For The Crown
Written by: Tamilda and Her Name
Chapter 1. The Heist
The alarm didn't go off. The alarms never sounded. A young girl slid through the partially open door. She closed the door behind her softly, turning to look at the dark room full of wooden crates. This girl was petite, her figure was covered by a dark blue sweatshirt that was covered by a frightening drawing of a face and black leggings. Her hood was pulled up over her brown hair. She moved around the crates with cat-like grace, picking her way around them without making a sound.
"You're late." A voice sounded quietly from the empty air behind the girl. She jumped and twisted around, startled, then she pressed a hand to her heart in relief.
"Cheater." She muttered, pulling back her hood to reveal her face, which then consisted of two shiny black eyes, a small mouth, and a flat nose. She was staring at the spot where the very familiar voice had come from, barely seeing her companion materialize in front of her.
"Hush now, Pokerface." The no-longer-invisible one ordered her sidekick, "Don't make so much noise."
"You're the one talking." Pokerface muttered, turning away. The girl who had appeared out of nowhere was none other than the infamous villain, TruCurrent. She tucked her Mini Uzi into her red waistband and started stepping around the crates too. Every now and then she would stop and tap on one of the crates with her pale hand, pressing her ear against the wood. She melted into the darkness with her skintight, black clothes and her retro black boots. She had tied her red shawl around her shoulders and placed her legendary top hat over her chin-length blond hair. This top hat was a bit of a trademark, it was tall and black but with a giant, dead King snake wrapped around its base.
"I like the new face, by the way." TruCurrent muttered as she bent over another box. Pokerface turned and grinned at her in the dark.
"Thanks. Security guard. She was pretty, huh?"
"If you plan on wearing that face anymore I'd take it off now, I'd hate for someone to recognize it." The villain pointed out dryly. Pokerface grinned sheepishly and her face morphed, becoming nothing but a thin mouth with black lipstick. No eyes, no nose, nothing.
"I can't see as well without eyes." Pokerface complained.
"Boo hoo." TruCurrent muttered sarcastically, turning away from her companion to check more of the boxes.
"Seriously. I don't know why I can still see without eyes but it certainly gets worse. And what's the point of stealing peoples' faces if I don't even get to wear them?"
"You're annoying me." TruCurrent warned darkly.
"You annoyed me first. At least let me pick out another face to wear." At that TruCurrent wheeled around and grabbed the front of Pokerface's sweatshirt and turned sharply, throwing the smaller girl over her knee and into a pile of crates. The wooden boxes toppled down, clattering around the startled minion. Pokerface was sprawled out on her back among the wreckage, she shook her head as she lifted it, trying to clear it. She tried to move so that she could prop herself up on her elbows, but as soon as she lifted her body an inch from the ground she was shoved back down. Hard. She looked up to see TruCurrent standing over her with her right foot planted on her sidekick's stomach, pinning her to the concrete floor. With a sigh, TruCurrent hefted her Mini Uzi out of her waistband and leveled it with Pokerface's forehead.
"For someone without a face of their own you never seem to shut up." She said, her voice hard, "Tell me, Pokerface, are you really ready to have another funeral?"
"You wouldn't shoot me here." Pokerface argued, ignoring the stabbing pain in her chest that came from the pressure of her mentor's boot, "The other guards would hear you."
"I just threw you into a pile of crates, the other guards have already heard us, and I'd wager they're on their way. Now, do you want to keep quiet or not?"
"Fine." Pokerface conceded with a huff. TruCurrent helped the girl to her feet just as a guard walked in. He was bigger than both of the girls, his hard black eyes and matching beard were intimidating to any other intruders. TruCurrent, however, merely put her spare hand on her hip as she pointed her gun at him while Pokerface crossed her arms. The man quickly pulled out his gun and pointed it at TruCurrent.
"You are trespassing." He informed them angrily.
"We know." TruCurrent answered simply, "I assume you're decent at doing your job and have already phoned the police?"
"The others were instructed to call in if I have not returned in ten minutes." The man replied, squinting at her in the darkness. TruCurrent sucked in a breath and Pokerface giggled.
"Pokerface, what is the response time for the police to get here?" She asked her companion without taking her eyes from the security guard.
"About fifteen minutes." Pokerface said smugly, a smirk creeping across her stark lips.
"Ten minutes for them to phone in, fifteen minutes for them to get here." TruCurrent repeated, cocking her head at the security guard in front of her, "That give us approximately twenty five minutes, more than enough time. Don't you think?"
"Pokerface?" The man repeated thickly, his eyebrows raising and his lips tightening in recognition, with fear growing in his eyes he returned his focus to TruCurrent, "But you're…that makes you…" His voice trembled and he stopped talking, making sure that his gun was pointed between TruCurrent's eyes. The young villain laughed cruelly.
"Hear that? I'm famous!" She said gleefully, looking at Pokerface for just a moment. Pokerface grinned.
"So it would seem."
"I can't….you can't…I can't let you…" Without finishing any of his sentences the man took a deep breath and fired. The gunshot rang around the warehouse, exploding in every empty corner, resounding in the walls. TruCurrent, who was still partially turned toward Pokerface, swiftly moved her head back to look at the oncoming bullet and raised her hand, making a fist. The bullet sizzled and crushed itself, it fell to the ground between her and the man, smoking and looking like it had been crunched accordion style. All three of them took a moment to watch the smoke before returning their attention to the crisis at hand.
"Well, that wasn't very nice of you." TruCurrent said calmly, she looked around, ignoring the man's gasping breath and wide, terrified eyes, "And you're cutting in to my escape time. Better make this part quick, then."
"What part?" The man demanded.
"What do you think, Pokerface? Should I shoot him full of lightening, or just shoot him full of holes?" TruCurrent consulted as she raised her gun a fraction of an inch.
"I like it better when you set Slagg on people." Pokerface commented.
"No good. I left the poor python behind today, he hasn't been feeling well lately."
"He's probably just playing hooky." Pokerface grumbled.
"I'd be able to tell." TruCurrent stopped to think for a moment, "I think."
"Does your lie-detector work on snakes?" Pokerface mused, "I mean, you can tell when everyone lies, has a snake ever lied to you?"
"I didn't think so but now I wonder…" The man watched them nervously as they continued to talk, even though he barely understood a word of it. "Anyway," TruCurrent returned her attention to their company, "Back to you."
"What are you talking about?" He asked, "You're not making any sense."
"She talks to snakes, she barely ever makes sense." Pokerface commented dryly.
"I don't have time for this!" TruCurrent said, tucking her gun away she turned to Pokerface and instructed, "Tie him up."
"The boring approach." Pokerface sighed as she did what she was told. She pushed the man backward into a column and bound his hands and feet with rope. She forced him to sit and gagged his mouth with a white handkerchief. "Are we just going to leave him here for the cops to find?"
"Don't see why not." TruCurrent was once again pouring over the contents of the warehouse. The guard struggled and yelled indistinguishable words into his handkerchief.
"I'm sorry, what was that? You'll have to speak clearer." Pokerface taunted.
"Bat are oh ookin or?" The guard yelled.
"I think he wants to know what we're looking for." Pokerface called out over her shoulder.
"What we've found." TruCurrent corrected, running her fingers over one of the box's labels, "Gotcha." She breathed. In one swift movement she swung her leg up and kicked the wooden lid of the crate off, it fell to the floor with a clatter and TruCurrent reached inside, moving packing materials to the side as she searched the innards of the box. Pokerface's breath caught in her throat as TruCurrent, her face shining with pride, lifted something out of the box. She cradled the object in both of her hands and strutted over to where the other two were. She squatted next to Pokerface in front of the guard and revealed her prize: a beautifully cut, solid diamond the size of a large fist. "This, my dear sir, is what I like to call a really big diamond. This is what we came here for."
"We've got under fifteen minutes before the police come." Pokerface informed her quietly.
"You see, I like nice things. I didn't have nice things, but now I do. I love dangles and sparkles and shiny things. This is a must have for the jewelry-hording criminal. With Pokerface here, she only likes the green stuff, which she gets plenty of." She exhaled through her nose and turned the diamond around in her hand, examining it from every possible angle, "Mind you, the green is never as good as the sparkly. What's the point of money when I can take what I want? I guess it's because I don't like stealing everything I have." She grinned so cruelly the security guard had to suppress a shudder, "Do you think that means I've got a seed or two of good in me after all?"
"Oh irry bitch, oh haf no seed!"
"Ouch." TruCurrent rolled her eyes, "That hurt. But I guess that's what I was afraid of. You see, the way I know it, there are three kinds of people. There are heroes, the people who protect the world, stop crime and all that. Some are superheros, some are cops. Then there are criminals, crooks and villains that cheat to get whatever they want. Then there are people like you, I like to call the Everyday People. You're the worst, you lot are. Bore me to tears and just look at you! You can't even stand up for yourself! You barely even put up a fight, it's like you weren't really trying to stop me. But that's the thing with Everyday People, it's hard to tell when you're trying, because that's just how insignificant you are. I'm well on my way to becoming this city's most famous supervillain. And you know why I do it? Why I don't use my powers to save you ordinary people?" As TruCurrent paused Pokerface stood and walked to the opposite wall, examining more of the boxes.
"Eight minutes." She warned.
"Because I don't care about you." TruCurrent answered herself, meeting their captive's eyes, "And the scary part is: no one can care about you all the time. It's only a matter of time before they snap. I figured I might as well get some good things out of it." She patted the man's head and he flinched away. "I'm sorry to bore you with my life story, but I figured you'd be a good witness, it's so rare that we leave people alive. Shooting people with lightening is hard to resist."
"TruCurrent!" Pokerface called from her position by the wall, peering into another box, "Look what I've found." TruCurrent stood and walked to her sidekick, leaning over and examining the box of dynamite in the box against the wall.
"Brilliant." She stashed the diamond beneath her shawl and lit a match, both her and Pokerface backed up several paces. "I never could resist a flashy exit!" She called back to the startled security guard before throwing the match on the explosive. With a deafening Bang! The crate exploded and took a big chunk out of the wall. Pokerface climbed through it without hesitation but TruCurrent turned around and knelt on the ground for a moment, a king snake slithered out from under her shawl and down her arm before slithering itself across the concrete. Then she turned and followed the other girl out.
Mazillian had seen her share of evil eyes. She would get them from the idiotic villains who believed themselves above everyone, someone who had a problem with her outfit, or her creator (who also had a problem with her outfit, but their fights were usually about her lifestyle choice, not her amazing fashion sense). She didn't usually get them from the good guys. But the glares were there, and they were watchful and bitter.
The cops didn't really bother her though, she wasn't here for them. She was here because of her. Mazillian's sidekick, Cherub, had told her of a robbery in a local warehouse downtown, she had figured it was her and wanted Mazillian to check it out. Mazillian, who was in the middle of her favorite TV show and a bowl of buttery popcorn, couldn't be bothered to deal with more humans stealing toys and gizmos from other humans, so she sent Cherub ahead to check it out. She was too engrossed in Friends.
As far as Friends was concerned Mazillian had never understood why they always had this track in the background, cackling with laughter whenever something terrible happened. It wasn't funny! Everything in their lives went wrong from: relationships, to plans, to their jobs. It was her favorite soap opera. Just so dramatic!
She sighed, pushing down the thoughts of Friends and her comfy sweats and couch, and squeezed through the glares and the crime scene tape. It really was an average day for her, taking time out of her day, her wondrously planned out, well timed day, to track down a bunch of moronic humans with nothing better to do than play hide away with someone else's stuff.
"Over here!" She heard a chipper voice sing from her left. Turning, Mazillian saw her faithful friend. Really. She was faithful. Not like the cliché saying where Mazillian would spew words like 'loyal', 'lovable', and 'kind' just because that's what's said about your friends. She really meant it. Those words fit Cherub to a tee, and plus, Mazillian didn't exaggerate or joke. She never got the genes.
Once again, she really didn't get the genes. The genetic scientists who had created her decided it would be in her best interest if she wasn't distracted by petty things like laughter and happiness. Ass-kicking-genetically-created human beings really weren't designed to be the fun guy at a party, or the person you came to for cheering up. She was made to kick your ass, and she'd be damned if she didn't do it well.
"Was it her?" No need to waste time with formalities or greetings. They just got in the way.
"Hello! And yes, I do believe it was her. Not just because of her King snake, you know how much she loves those, but because she scared the living shit out of this guard," quick gesture to her right where a man was huddled up mumbling about snakes and crazy, pyro bitches "and blew up a bunch of crates and a wall."
"Yup, that's her. She still here?" Not likely if she left the snake. It was like that with them, Mazillian and TruCurrent. They were always missing each other and ruining the other's day or life in general.
"You know she's not!" A small giggle came out of the little girl's mouth. Everything about Cherub was small. From her short stature to her petite hands and face, she oozed fragile and cute. Cherub wore only pink and purple dresses with frills and ribbon. They had to have sleeves and ruffles. Her hair was always to her shoulders and perfectly styled, unlike Mazillan's, and she never took off her head band, made from the beads of the orphans she worked with during the day. She volunteered,do you think that makes her too good to be true? Mazillian agrees. But it was programmed into Cherub's genes like ass-kicking was programmed into hers. Cherub was all smiles and cuteness until you messed with something valuable to her, and then she became deadly.
She was a coveted sidekick in their city, but she picked Mazillian because she felt they were 'similar'. Both from the same genetic lab and both with no family or hope, so they stuck together. They didn't fight because it helped; they did it because it was how they survived. They knew no other way to get by.
"Yeah, expected that." Insert eye roll here. "What do we know about the attack? Was anything stolen?"
"Yup, a big diamond. TruCurrent's usual standard. I even tried to question the only witness but the paramedics shooed me away." Her face smoothed into a pout, bottom lip trembling precariously. "I just wanted to talk to him…"
"Why didn't you make them?" Mazillian never understood her sidekick's reluctance to use her powers. Cherub always insisted that they should only be used in emergencies or a fight.
Mazillian disagreed. Very strongly.
"It isn't that important. We know all the little details anyway. I may have eavesdropped into the cops conversations."
"Cherub! This is why they don't like us! We can never mind our own business." She looked over to where the cops where all standing around the main vehicle, talking amongst themselves. No matter the situation, they always found the time to gossip about the two heroes.
The cops didn't trust Mazillian and Cherub because they chose not to be the cops' tool. They chose to have their own life, take cases that were relevant to them and their interests, not be the cops' toys that they send out because they were too lazy to take care of their own problems.
"I know. Scold me later. But first, let's take a look around." Mazillian nodded and followed Cherub around the corner. They had been standing in the front reception room of the warehouse: the big, roomy place that all corporate businesses have. There were the customary fake plants stuffed into the corners and the too-large front counter covered in business cards and a computer with a hard-backed chair. The walls were a tasteless gray and the carpet a stained white. The room was empty but for a few chairs and the evidence tags marking where the first victim had lain. The woman was found face down, or faceless, as the case may be. The front of her head was completely smoothed over, skin grown over where her face should have been. Pokerface's handiwork.
Shaking her head, Mazillian trailed behind Cherub thanking all that was good and kind for her job as a bounty hunter and hero. Life would suck hardcore if she worked in a place like this. Cherub led her through the white hallway filled with pictures of good employees and the founders of the company, and passed a door marked 'Storage, Authorized Personnel Only' in big bold letters.
The security guards had done a very crappy job of keeping the bad people out of here. The lock was shot in with a gun, TruCurrent's typical mini-Uzi, and the door swung open invitingly. They stepped into the large open room. With one of the walls almost completely ripped off the warehouse, the light was plentiful, and the room was given a nice breeze.
The crates lining all the walls were tipped in, the words 'fragile' lying sideways, their contents spilled out onto the floor. The large storage room was filled with about twenty big, thick, poles supporting the heavy ceiling, and rope lay around the one closest to the missing wall.
Apart from these small things it really looked like a very ordinary warehouse. Well, that and the snake that had slithered up to her leg, mouth open, teeth bared as if preparing to bite. Mazillian didn't even bat an eye when she crushed the snake beneath her boot. Cherub, however, cringed away. Her eyes closing and her tongue sticking out with a disgusted "Yuck!" slipping from between her lips.
"You know it's necessary. I don't like killing animals any more than you, but with TruCurrent you never know what this snake is capable of."
"You. Are. Too. Paranoid." The bitter tone that laced the comment kind of hurt, Mazillian decided later. They had left the crime scene with nothing more pointing out TruCurrent's location than what they started with. Nothing but a dead snake, a disgruntled guard, and a really big missing diamond. The usual.
The warehouse had been scoured and examined until Mazillian's head was aching and screaming for the sweet release of day time television. She said a disheartened goodbye to her sidekick, who skipped away, probably off to save the orphans or a kitten from a tree, and slowly trudged toward her black Nissan Sentra, her version of the Bat Mobile.
Once she cranked the engine, she glided away from the curb and began her trek home. Verra City was normally a very quiet and nice place, filled with parks, schools, and museums. The town oozed cozy with the hint of civilization, and it filled to the brink with locally owned shops selling all kinds of things.
That was one of Mazillian's favorite past times. Driving through the town she loved. Yes, she complained about it a lot, but she really did have a soft spot in her genetically mutated heart for the city. It wasn't the city that drove her to the point of insanity; it was the people that belonged to it. The ignorant and bitter people who really hated this place, they were the kind of people who would pollute and graffiti the buildings of this lovely city.
She had vowed to protect it. Maybe she didn't make the promise to the cops and the important law abiding peoples, but she made it to the one person who really matter to her. Her creator.
Driving past the sparkling buildings and dazzling sunsets, Mazillian realized that this town held some truly inspirational things. Things like the hard-working people who existed day by day, just looking for something bigger and better to belong to. And the children who grew up there, wanting nothing more than to help the city that they loved, she couldn't wait until they grew up to be policemen and detectives. While everything had its bad side, she had once been told that the bad things are easier to see than the good. While the bad tends to overwhelm the good, we just have to see past the horrible and look at the truly pure and amazing side of life.
Pulling into her usual parking place, Mazillian stepped out of the car, stretching her back and rolling her shoulders. Mazillian had work that was positively screaming her name- a few bums who decided not to show up to court- but she ignored it and continued into her loft.
While her place wasn't that big, it was nice. It had an entrance where you hung your coats and a long hallway that led to the kitchen, dining room, and living room and another hall that forked off and led to her bedroom. The bathroom was classic black and white, as was her kitchen and dining room. The kitchen was filled with the modern appliances that Mazillian had no idea how to work. The wood was all dark and the carpet was new and smelled of lavender.
Her bedroom was all color and comfort. It blazed with the life it held, soothing and inspiring at the same time, the light teal color radiated into her heart as she flumped on her king-size gold bed. Not made of gold mind you, she wasn't TruCurrent, but it was covered in gold colored pillows and a top cover that shimmered in the sunlight that snuck through her gray curtains that covered her large bay window leading out to her spacey back yard. The yard she never got to be in, because of some evil bitch with an addiction to shiny things.
Her room held a dresser, a large book shelf, and a small couch for reading. It lead into the classic bathroom, and had a special spot for her duel swords. Right above her bed, where they were easy to access, but still looked nice if she ever had a visitor. Which wasn't very often.
Allowing her eyes to drift shut, she dreamt of the thing she did every night; A place in the mountains, filled with loved ones she had never met, and a comfort she never felt. It was always filled with hope and love, packed with warmth and the lovely wafting scent of homemade cooking. A place where life was always easy and good and there was always something to do.
A place that never existed.
Author's Note: This story is being written by two authors, Tamilda and Her Name. So you will notice some differences in writing and fighting style as we each take up the keyboard. EX: TruCurrent and Pokerface's parts are mostly written by Tamilda while Mazillian and Cherub are mostly written by Her Name, and some mixage within. On a similar note Updates will be AWESOME even though they will be completely at random. Please continue to read.
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