Whiplash opened her eyes. She was pinned underneath a few wooden crates. Struggling to free herself, Whiplash held her head.
Ghost. A new character in town. They had practically destroyed Whiplash when confronted.
Whoever Ghost was, they were going down.
Ellen stumbled to her apartment and vomited into the trash can. Collapsing, she shoved her armor into a duffel bag.
Ellen picked up her phone and dialed Julie's number.
She was sent to voicemail almost immediately.
"Come on, Julie!" Ellen threw her phone across the room.
Ellen pulled on her jacket. She'd better confront Julie face to face.
Ellen leaned against the wall outside of Julie's workplace.
Luckily for her, one of Julie's coworkers recognized her and let her in.
Ellen made her way to Julie's desk, but found it empty.
"Oh, Julie's not here anymore." Kyle said, upon seeing Ellen. "She packed and left about a month and a half ago. I thought you'd know."
Ellen sighed. "Do you know where she is now?"
"I think she worked down at the bookstore." He replied.
"The one down by Main Street?"
Ellen stepped through the automatic glass doors.
She went immediately to the desk. "Hello. I'm looking for a Julie Riche. Does she work here?"
"No, not anymore."
"Do you happen to know where she is now?"
"I think she's a journalist for the newspaper."
"Okay, thank you."
Ellen was unable to gain access into the building, but called the desk. As she stood at the payphone, the news flashed.
A video collage of Whiplash's deeds played on the screen above her.
"Hello. The Horn."
"Uh, hello. I'm looking for a friend. Does a Julie Riche work there?"
"Yes, yes, she does."
"Am I allowed to see her? It's about an urgent matter."
"She's not in at the moment."
"Oh, okay, thank you." Ellen hung up.
She zipped up her jacket and took off for the overhang as the rain began to pour.
People streamed by as the streets filled with people going to lunch.
Ellen made out a familiar reddish head returning to the newspaper office.
Ellen pushed through the crowd and caught their arm.
She turned and frowned at Ellen. "Yes?" she asked coldly.
"Julie, please, I'm sorry, okay? I didn't want it to get between us. I wanted to keep you safe." Ellen said.
"Keep me safe. How well did that turn out?" she demanded.
"Ellen, it's not just that, you betrayed me! You never told me; Whiplash was the reason I took up newscasting! In a day, it was GONE. Look at me now, I'm just...lost as to what to do, Ellen!"
"I'm sorry." Ellen said.
Julie turned on her heel and entered the office.
Out of the corner of her eye, Ellen glimpsed a shadowy figure lurking against a building.
Ellen started to move towards them, but realized she didn't have her uniform.
She ran back towards her apartment and suited up.
Ghost wasn't going to try to kill her and get away with it.
Ellen waited at the street corner for Ghost to appear. He seemed to favor this spot.
After stopping two attempted muggings, Whiplash crossed her arms.
He wasn't coming.
She returned to the apartment and sprawled on the couch, watching the news.
Sighing, she tossed the remote onto the table and she closed her eyes.
Whiplash heaved herself onto a fire escape. She watched the street from her vantage point.
Ghost was bound to appear somewhere.
There he was.
Whiplash dropped down and tackled him.
People scattered as Ghost turned to fight Whiplash.
They locked in a tight wrestle grip.
Ghost moved quickly, elbowing and kicking Whiplash aside.
"I told you to stay out of my way." Ghost growled.
"I don't listen well."
Whiplash knocked him down.
"Julie! Are you not watching this?" Julie's coworker asked, passing her desk.
"Whiplash is outside, fighting some...ninja or something."
Julie went to the window.
Sure enough, Whiplash was fighting someone dressed in a dark overcoat and sunglasses.
Whiplash was losing.
The overcoat had Whiplash pinned, shoving her head into the street.
A car whizzed by, inches from hitting Whiplash.
She kicked him and jackknifed to her feet.
A knife flashed and someone screamed.
The overcoat ran away as Whiplash stumbled down the street.
Julie grabbed her jacket and keys. "Hey, boss, I have to go." She ran out the door and climbed into her car.
She skidded to a halt next to the alley where Whiplash had hidden.
"Whiplash! In, now!"
She climbed into the car, holding a rag to the knife.
"Oh, damn." Julie sped down the street.
"No hospital." Ellen choked.
"Here." Ellen gave Julie an address. "Go here."
Julie pulled up at the old brick building. She shouldered Ellen's arm and helped her to the door.
Julie pounded on it.
The door was flung open.
"Oh, shit, Whiplash. Come."
A man assisted Julie in bringing Whiplash to a seat.
"What happened?" He asked Julie.
"Fight. She got knifed. It looks really bad."
"Hm, yes. I see." He said, tugging the knife from Whiplash's leg and quickly applied hydrogen peroxide.
Sewing a needle, he expertly sutured Whiplash's leg. "You should be more careful. Why don't you carry a melee weapon?"
"Never lost before." Whiplash groaned.
"I assume you will accompany her home?" he asked Julie, who nodded. "Don't tear it, all right?" he told Whiplash.
Julie helped Ellen limp out the door.
She closed the door for Ellen and went around and got into the driver's seat.
"Who knew I had to get stabbed for you to talk to me." Ellen said.
Julie sighed. "Look, I'm sorry too. I guess I shouldn't have blamed you for protecting your identity. I mean , it's not like one little secret could've killed us...oh, wait."
"Are you serious?" Ellen frowned.
"Why are you being Whiplash? I mean, the police are getting lazy with you running around.
"I probably can't run for a while." Ellen sighed.
Julie pulled up at Ellen's apartment. "How DO you get dressed like that?"
"Normally, I would have a duffel bag, but I climb in through the window."
Ellen nodded as she got out of the car.
"Maybe my landlord isn't home. I know. You distract him."
"Ask him questions about renting. Say you're a journalist. He'll want the advertisement."
As Julie talked to the landlord, Ellen snuck up to her apartment and hid her gear.
Julie arrived soon after.
"Okay. You settled?"
Ellen nodded as she applied ice to her leg. "Oh, man. Think of the crime rates." Ellen sighed.
"I'm going to go. See ya."
"Uh, Julie?" She turned to look at Ellen. "Thanks."
"No problem." Julie forced a smile. "Be careful. I don't want this to turn into a habit."