The room was solemn as the four girls sat huddled around the table in Ellen's apartment.
"What are we going to do?" Ellen said as Sarah played with the bracelet around Michelle's wrist.
"If Lauren's been feeding information to the Crays, we can't just let her-"
"Can't let her stay? Julie, look. Although Lauren may have-" Sarah began.
"Lauren betrayed us, Sarah. She is connected with the Crays-" Ellen said.
"Her father is the leader of the Crays. That's not Lauren's doing!" Michelle said.
Julie furrowed her brow. "Look. Lauren may have surprised us with this, but I'm sure we can develop some kind of compromise."
Sarah frowned. "Just because Lauren has ties to the Crays doesn't mean she's one of them! The thing is, her father may be the leader of the Crays, but has Lauren ever done anything that would cause us to question her loyalty?" Sarah said.
Ellen paused. "Fine. We'll give her a chance. But, if I see anything suspicious, I'm taking action."
Crest ducked under a Cray, slamming her fist into his nose. She slammed her fist into his gut repeatedly. It was unnecessary, as the Cray was already begging for mercy, but Crest took her anger out on the Cray.
Whiplash caught her shoulder. "Crest, cool off," she said, pushing her away. Whiplash cuffed the Cray to the pole as Crest kicked a bucket over, then righted it. She saw another Cray running away and ran after him, knocking him down. She pummeled his face relentlessly, bashing his head into the ground.
Whiplash shoved her aside and said, "Take a break. Now."
Crest went home angrily.
Ellen approached Michelle when her shift was over.
"What the hell was that, Michelle? Ellen demanded, crossing her arms.
Michelle shrugged. "I don't know. I just felt pissed. The crime fighting was an outlet."
Ellen shook her head. "Don't hurt them excessively, I hate them too, but we're supposed to be the good guys."
Ellen walked away, leaving Michelle alone.
Blizzard slammed her foot into the gut of a Cray, which threw him against a brick wall. She was pissed, too. A second kick across the face took him down.
Sarah ziptied him to the streetlamp and grabbed another Cray.
She'd taken care of eight by the time she calmed down.
Blizzard sighed and returned to Darkness' apartment.
As usual, it was pitch-black.
Sarah flicked on the light and Lauren cringed.
"Sorry." Sarah turned off the light after locating a flashlight. "How do you even see in this?"
"You can't? Lauren asked, surprised.
"It's pitch-black, Laulau." Sarah teased.
Something soft slammed into her shoulder.
"That was a pillow, right? Or else, you have really soft hands." Sarah teased.
Lauren didn't respond. Sarah took a seat on the couch, where her pillow and blanket were.
"Does Ellen hate me?" Lauren asked.
"Ellen? No, no, of course not-"
"Your voice says otherwise."
"She doesn't hate you, she just doesn't trust you."
"I can see why. Why do YOU trust me?" Lauren asked.
"Well..." Sarah paused. "I know you. I know for a fact that you aren't a liar, and if you say you're with us, then you're with us. Besides, you haven't given me a reason not to trust you." Sarah said.
"What about Michelle?" Lauren asked.
"Lauren, no one hates you. None of us, at least." Sarah said.
Through the darkness, Sarah was sure Lauren was frowning at her.
Crest sat on the roof, legs dangling over the edge as traffic bustled below. Next to her were cans of soda, which she occasionally threw behind her into the bin.
She was confused about Lauren, the Squad, everything.
Sure, she came from a dark background, but that didn't cause the Squad to become hostile. Not like this.
The metal door swung open and Crest recognized the footsteps of Sarah, er, Blizzard.
"Hey. Saw you from the street. You okay?" Blizzard asked, stealing one of Crest's drinks.
"More or less. I'm just thinking." Crest said.
Blizzard swung her legs over the edge and relaxed.
"So, what are you thinking about?" she asked, popping the tab.
Crest shrugged. "Ellen and Lauren. Who knew there would be so much tension just because of Lauren's dad?"
Blizzard nodded. "I don't see what's so big of a deal. Lauren's still Lauren, it's not like she tried to kill one of us."
Crest nodded and drained her soda. She crumpled it in one hand and tossed it behind her.
Blizzard frowned at the street below. "Hey, is that-"
Crest jumped up. "Ellen's down there!"
"The girls jumped off the building, climbing down various ways to arrive at Ellen's side.
Whiplash shoved Darkness, shouting at her. "That was you! I knew I shouldn't have trusted you!"
Crest grabbed Whiplash as Blizzard caught Darkness.
"Well, screw you! I quit!"Darkness pushed away Blizzard before walking away quickly.
Whiplash wrenched herself out of Crest's grasp.
"What was that?" Crest demanded.
"Don't worry about it." Whiplash growled.
As she turned away, Crest saw Whiplash's armor cracked and stained with blood.
Blizzard dashed after Darkness.