrow bed. Her curvy, sprightly legs laying pigeon-toed, her arms palm up with her fingers curled inwards and her red hair flowing around her head like a shroud - face buried in Yumi’s sweater. As she inhaled that familiar scent, the tired young lady felt the joints in her spine popping gently. That felt good, but the imagining a certain Korean’s hands softly tracing circles into the small of her back was better. If she tried very, very hard, she could almost feel those immaculately manicured fingertips making divots in her skin.
“Talk to me, Yumi, where are you?” Sophie whispered into the bunched up sweater she buried her face in. The heat of her own breath washing over her cheeks was the only answer she got.
or, enter your birth date.*
or, enter your birth date.*
The halls of the Plegian Repository were dim and cool, deep underneath the keep. In the late hours, there weren’t many other souls left in the waking realm. That suited Hilde and Isolde just fine. The few guards at their posts were easy to avoid, and the few that did notice them never managed to raise the alarm. Both women, clad in ‘borrowed’ robes, made for the center of the Repository, passing rows upon rows of shelves, stacks of tomes, and softly glowing light orbs. There, surrounded in tomes and scrolls in deep study was their target. The Plegian dark witch, Tharja. at the glade in the Hilde, the taller of the two, gave her partner a subtle nod and disappeared into the shadows. With that, it was up to Isolde to set the trap. Hitching up the loose sleeves of her borrowed plegian robes, the slight-framed, mousy looking girl with the doe eyes and brown hair affected a nervous demeanor as she approached her quarry. Clearing her throat, and making sure that she looked every bit the mewling little thing that she was emulating, Isolde spoke, “E...excuse me… Th-they say to come to you for help… I-if I want something bad to happen to someone…” Isolde began, hands clasped together earnestly in front of her pert breasts.
To say Tharja was a beautiful woman was an understatement. She was tall, waifish, but voluptuous in all the right places, with inky black eyes and velvet hair like the Plegian night itself. As the woman turned - just slightly - from her book to regard Isolde’s form, there was a predatory cunning in those eyes. “What? What do you want?” she hissed to the girl. “Can’t you see I’m occupied? Run along, now, before I put a hex on you.”
Isolde shrinked back in what she hoped was a convincing aping of surprise. “I- I can pay you…” she said, stepping tentatively forward. “I want that.. that bitch to suffer like she made me!” growling, the mask of impotent rage the actress turned bounty hunter was quite convincing indeed. Enough to make Tharja raise an eyebrow at this.
“Oh? Well, if you put it like that… But why should I care? Why should I help you? I’m too much for you, girl, so go on before you end up making a decision you may regret.” Tharja gave a smile then, a serpentine one that was truly only missing fangs to complete her horrifying expression.
Eyeing the whole exchange from the shadows, Hilde kept her cool as she slunk from one shadowed patch of the room to another. Taller and more athletic than her diminutive partner, the former huntress moved with an easy grace afforded to her by years of experience gamekeeping and poacher hunting. As Isolde kept the witch occupied, she weighed her options; their employer had afforded them soporifics - chloroform - to subdue the witch, however getting close and getting a shot in before Tharja could hex them might be problematic. “Hmh,” by chance, Hilde’s hand brushed against a rather large tome resting atop a pile of lesser tomes. The Unending Night, it read on the hard, worn cover. “I wonder…”
“I’m not t-taking no for an answer, witch!” Isolde declared, stomping her foot in a display of petulant girlishness, voice rising an octave. “You’ll help me have my revenge on her!” She was closer now, at arm’s length to the witch, her forearms left bare by her hitched up sleeves as she attempted to convey the message that yes, indeed, she was unarmed.
Tharja rolled her eyes, standing up straight. She twirled her fingers, and in an instant a swirling, serpentine thread of dark magic appeared - the spell Flux. With a snap, it lunged forward, wrapping around Isolde’s feet, as Tharja droned; “I don’t like your tone, girl. You should hope I decide to only practice on you for a little bit, or else you might-GU-HAH!”
It took the perfect timing, strong legs, and a spot of luck, for Hilde to drop out of her cover - tome in hand - and rush towards the Plegian witch as she turned to face Isolde. Raising the tome before Tharja could realise a second presence in the room, she had slammed the heavy, leather bound book right on the top of the dark-haired beauty’s head, loud enough for there to be an sharp, audible THUMP! “Lights out, bimbo!”
“AHAHN!” Tharja gasped, black eyes popping wide and mouth opening in a half-scowling gasp, complete shock writ upon her face as the heavy book slammed into the back of her skull. Immediately, the magic was dispelled as Tharja’s hands jumped up at her side, her long legs tensing at the sudden impact. Then, her eyes slowly rolled up, and she let out a low “Ahhhooooaaaaahn….” Her face loosened, visibly relaxing as her eyebrows crinkled upwards in confusion, lips smoothing from their scowl into simply hanging open, dumbfounded. Her arms fell to her side, and slowly, like a collapsing tower, the marble-chiseled mage slumped to her knees. Then, her eyes rolled fully to whites, she let out a plaintive, feminine sigh - “Huhhaaahh…” - and slumped forward, her cape draping behind her like a blanket tucking her in. Tharja was knocked instantly and unceremoniously unconscious.
“Well…” Isolde scoffed, all pretense of the mousy little lady dispelled. “That was a bit too close, wasn’t it?” she said, yellow eyes looking up at her partner.
“It worked.” came the curt reply. “Take off her cape.”
Isolde did just that, unclasping the sable expanse of fabric, and the golden gorget it was attached to, from Tharja’s neck and shoulders, throwing the witch’s hair to drape over her head as she did so. Thus bereft of her cape, the full expanse of Tharja’s body was revealed; acres of smooth, ivory pale skin - cool to the touch and barely protected by her sheer clothing. It’s as if she wore a stocking for her entire body. Setting the gorget aside, Isolde neatly folded the now unconscious Tharja’s cape into a neat triangle. “Fine piece of ass she is, huh?” she remarked, slapping her subdued quarry’s plump rear end. “Hell, I’d wear next to nothing if my ass’ as tight as her’s.”
“Ahhauhhh…” Tharja moaned quietly, face wincing slightly at the slap. It seemed that, though slumbering she was, it was hardly a peaceful rest, the shock and humiliation of her defeat still writ plain upon her fair features. Tharja’s fingers curled reflexively as her gorgeous rear was spanked, and her thighs tensed briefly - not that either would protect her from the advances of her captors.
“Hey, check that out, she’s still twitchy.” Isolde noted.
“She’s out, Isolde.” Hilde objected.
Rather than argue with words, the other bounty hunter brought her hand down harder onto Tharja’s defenseless rump, slapping the left cheek hard enough for a tight slap sound to resound across the near empty repository.
“Ahhahh!” Tharja let out a sharp, brief gasp, face obscured by her own long hair draping over her face, body jumping slightly at the stimulation.
“Ugh, fine. Move over.” Hilde said, coming to her partner’s side and sneaking a foot underneath Tharja’s abdomen. With little effort, she flipped the - perhaps not so - comatose witch flat on her back. “Let’s have a look see, here…” she said, eyeing how Tharja’s supple, invitingly soft and vulnerable form flopped onto her back - limp and defenseless.
With Tharja resting on her back, more of the nature of her rest was revealed. Her breasts - soft, supple, and well-rounded - rose and fell with regular breath, but it was heavy and slow. Her breathing was not labored, like one wounded, but more husky, as if she were putting extra effort into each exhalation, misting her feminine lips. Her eyes, too - obscured as they had been by her dark hair, which lay in an inky mat haphazardly spread about her head - were revealed to have not quite closed, a sliver of white sclerae visible between the eyelids. Her lips were parted, and her fingers clawed gently at the ground - it seemed, almost, as if she were trying to pry herself back into the waking world, futile as her efforts were.
“Fuck me…” Isolde quietly breathed, her yellow eyes roving up and down the fallen witch’s form.
“Oh, you want to do it then?”
Before she could say the perfunctory ‘what’, Hilde shoved the bottle of chloroform into Isolde’s hands, a white handkerchief along with it. “Oh… Right, yeah, I’ll do the check.” Easing herself into a comfortable sitting position, the ex-actress pulled Tharja’s leaden, unwilling body across her lap. The dark witch’s arms were then thrown up to lay discarded above her head, the flat of her abdomen exposed as the spine underneath arched back against the swell of Isolde’s lap. “Alright,” she began the check by gently - and with relish - brushing Tharja’s long, silken hair to flow over her lap, spilling out like an obsidian waterfall shimmering under the dim lights. The act also unseated the circlet of bronze sitting atop the witch’s head. “Here goes…” without much fanfare, Isolde clamped her naked hand against Tharja’s mouth, her thumb and index fingers pinching hard to block the woman’s nostrils.
At first Tharja didn’t react, her breath misting on Isolde’s hand - but that only lasted for a moment. Then, suddenly, she gagged quietly; “Mphgm, hgmg, mphgm,” in hiccuping, gasping breaths. Slowly suffocated, Tharja’s breasts suddenly jumped as her body spasmed, arms and legs tensing as she was deprived of air, her upper body twitching and jerking slightly with each gagging attempt at breath. Then her gag was suddenly louder, a moaning “MPHMGM!” that rumbled out from her throat as her eyelids fluttered open, eyes still rolled to whites beneath.
“Yup,” Isolde nodded, letting go and allowing the now half-conscious Tharja to breathe air once more. Inwardly, the younger woman enjoyed the feeling of having the witch squirm under her, back arching, breasts jumping, all that potent magical prowess unable to prevent her predicament. “She’s still twitchy. Told you.”
“Fine, fine, you’re right. Now put sleeping beauty there back in dreamland and let’s be off. This place gives me the creeps.”
“Uhuh, yeah…” Isolde nodded, already dousing the handkerchief with that sweet-smelling solvent. To the point that it was almost dripping wet by the time she held it ready to be used, her other hand supporting Tharja by the back of her neck, propping the witch so that she could look into her eyes. “Come on, little witch…” she cooed, wobbling Tharja’s head left and right, further addling her consciousness, “Come on up and smell the roses…”
“Ahuh… Ahuh… Ahhahh..” Tharja panted loudly, her black eyes slowly rolling back into place beneath twitching eyelids, mouth hanging agape as she rapidly inhaled precious air, breasts pumping up and down with each breath. As her vision slowly returned, she mouthed feebly; “Wha...whahaahnn…?” She was, however, still too incognizant to properly formulate any words. Only when she realized she was looking into the leering face of the pert-breasted witch who had deceived her did she remember what had happened - but by then it was too late.
The cloth clamped down, not as roughly as the hand before, just enough for Tharja to breathe in the vapors logged into it. “Okay, that’s it… nice and easy…” Isolde cooed, tilting the witch’s head further back as she chloroformed her. “Deep breaths, deep breaths… In… out… in… out… in…” At that moment, Isolde wished she had another pair of hands, all the better to run up and down those long, sheer-fabric covered legs of Tharja’s.
“Mphh… hmmmph… Mphh… hmmmphm…” Tharja moaned quietly, her desperate need to air leading her to rapidly inhale and exhale the drug. She realized, of course, what was happening - even recognized the scent of chloroform from more than one evening’s events - but she was completely helpless to stop it. Her arms felt like noodles, her brain felt severed from her body. She could do nothing but rub her long, milky thighs together, slender legs squirming helplessly as she was chloroformed, eyes staring with malice at whatever they could focus on (which was never able to hold for more than a few seconds). Her breasts fell up and down in steady rhythm, and her eyelids were beginning to droop. In shame, she thought; “I c-can’t… believe I’m… b… beaten… like this…”
Sure that Tharja had been thoroughly subdued, Isolde slipped her arm underneath the witch’s shoulder, lifting her up into a sitting position and slipping behind her, allowing Tharja’s back to press against Isolde’s own pert chest, her head to rest on her shoulder. “You know witch… We kind of see why our boss wants you…” she said, leaning in and taking a whiff of the fragrant sillage of the witch’s straight, thick tresses. Isolde discarded the cloth for a moment, her hands ravenously groping at Tharja’s unprotected, eminently molestable bosom instead. “Gods, you’re practically naked…”
“I… I’ll…” Tharja muttered, voice raspy with hate and impotent rage. “I’ll… e...end… you…. Aaohhhhh…” she moaned, her threat trailing off into a weak groan.
“Goodnight…” Isolde muttered, lips trailing down to plant a deep, sensuous kiss along Tharja’s fragile throat. Her left hand abandoned Tharja’s soft breast, reached for the chloroform-soaked rag, placing it back over the witch’s nose and mouth, further pulling her head back and exposing more of her creamy, warm neck.
“MPHH Phhhmm!” Tharja immediately gasped, moaning loudly as her eyes widened with a brief moment of animation - but that was swiftly stolen from her, as her black eyes rolled back behind rapidly drooping eyelids, which then proceeded to flutter wildly like spasming butterflies. Her arms tensed once more, then went limp and were still, the only movement left in her limp body being the rapid rise and fall of her breasts which, itself, was slowing as the chloroform mollified the Plegian dark witch. Finally, with a quiet, almost gentle “hmphhh…” Tharja’s eyes fluttered shut, and her face relaxed into a composed, almost dignified expression of repose. Her breathing slowed into a more steady, normal rate of oscillations, and eventually the moans and sighs of her husky breath stopped as well, breathing silently. Tharja was now fully anesthetized into deep unconsciousness.
“Are you quite done?” Hilde commented, crouching herself beside her partner and their now fully subdued, very much tantalizingly vulnerable captive.
“Hey, when we nab that red-haired knight after this, you get to put her out.” Isolde assured as she pushed Tharja’s limp form off of her. Held by the shoulders, Tharja’s head slumped forward, dark hair draping down to cover her face as if in shame of her utterly humiliating defeat. “So, what now?”
“Well, we strip her, right?” Hilde said, lifting one of Tharja’s supple legs by the calf. Without much care, she slipped off and discarded the witch’s golden sandal. “Not that there’s much to take off, really…”
“Yeah..” Isolde nodded, already beginning to pull the ends of what can only be described as Tharja’s ‘body stocking’ far apart at the shoulders. Without much care, she pulled roughly down, the action underlined by the ripping of fabric and the sound of straps snapping. From her position she could not have seen it, but as she slipped Tharja’s sheer clothing down to the woman’s narrow waist, the witch’s upper torso was revealed in its sylphlike, sinewy entirety. Belatedly, as she let Tharja fall back against her torso, Isolde realized that their captive wore no bra.
Tharja’s top, now ripped in half along with the rest of her “body stocking,” was parted to reveal her plump breasts in all their naked, pale glory. Her nipples, pink and - surprisingly or unsurprisngly, depending on the point of view - erect with slight, frustrated arousal. Hilde looked up at that, and blushed - although she wasn’t as vocal about it, she admitted that the sight of the cruel Plegian’s summary defeat and humiliation had been quite titillating for her. With Tharja’s body so fully on display - well, it almost distracted her from her own quite lovely task. Swallowing, she focused again, quickly stripping the sheer fabric away from her smooth, silky legs, pulling off the golden rings at Tharja’s thighs and setting them aside. With that, there was naught left but the girdle round Tharja’s hips, something Hilde unfastened with pleasure, pulling down off her long, slinky legs. With her compatriot occupied, Hilde smiled and stole one quick indulgence, taking a deep sniff of the dark, velvety fabric that had guarded Tharja’s maidenhood - as it was, the Plegian was now protected only by a thin, black thong, the rest of her lovely, womanly figure completely naked to the world. Hilde smiled, thinking; “Yes…. Just sleep there, Tharja, and let me drink this all in…”
“Well this is less of a hassle than that last girl… Lucy something...” Isolde said, letting Tharja fall flat to rest on her back. The witch, of course, complied, her arms flopping flaccidly at her side, her hair a dark starburst spreading underneath her head. “Okay, now it’s just a matter of pulling the rest of this thing off and….” she trailed off, catching sight of her usually stoic companion in the middle of an act. “...Hilde, what the fuck?”
Hilde’s eyes snapped up, and she hissed, not unlike a perturbed cat. “Fuck you! Let me have this…!”
“Eh, whatever floats your boat…” Isolde shrugged, “Fuck me, I’m one to talk, I know I’d like a piece of that fine Plegian ass…” with the miscellaneous jewelry and clothing stripped, all that was left was for the bounty hunter to pull the ‘body stocking’ clean. A task that took all of ten seconds as she pulled at the sheer fabric, revealing more and more of Tharja’s pure skin until finally, the witch was left lying there; breasts bared to the cold air, trim abdomen rising and falling, long, smooth legs denuded, the only claim to a scrap of dignity being the skimpy thong guarding her nethers. “Gods, if this weren’t a job…”
“Right, so… now we tie her up.”
“Yeah, yeah…” there was a pregnant pause between the two kidnappers as each waited for the other to take out the lengths of rope they had prepared for just such an eventuality. When the seconds dragged on to minutes, Isolde pursed her lips and shot her partner a look. “Come on, you can molest her back in the cubby hole.”
“Well get on with it.” Hilde retorted, “Tie her up and let’s go.”
“What do you mean ‘tie her up’ you’ve got the rope!”
“No I-” both women checked their belts and pouches - indeed they both have forgotten the rope. “Fantastic. What are we supposed to tie her with now?”
“...I have a couple of ideas…” Isolde said, taking Tharja’s ‘body stocking’ in one hand and a knife in the other. Working quickly, she sliced the article of clothing into appropriately sized strips; one to tie the Plegian’s wrists, one for her ankles, her thighs, and the last pair to ball up and then seal the sleeping beauty’s lips. “Okay, I guess we’ll have to make do with this, for now. Next time when we hit that red haired knight-”
“Princess.” Hilde corrected as she took Tharja by her shins, pressing the Plegian’s legs together and placing her heels on her lap. Like wrapping a gift, she worked quickly, looping the dark ribbon tightly around Tharja’s ankles and topping it off with a neat, firm knot. “That red haired knight you mentioned earlier, she’s a princess. Gods know what she’s doing around here though. Sightseeing?” she said, beginning to bind Tharja’s plush thighs as well.
As her companion continued with Tharja’s trunk, Isolde propped the Plegian dark mage into a sitting position, the pale woman’s plump rear squishing slightly against the floor. Her head lolling forward, tapered chin resting between her bosom, she was the absolute image of helplessness, a far cry from her stern, domineering demeanor before. Isolde grabbed each of her wrists, pulling them behind her back, crossing them just above the waist and beginning to tie them tightly as she shrugged. “Can’t say. But a lady’s a lady, I guess,” she responded.
Tharja’s legs properly secured, Hilde scooted up, close to the drugged witch’s head. She reached down, through the curtain of silky black hair obscuring Tharja’s face and found her chin. “Hello,” she said, lifting her captive witch’s head up. For a few moments, Hilde couldn’t help but just stare. In her hand, she held the head of one of the most powerful magic casters in the land, now reduced to a state of undeniable meekness. Without the finery of her little circlet and gorget, Tharja’s gently shut eyelids and parted lips gave her face the quality of the purest of damsels. As if dark thoughts did not permeate from her mind - were she able to think at all at the moment. Balling up one of the strips, Hilde then pried Tharja’s mouth open, not at all difficult given how slack the woman’s jaw was. In seconds, the cavity was filled, sealing the captive’s mouth. Now for her lips. “Hey Isolde, do me a favor. Pull her hair up, will you?”
“Hmm? Certainly,” the pert-chested bounty hunter agreed, before complying. She grabbed Tharja’s hair from the back, pulling it up like one might pick up a kitten by its scruff.
Obliged, Hilde wrapped the last strip of black cloth around the back of the Plegian witch’s neck - just where the hairline started at the base of the skull - and over Tharja’s parted lips, tying a tight knot holding the gag in place right over her lips after a second loop. It was as if the woman’s lips, and the kiss they held, would be the sweetest of presents to be had. That done, Isolde let go of Tharja’s hair, allowing the locks to flow freely down and obscure most of the gag. “Maybe… We hold onto this one for a bit longer before we turn in the bounty…” Hilde mumbled, fingers affectionately running through the Plegian’s soft hair, her free hand playing as pillow for her limp head. “I… I mean…”
Isolde pursed her lips. “Well… that’s not an awful idea… but don’t forget that we’re on a job, eh?” She swallowed. “Besides - you know who we’re working for, don’t you?”
“Right…” Hilde admonished, “I mean, you’re right, who wouldn’t want her…?” Longingly, she brushed Tharja’s bangs back and gave the sleeping witch a kiss on her forehead. That would be the last bit of indulgence she would allow herself while still in the keep. The Plegians wouldn’t be too pleased to find one of their top witches half naked and bound, after all. With gusto, Hilde grabbed Tharja by her rump and thighs and swiftly hefted the woman’s limp form onto her shoulder. As Hilde stood, Tharja’s body seemed to melt against her shoulder, lean abdomen bending, bare breasts pressing against her back, long, lustrous ebon hair trailing towards the ground in a single, inky mass. Their captive secure, both hunters quickly vacated the premises, taking Tharja into an unknown fate.